Yesterday I was packing up my desk (hey! it's finally clean!) and I found some old photos. This picture I scanned in was taken in 1996 with my old film camera, a Pentax K1000. I remember when my grandfather planted it - he planted two, one on each end of the yard. When he planted them, they weren't even as tall as we kids, and we spent the afternoon jumping over them, which I'm sure made my grandfather crazy. He was very proud of his yard and I'm sure he didn't love our football games and general shenanigans on his front lawn, tearing up his grass. In the next year, those trees grew taller than the house.
You can see a bit of the house, the beige brick, the white awnings with red stripes. I was just thinking about the windows of that house the other day. Our new little rental was built in the mid-1940s, about 10 years before my grandparents', and when I went through it I realized that all the windows were new. I wondered what the original windows looked like. At my grandparents' house, there was a crank that turned the window to open them and they swung out instead of lifting up. The window lock was a curved latch that always reminded me of an elephant trunk.
You can also see my grandmother's camellia bushes - those are the three really tall ones in front of the porch, if you can make those out. They're kind of dark. To the left of the porch was monkey grass that I was always afraid of for some reason, and on the right, which isn't shown in the picture, was the area where I used to love to play when it rained.
The last little detail I notice in the picture is in the window on the left. I have no idea what you would call it, but there is one of those round pieces of plastic that magnifies things when you look through it - like people used to put on their van windows in the 70s. My mom got it for my grandfather, and he put it there so that he could see when the mail truck came. Just thinking of that kind of makes me sad. Whenever there's a big change in my life, I start thinking of my grandparents more. Maybe because things rarely seemed to change there; they were my rocks. Now my life seems to change drastically every year. Our new home, as I've said, is very, very small. It's too small. But what really sold me on it, besides the gorgeous hardwood floors, is that it was the owner's grandmother's. With no dishwasher and big bushes of blackberries and raspberries in the yard, I can see myself washing dishes in the evening and canning jam (no, I've never made jam before). I may not ever be able to live in that house on Springtree Road again, but maybe I can find a connection to my grandparents wherever I am.