Right now, as summer is in full swing garages are getting hotter and hotter. I’ve heard people complain about it as they go from one air conditioned place to another. Yet, as you can probably predict, I love hot garages. And it’s not just because it warms you from the inside out immediately. (Which I love) I love warm garages because of my Granmom.
Or at least it reminds me of her. Wierd huh, not as typical as flowery scented perfume or a certain meal. Nope, warm garages. I usually smile and take my time getting in the car because it brings me right back to being with her. She lives in Austin, TX and I don’t get to see her that often…that’s more of an understatement. I rarely see her. And I hate it. We get along so well, which makes it way worse. I love talking with her about everything. We get along so well and when I’m visiting we have many late nights talking. I am a little obsessed with knowing as much as I can about my Grandad (whom I never met), Aunt Pat (she was the definition of a free spirit) and other family persons and dynamics that used to be. I love looking at old pictures and reading what they have written to my Granmom. For some reason it is deeply personal and I feel as though I have a fuller picture of who I am and what kind of family I came from.
So back to the garages…when I walk into a warm garage I am imediatly transported to her house in Austin. I have the familiar feelings of being with someone I love and going on an adventure to Taco Bell. Whom my Granmom knows the drive thru lady’s name and gives her presents. It means walking around her car and just looking at all the pieces she’s collected thru the world as a military wife. Each piece has history. She has history. And in her garage it is actually tangible. I feel like I can touch history. You can reach out your fingers and touch what had at one point been half way around the world, and see the world thru their time. All it’s differences and complications but also…possibly, simpler maybe.
You can see faded colors and imagine what they have seen. What they’ve heard. And how it’s impacted the members it belongs to.
For example my Granmom has a very flimsy table and chair set. Super old and I always expect the chairs to creek and fall as I sit on it. This table and chair set belonged to my Aunt Pat-who technically never was my aunt. She was the woman who raised my Great Grandmother-‘Granny’. My Granmom’s mom. Aunt Pat, the free spirit. She, in that time, was not only a free spirit but someone who did not conform to social norms. She was a single woman who raised my Granny all on her own. She had a job, chose to sacrifice for Granny when a man proposed and actually bought a house all on her own-in the 1920’s. She loved wearing bells in her hair because she liked hearing the jingle and thought colors were there to make the world a brighter place.
She owned that table and chair set and painted it blue, red, green, yellow, orange, white, blue again, green, yellow, red, purple, white again, etc. This set was constantly changing colors. It was a fond memory for my Granmom. She has since then kept it, had it dipped (took 3 times to take away all the paint!) and had it redone. She eats at this little set everyday, which is by her kitchen window where she watches her fake snakes scare me and the squirrels away from the bird feeders.
She has told me many things about my family and I think what touches me is that I get to experience it with her. I get to sit at the table where my Aunt Pat would sit with my Granny. I can touch the pieces my Granmom has brought back from England and Israel when they were stationed there in the 60’s. I slept in the bed that belonged to my Grandad’s parents. And get to look at the mirrors that used to reflect the faces of my family I would never see.
All these thoughts, feelings and tears overwhelm me in the summer time all thanks to warm garages. And it’s one thing I look forward to.
Thank you for letting me scrounge around your garage Granmom and keep you up at night asking you tedious questions about Grandad. For making you dig up pictures and old writings of your dad’s, Aunt Pat and Grandma and Grandpa Ho. I feel like a fuller person hearing about everything. I love it and I love you.