Hot cup of coffee in hand, I slid open the backdoor and stepped out to great the cool morning. It felt like spring. I pulled my fuzzy white robe just a little tighter and shuffled in my slippers to my little porch swing. I watched sky turned from shades of pink to a faint, soft blue as steam floated from cup and felt it gently warm my face. Little birds chirped in the trees while Penny snuffled around the yard. Closing my eyes, I almost felt like I was in Lubbock in Grandma's backyard and maybe if I waited long enough, she'd be there with me, too.
I think of my grandmother a lot. Truly I don't think there's a day that doesn't go by that I don't think of her in some small way, but this morning I felt like I had recreated a moment with her, as if she was right there. All I needed was the rustling of a newspaper to complete the memory.
Every time we went to visit her in Lubbock, she'd always start her morning with a cup of coffee and time in her backyard. That backyard was truly a secret garden, a child's fantasy land full of flowers galore! When you opened the back screen door and hopped off the concrete slab, you could hear her chimes singing as you hopped down her rock-laid path to the hidden back porch swing. She grew beautiful vines and flowers that covered her wooden haven and a water fountain would be trickling just to it's right. It always felt like a some secret woodland place, gorgeous and flourishing, and as a kid I just knew some sort of fairy would peek around a flower pot sometime.
There are lots of memories from my grandmother's house, but I think just about everybody will think on how she was the first one up enjoying the daybreak with a cup of coffee in hand. That's how she started her day and ended it, enjoying the outdoors. Every visit I always wanted to be up with her, be the first one to race outdoors and meet her on the swing, read the comics while she read the news. That was a time for just talking, chatting about nothing, hearing her sing as she patted your leg and rocked back and forth.
I can see her in her beautiful caftan, the one with the blue and red peacock trimmed in gold and a tiny apple pinned at the neck. She always threw that over her pj's in the morning with her little brown sandals, colorful toes poking out the top. Her red hair would still be a little fuzzy, curled about her soft face. I can see her leaning back, legs crossed and newspaper wide open, just swinging.
I could have let Penny out, crawled back in bed or curled up on the couch. I could have missed watching the sunrise and break over the backyard, like I do most days. But I guess I was missing her today and I guess I needed to find a little peace in my soul. I never really asked her why this was her morning ritual and I don't think I needed to. I think it was time used for whatever you needed, peace, thought, rest, recharge.
Whatever it meant to Grandma, those moments turned out to mean a lot to me. I'm just glad she shared those moments with her family; she passed on more than she ever knew just sitting on a porch swinging welcoming the day.