Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)
TITLE: Clothespins, Tin Pans and Buttons
By Coleene VanTilburg
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“I need to go into work early this afternoon, my mom would say. I’ll take you girls to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and Daddy will pick you up when he gets off work.”
We would take our Barbies or crayons and get in the station wagon and drive past the rock quarries and the new freeway they were building and towards the foothills. Soon we would be turning on the mini cul de sac and into the driveway of my mother’s parents. There would be Grandpa, hand picking tiny weeds from his perfect Bermuda grass or working at his trade fixing watches, though now retired. Grandma would be waiting to give us a hug.
"Grandma, can we play with the pans and pins? Can we look at the buttons?"
"Yes, honey, let me get them and you girls can sit right here in the living room, " said my Grandma.
Out came the pie tins and the wooden clothespins. My sister and I would play with these for hours. We would make suns, animals, people...wherever our imagination took us. We would pinch the clothespin and attach them one by one to the rim of the pie tin. Like Don Quixote's windmills, they became monsters to slay or giant ladybugs in the fairy garden.
The box of buttons...well, that was a box of jewels of every color and shape. They were "eyes" on our scribbling. If strung together, they became our dress-up necklaces. Buttons could be pretend money for our pretend store or plates at the picnic for our Barbie Dolls.
Later in life, I would find out that my grandmother had suffered from breast cancer, undergoing a mastectomy. That cured her. As I look at the forlorn pictures of her and try to look into her soul, I see sadness. I think there was so much more she wanted to be, that she was brewing with creativity that was never tapped in a male dominated world. She taught me how to imagine and see beyond what was the obvious. My grandpa, being a watchmaker, made sure everyone had the correct time, but my grandma "spent" time in the imaginary world of her granddaughters, loving us the best she knew how. She would eventually pass away from a bad heart; clogged arteries, unable to expel what lies so deep within. My imagination tells me there is more to this story...or is that my Grandma’s whispers?
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