Grandma Madge's House

In an uncertain world, it's nice to know that some things stay the same. For example, Madge has had that couch and accompanying lamps since I was old enough to remember. My cousins and I spent a lot of nights sleeping on sleeping bags and air mattresses in front of it.

To the left of the couch is what I tend to think of as the Chocolate Table, since this is where she would leave boxes of homemade peanut butter truffles (we knew them as buck eyes) and Christmas cookies during the holidays. Like the couch, I remember a time when I wasn't tall enough to reach on top the table.

Normally this dining room table had its leaf in place and we all crammed around it to eat dinner during family gatherings. Behind it you can see the armchair, toward which my cousin Kevin used to charge, head first. Not sure what his reasoning was, I guess he had a lot of energy to expend.

Still in the same room, Madge's collection of ducks. I'll put these on the list of "unofficial" toys - as in, things my cousins and I played with, even though they were really meant for admiring (stuffed ducks excluded...she did have those back then).

On the list of Official Toys, I'd put most of the stuff in this set of drawers. Let's see here, we've got the Rubik's snake and cube, and one of several View-Masters.

In the next drawer, a box with a set of dominoes in it, and yet another View-Master.

After she put carpeting down in her sun porch, my cousins and I spent a lot more time there. I remember drinking a virgin strawberry daiquiri and giggling like crazy to my cousin's "Baby got back" tape, feeling like were listening to something that was "too old for us."

These days Madge is growing a big cherry tree in the back yard.

I know it might sound weird, but it's comforting to visit a place that has the same furniture, look, and yes - most definitely - smell that it's had for the past 25 years. I'm so glad John and I stopped in Springfield.

Next up: Grandma Madge turns 90.

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