I think we all have a place that provides an immediate sense of comfort. Maybe you spend time there daily, or only a few times a year, but upon arrival you experience an overwhelming sense of relief. Worries fade away and time slows down.
For me, this place lies in the sticky midwestern humidity, in a small town surrounded by the cornfields of Illinois, at my grandmother’s house.
The memories I have made there are countless. From picking fresh raspberries in the backyard to top our vanilla ice cream, to spending warm nights on the porch, tending to our just-caught “pet” fireflies, summers spent here make for some of my favorite times. My grandma welcomed visitors in with open arms, offering a place to sit and chat, a homemade meal, and as many of her famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies as you could imagine. There’s no rush to be somewhere else, or competition amongst the group. Rather, the priority is to be yourself and to love and cherish those that you’re with.
I recently had to say goodbye to my grandma, one of my favorite people who is singlehandedly responsible for the warmth and comfort that this house offered us all. But the lessons that I have learned from her in how to create a special place like this will stick with me forever. And, I know she’s still with us, spending time out on the porch, drinking a good gin and tonic, and just enjoying each others’ company.
Here’s to you, Grandma MEW.