Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Grandmother's Attic

You know, my grandmother on my dad's side was never the big lap, big chested, cookie baking grandmother. Instead she has been a trim woman who sent herself back to college after her husband died. She got a degree and became a high school biology teacher. Though she didn't fit the stereotypical grandmother mold, there was one area in which she truly topped all grandmothers: her attic. It had to be the coolest (or hottest!) place on earth! Because it was the attic, it could get as hot as Hades or stinkin' cold, depending on the time of the year. But that never seemed to matter to us as kids.

There were exotic oriental rugs on the floor. And, no, these didn't come from Wal-mart; she actually went to China to get them. In fact, she traveled all over the world! And because she was a biology teacher, there was a skeleton up there (no, not the "family" kind) but the real thing hanging on a rack. She had scales and enamel pans and other weird assorted stuff you might find in lab.

But as a dreamy adolescent, that wasn't the thing that I loved the most. I treasured the right hand side of the attic. That where all the cool mementos, furniture, and souvenirs from other countries lived. My Aunt Lucy had dried corsages, jewelry, and various stuff that girls save while in high school. My aunt is really cute, so I loved envisioning her high school days. Additionally there were postcards from around the world, strange lamps, big overstuffed chairs, odd tables, vintage clothes, an old "Pin the Donkey" set that now lives in my scrapbook room, you name it. My brothers and sisters and I spent hours discovering all the treasures packed in tissue in the mysterious boxes from stores that existed in those days such as Pizitz, Loveman's, and Burger Phillips.

When we arrived at her house, we would go through the perfunctory, "My, how you've grown stage," (or really it was usually, "Can you explain the DNA molecule?" question) But after we got all that visiting (and pop biology quiz-yikes!) out of the way, we headed straight to the double wooden doors that lead us straight to Narnia. Whoa! We didn't need a wardrobe.

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