Do you remember the windows of your childhood? Do memories rush in when you think of all the windows you’ve looked out and in?
A few months ago, my mom told me when her grandma was sick, she laid in front of the living room window in her old farm house, so she could see out. She also remembers seeing her great grandmother looking out the window of her house next door.
Something about that strikes me, though I can’t really put my finger on it. Maybe it’s because of all the time she spent with them, she vividly recalls them in their windows. It is almost as though the window pane itself is a frame and the images of her grandmothers are the photographs.
Lately I have found myself thinking about what my grandparents saw when they looked out their windows. Was it the physical things: barns, trees, or corn fields?
Perhaps, in their early days of having young families, the view out of their bay windows was a blur. With the hustle and bustle of life on the farm, kids, chores, meals, maybe they felt just like I do sometimes when we seem to be caught in a whirlwind of busy.
Makes me wonder though, what they saw when they got older. How did the view out of those same windows change after the kids all grew up and left home?
My grandma on my dad’s side has a maple table next to her kitchen windows. It faces the most gorgeous, southern scene. The farms lays itself out across the bluffs above the Missouri River bottom, called the Loess Hills. After a lifetime of looking out the same windows, I wonder if at some point, her “view” changed.
Getting older and having a family of my own, I’ve realized that the heart tends to come into play. The more time changes, the more my perspective changes.
When I think about her windows, now I “see” the days gone by, cars coming down the drive for holiday gatherings, her roses cascading down the fence, her grandkids running amuck, riding big wheels, sledding, and playing games.
When I “look” in them, our family is crammed around the table either eating grandma’s homemade rolls and seven layer salad, or laughing and telling stories.
What I see is my childhood. Whether I am sitting at my kitchen table or hers, I have memories from those windows tucked safely in my memory bank.
I often wonder what Little Bit will remember about the windows of his youth. Will he remember our little house we had until he was two years old? His bedroom window overlooked our five acre yard and our favorite oak tree where his baby swing was.
Will he remember our huge yard here and going to play at the creek? Will he have the same memories as I do when I think back on all the windows in my life? Will he recall playing outside, having friends over, laughter, playing baseball in the yard, playing with his pets, and building snowmen? I really hope so.
Mom and dad came to visit a couple months ago. After spending some time in the yard with us, mom had to go inside because her back was bothering her. Any guesses where she sat?
You got it! She got herself a chair and sat looking out of our dining room window. She could have gone to the recliner or couch. I’m sure they were more comfortable. She could’ve flipped on the television or picked up a magazine. She didn’t. She sat where she could see us, next to the window.
I’m guessing she didn’t even notice she followed in her grandmother’s footsteps, planting herself by a window so she could see out.
I took a picture of her sitting in the frame of that window while I stood on my sidewalk. Little Bit saw her sitting there watching him play.
I hope that when he is all grown up, he will have that moment stamped in his memory, just like she did when she was a girl.