The woman was sneaky with the lessons she taught. Her great love was reading and she was actually a pretty gifted writer. Each summer, she would devote a shelf in her library of carefully chosen books for my sister and me. She would take us in, show us our books and say “Now, let’s see who can get through their books first” Game on, Granny. My sister and I became greedy readers at a young age, devouring the books she gave us. At times to my own dismay, when I would try to get my sister’s attention, she would be so lost in her book no amount of younger sister annoyance could bring her out of her reader’s trance. Those summers spent with her and my grandfather were almost magical. Boat rides, picnic lunches, learning to water ski and the occasional camping trip filled most of my summers growing up. I thought my grandparents were royalty, because after all I worshiped them.
When my grandfather passed away, I lived with Granny several years. Even a few years in college. I have to say, she was a pretty good college roommate. She did lay down a few ground rules with me, but one of the most curious was when she had her friends over, I wasn’t allowed to just breeze through I had to sit down and TALK with them. I’m sure an eye roll was given at this “rule”, but I did it. And that lady was social. She had more lunches, teas and gatherings than I could count. Like a good roommate, I would stop and have a polite conversation with her friends. Each time my visit would get longer. Before I knew it, I was looking forward to these visits and loved to listen to their “back in the day” stories. Nothing was off limits in their discussions and I saw how deeply they valued one another. I eventually moved out. Thought it was time I tried to be an adult and have my own place which put me on my own life path.
Funny what sparks a memory. Not sure if it was the fact that this past Sunday was beautiful, perfect weather. Or that I have now made it a point to write everyday or that I sat down in the early afternoon to have a cup of tea. However, I am positive that had Granny been with me, we would have had a picnic and discussed the latest book she was reading and what trip she wanted to take next. Sometimes we don’t realize the impact a person has on our lives until they are gone. I am thankful to that intelligent, funny, southern lady I called Granny for giving me my love of books, and in her sneaky lesson teaching way letting me know its okay to stop, slow down, and enjoy the company of great friends over a cup of tea.