When I was little I used to be at my Grandma´s while Mom was working. I don’t know how old I was when she first started to take care of me, I just know I was there during the years before I began school. There was once a photo of me from the summer I was four, standing outside the building she lived in. But I have some random memories from before that.
Though I can hardly remember what Granny looked like. She was round, well – obese, and she always had her hair in a thin bun in the neck. I guess she looked like my mom did when she got older, and probably as I will look when I get old. Though I won’t be that round-figured! I promise! Even though I share the same genes. I eat better and love to ride the bike. At my age now, Mom was both obese and had diabetes 2 – I am not and I have not.
I have also decided I won’t die at 72-73 something like Granny and Mom – and Dad! I’ll be at least 104! And at that time I’ll have written several novels, made a lot of images based on my photos, been traveling around the world at least once and live in a nice cottage in some wilderness, having cats and a dog and a nice male-friend. 30-40 years younger than I. (I can settle for 7 years younger…) An artist of some kind. Also a writer, perhaps?
A girl can dream, can’t she?
No! Now! Back to Grandma!
As I said, I remember very little about her. Just bits and pieces here and there. But I remember some from her apartment! She had a kitchen and one room. Literally one room! And a bathroom. And a hallway.
The kitchen was quite big. She had her bed there, which to me was huge. Like up to my armpits. At first I couldn’t climb up there by my own, but I grew on it! So to speak.
There was also a table in front of the window, and I remember she used to sit at the table, facing the window with the tree and the street outside when she was baking. She used to give me a piece of dough, but I just played with it until it was impossible to form into a bun. Then she took the piece, blended it into her much larger lump of dough, and gave me a new small one. Big enough to make one bun. It tasted very good when it came warm out from the oven, eaten with a glass of milk.
Once in a while the whole family came for dinner. At least my two uncles and someone else were there and I remember us eating vegetable soup with brothboiled meat and dumplings. We had one dumpling each, it was quite big, and I hated it. I hated the look of it, the texture of it, and that she used to seasoning it with some bitter almond. “It’s supposed to be that way”, she said when I grumbled about it and refused to eat.
I didn’t have to eat the dumpling.
At those times, the table was moved in front of the bed, and three of us had to sit there. It was fun to eat sitting in the bed.
I have absolutely no idea what the dumplings were made of. Wheat flour I guess, but there might have been some mashed potato in there as well. I just saw her form the dough to pieces and then drop them into the broth to boil.
Or did she??? The dumplings had certainly not the texture like bread, they were sticky! Icky-sticky! Now when I think of it, they had more like the texture of polenta or grits, but even stickier. Nowadays I like polenta, real polenta, very much.
She had a big cupboard where she kept her groceries. The most odd there were jars with cow-berry jam, (lingonberries) and in each jar was a whole, peeled, pear. It was like magic when she opened the jar, and suddenly pulled out a dark-red colored pear! Like – Oooops!!!
Over the sink, under the cupboards on the wall, was a row with small containers attached. They were made of china, had a handle also of china, withe – of course – and with blue flowers painted on the front. In those containers she kept wheat flour, sugar, salt and in some smaller ones she had spices. I remember the cinnamon sticks.
This was before the plastic era!
The room was big and had a large window. Along one of the walls she had a bed sofa with an oldfashion bedspread and a rather big handmade cushion which had tassels attached at all four corners. (You know about “tofsar”, don’t you?) I loved tht cushion and used to play with it. Let the tassels dance…
There was a… no, there must have been two armchairs, and a three armed floor lamp. On the other side of the room there was a chest of drawers, and I imagine some kind of dinner table with chairs, and perhaps a small book shelf. The whereabouts of these items are more or less a guessing from my part, then actually remembering
My youngest uncle slept there at nights, he had a fiancée somewhere, but at that time he wasn’t married yet. He must have been around 37-38 then, so not exactly the youngest fiancé ever. But he was very nice and I loved him deeply. Once in a while I was allowed to sleep over at grandma’s, and that was really funny. The sofa became a bed, one of the lamps was lit, we brushed our teeth together, put our clothes off and pyjamas on – and to make this very clear – we didn’t do THAT together! Everyone back then was more or less prudent. Mostly more… The whole era was prudent!
Then uncle put the two armchairs together for me to sleep in. Yes! The armrests was all around me, and the whole thing was soooo cosy!
Uncle had once bought me a Christmas present, and long before the time was due, grandma blabbed and told me what he had bought for me. She had said something about a small doll which was dancing. And I of course asked uncle about it. He got so angry with Granny that she had revealed what was supposed to be a secret for a while longer, but then he fetched the package and gave it to me. Inside was a small bed for my doll, with cover, a cushion and all. Then, hidden in the bed was also a small music box, with a ballerina dancing round and round on top of it. Wish I could remember what music it was. Some waltz from Wienna??? Maybe rather Twinkle, twinkle little star!
At that time in my life I had an invisible friend called “Icke”. Pronounced like “beek,” whith an “e” at the end. Not that that matters much… and isn’t icky…
The word means, by the way, something like “no” or “non” in a somewhat posh-y meaning. Not in the normal talking-way. So there we also have the stiff upper-ip, again. LOL
So what about “Icke” then? Well. Nothing really. I played with her, talked with her. I had no playmates my own age as I was little, so… Thus, I have a three year older cousin, but didn’t get to meet her particularly often. She stumbled on a branch in the wood once, all the blueberries fell out of her little basket and GOSH how she screamed.
Photo & Editing: ©Thea by Me