For the most part, I would not consider myself a "girly girl." While I do love to cook, paint my toes, and do the laundry, I am far too logical for the rest of the commercialized garbage most girls find fascinating. However, all of this is thrown out the window when I visit my grandmother and my great grandmother. For some reason, they bring out the domestic homemaker I would have been had I been born in a different era. While sitting at grammy's small kitchen table in her very pink and orange 1970's kitchen adorned with cat hand towels, I cannot help but find the family gossip riveting, the small trinkets astonishing, and the stories hysterical. Being privy to their world is a privilege, which I soak up each and every time I visit.
My most recent encounter occurred on Saturday to celebrate my Nana's 65th birthday. I trekked the 200 plus miles north straight through the entire state to see her. I never regret this time with her and my Grammy (my great great grandmother who is 82). Despite their ages, these two women are more lively than most of my friends' parents. Every time I sit at the table with them, I see more and more of myself in these women, which always provokes the thought: "Yes, I belong to this family, despite all the craziness."
As the years pass by, I am reminded one day I will not be able to sit on my great great grandmother's porch with my Nana, and I will not be able to listen to my great grandmother make a mockery out of one of my cousin's current musings nor will I be able to play beano with her and "the girls" on a Saturday night. My only solace will lie in my memories and the items passed down to me: Nana's 1963 first edition Betty Crocker "Cooky Book" with all her notes scribbled neatly all over, the purple and silver China showcased in the hutch that belonged to my great great grandmother, and the beloved library featuring first editions from the 1800s as well as hundreds of pictures. These items will mean nothing to anyone else, but I'll cherish each and every one for the thoughts I have when I glance at the cover of a novel, sip tea from a small purple cup, or bake cookies for the holidays. In these moments, I bask in the feminine warmth they shine on me. I gratefully, humbly, and happily play the grand daughter in their matriarchal dance. To them, I'll always be the little curly girl smiling a mischievously dimpled smile as I serve tea to the cat, who is also dressed in purple. And they will forever be my favorite little old ladies who can't cook, but could make jokes and memories better than anyone I know.