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Sandra Meligakes

To My Grandma's House

Skipping down the tree-shaded sidewalk lined with white-washed fences, a little girl with long braided hair swings her arms to and fro, to and fro, sweeping her pinafore folds as she goes, as she goes. Keeping her synchronized stepping, she smoothly begins yesterday's visible chalked hop-scotch game of the curly-haired-girl-down-the-street, four-five, and six, seven-eight, then on her way, on her way to Grandma's house.
Such is the memorable path to modern-day storybook grandmother's houses in which I have no memory. My youthful skipping age had gone as braids untwined, as my pinafore hems lengthened, and as time washed the chalked hop-scotch games away. 'Twas not till the summer of my sweet-sixteenth year that my wish to see my grandparents home came true.
There were no tall shady tree, no sidewalks nor white-washed fences. This rustic countryside was contoured by the stones from the tilled soil, labored upon one another like human cells. Between these earthy fences, the fields of golden wheat swayed smoothly with the breeze like suede obeying the moves of a finger across its surface. The low greenery of the olive and fig tres mixed plaidly on mother nature's print for an island surrounded by sparkling blue-green waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The heavy wooden gate of the house stood beside the endless winding dirty road where donkeys are still the common mode of traveling. It was arched between mortared stones, my father remembers, but nothing stands in the way of seeing the courtyard within. Here too the wooden beams that stretchd across overhead, where grape vines once entwined, had rotted away.
The house that my grandfather had built with his own calloused hands was slowly deteriorating, stone by stone. The house where my grandmother gave birth to her first child, my father, was slowly caving in, year by year. The house that typified a time when the family unit was self-sufficient was slowly disintegrating, dust to dust.
But in the midst of my grandparent's eroding home, there was a patch of unattended artichokes. Those cut young are edible as we know them. But let the artichoke grow old, and there blooms beautiful pale fuchsia flowers which dot the green and gold background.
Just as that old artichoke blooms a beautiful flower, that nineteenth-century home of my grandparents blooms a sentiment from the depths of my heart and soul. It's a more intense feeling than the memories from Grandma's house stored in a shoebox in the attic could ever give. That shoebox may contain marbles, jacks, feathers, pebbles or seashells which create memories of puppy-dog-tail yesterdays. My shoebox is my soul found in my attic, my mind. It is that which makes me dance to the cries of the bousouki. It is that which makes me what I am, a Kytherian descendant.

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