We played dominoes while Clover went grocery shopping with Grandpa. I would say we tied but that is because I will never understand how to properly keep score. Once my Mom went out and I gave her one hundred points from my leftover tiles. She probably won for the day because of that unfortunate game but I held my ground. Emma Clover returned bearing more sweet treats than I would have expected but her and Grandpa had their fun. “Grandpa let me try a malt ball” she confessed holding her glass jar of coconut (yogurt) dessert.
Sometimes nostalgia creeps up on me. Like when today I heard the end song of the Richard Scarry video that Emma was watching. It was the music that played when Sesame Street ended, the credits for the Public Broadcasting System. All of a sudden I remembered when I was three and watching Sesame Street at my grandmother’s house. It would be sunny and afterwards I would go out and play in her backyard for hours. I remember mostly climbing a tree, crawling into the dog house shaped shed, swinging from the branches of a hanging tree and finding snails and small living things. Once I found a large iguana roaming around in the plants. I remember eating hot cream of wheat, with cold milk and turkey burgers with mayo and lettuce. The pink tiled bathroom and the ceramic owl that held her glasses when she wasn’t wearing them. The magnolia scented soaps, and that one time I was “swimming” in the bath and she came in and freaked out because I was laying on my back completed submerged in the water. I remember laying with her and her dog Tinkerbelle on the couch in the afternoons, watching General Hospital while I fought back sleep. I remember her back room that was darker than the rest of the house, it was covered in family pictures and had a ceramic panther that I was always afraid to go near. I remember my cousin’s picture on the wall and how she was wearing a strawberry shortcake necklace. I remember her always ironing. I remember how she always felt so soft unlike her scratchy wool blankets. And I remember the little ceramic dogs that sat on the ledge of her clock that hung on the wall. I wanted to play with them so badly. I don’t know if I ever asked and I don’t where they came from but I loved to look up at them. Sometimes I look on etsy and search for “small ceramic dog” to jog my memory. I know that I will be a mess of tears if I ever find one that fits my old memories.
Sometimes I think about what Emma will remember about the two places that we have called home. Will she ever remember the cottage aside from the pictures that she has seen. And how much grief will I cause her if I got rid of most of her stuffed animals. I know I still remember the stuffed rabbit that I got on vacation when I was around ten. It was from Harrods and I left in a little hotel in Germany. I loved that little rabbit and I still remember it now and that was twenty something years ago. The human brain and its memories are astounding to me.