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At the Kitchen Table

images “What else did you do with your granny?” my six-year-old Grand asked.  I’d told Lou that I use to sit with Granny at her kitchen table, just as she and I were sitting at mine.  Lou wore her swimsuit, ready to play in the YMCA pool, as soon as we finished breakfast.

Granny lived alone and just down the road, a three-minute walk from my house.  And most afternoons after school, I’d checked in at home, say I’d had a good day, and slam the screen backdoor as I shouted, “I’m going to Granny’s.”  Every time Mother told me not to eat candy or anything sweet at Granny’s or I’d spoil my supper.

Granny would push her quilt blocks aside on the couch and make room for me to sit.  “Are you hungry?”  she’d  ask.  Of course I was, because that question was Granny’s offer to make chocolate candy.  Sugar, a hunk of butter, a little milk, and a scoop of cocoa – all dumped into a metal saucepan and heated.  Stirred a few times until the mixture boiled, and then stirred constantly.  Granny dripped a few drops of the hot mixture into a small glass of cold water.  If it formed a smooth ball when I rolled it with my finger, it was done.  She set the saucepan on her white metal table and poured in a few drops of vanilla flavoring.  Then she beat the gooey chocolate with a wooden spoon until it became thick or until her arm was tired and she announced that we’d made spoon candy.  She poured the warm chocolate candy on a buttered platter.  A white one with a small chip that is now in my kitchen cabinet.

It was grainy candy –sometimes firm enough to cut into sloppy squares immediately and sometimes spoon candy, my favorite.  Granny got two spoons out of a drawer, wiped them on her apron tied around her waist, and then she and I ate straight from the platter.  She started at one end of the platter, I at the other.  As we ate, the syrupy candy would spread out and Granny declared that we’d hardly eaten any.  The candy still covered most of the platter.  And then Granny insisted I drink a big glass of water.  “Wash your mouth out,” she’d said.  No doubt, she didn’t want her daughter-in-law, my mother, to see all the chocolate on my teeth.

As much as I liked the candy, the happiest memory is sitting beside Granny at her kitchen table and talking.  She’d tell me about the day’s soap operas and I’ll tell her about Marvin jumping off the top of the slide on the school playground and getting in trouble.  I liked sitting beside Granny, just as I like my Grand sitting beside me at my kitchen table.

“You know, I had a granny and your mother had a granny,” I told Lou.  “I thought about having you call me Granny, instead of Gran.  What do you think?”

Lou looked at me with raised eyebrows.  “I think a granny wouldn’t swim with me.”  She’s probably right.



One Response

  1. This is so sweet. I too loved my grandmother and always hope my grandkids feel the same way about me. I let our little dude have a sip of my coffee sometimes much to the chagrin of his momma.


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