Don’t you just love to smell a delicious meal cooking?
We were blessed to be able to come home to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving and arrived on Wednesday evening. I woke up yesterday morning, with a smile on my face and a light shining bright in my heart. I know it probably sounds silly, but I haven’t been home in several months, and was quite homesick.
They still live in the same small town I grew up in and for all those days I couldn’t wait to grow up and leave this town, now I’m so thankful for each chance I get to come back. Funny how our perspective changes, after we’ve been away from home any big chunk of time.
While we were preparing our Thanksgiving meal, I found myself really missing my grandparents. The smell of that turkey cooking, took me back to my grandma Irene’s farmhouse kitchen. Oh, how I miss their house.
It was a typical Iowa farmhouse, white with a second story, one bathroom, and a cellar out back. Her kitchen sink window looked out to the front yard, the barns, and the fields. The house had been in the family and before grandpa and grandma moved in, they remodeled and grandma got a nice modern kitchen.
Grandma’s dad lived right next door in a small house with a dirt floor in the basement. When I spent time with them in the summer, it was my job to walk over and get great grandpa for lunch and walk with him to grandma’s to eat with us. I really miss those days!
What I miss maybe the most, is sitting at their kitchen table and watching her and grandpa wash and dry the dishes. She washed. He dried and put them away, while he whistled the entire time.
Years passed and eventually, they moved to their nearby town. After the farm changed hands a few times, someone tore down the farmhouse. Thinking about it still breaks my heart, though it happens, I suppose. What I wouldn’t give to be able to walk into their house one more time and be greeted by those hugs and kisses.
I wish I would’ve taken more pictures of the house when I was a kid. There aren’t many pictures of it. We have to rely on memories since the structure is long gone. I completely credit their house being torn down, to my love of abandoned farmhouses now. Sometimes they look sad being empty, but at least they are still standing.
I’ve heard that the sense of smell is a memory trigger. I believe it. I really didn’t notice how much I missed them until I smelled the turkey cooking yesterday. It’s been quite a long time since my grandparents moved on to their heavenly homes and the older I get, the more I wish they were still here.
I miss the sounds of their voices. The way grandpa would sit in his chair. I miss hearing grandma tell stories and her giggly, joyous laugh. I miss listening to the chatter and laughter of their after dinner card games, while I read grandma’s True Story magazines. I used to love sneaking through the bathroom to the freezing cold back porch where she kept the holiday goodies and getting myself a little snack.
Although they are gone, I am comforted that my parents are making similar memories for my kiddo. In fact, right now I hear mom whistling in her kitchen and dishes clanking around while cabinet doors open and close.
Cribbage has taken the place of card games, but there is still chit chat and laughs coming from the table after meals. My dad has his own way of sitting in his chair just like my grandpa did even though they were related by marriage.
I make sure I take lots of pictures of my parents, their house, and them in it for Little Bit. Maybe someday when he’s all grown up, the smell of turkey cooking and those photographs will take him back to his days of childhood, just like they do for me.