Summertime: Bitter and Sweet

grammawSummertime is upon us and with its arrival comes hot weather, cold drinks, backyard grilling and daylight lasting until after 9PM (at least in our neck of the woods geographically speaking). But for me, it also brings with it some bitter-sweetness.

When I was a kid, it was around this time each year that I got to visit my grandparents for a week. All by myself. No parents, no siblings, no relatives. Nobody but me and Grammaw and Papaw. Those trips are some of my favorite memories that include sitting in the carport, watching the birds and lightning bugs, a visit to the toy department of the local department store and sleeping in the bedroom just off of the only bathroom in the house. I know we’re not supposed to have favorites, and I loved both of my grandparents. But Grammaw held, and still holds, a special place in my heart. I miss her so much. She’s been gone going on 17 years, but it still seems like she left us just yesterday.

Sometimes, when she is nowhere in my thoughts, a smell will remind me of her. I still salivate thinking about the corn she would make. She and Papaw had a way of scraping the corn off of the husk so that a lot of the “milk” was included with the kernels. When cooked it was somewhere in between regular corn and creamed corn. So sweet and so very delicious. I’ve never tasted the same since.

My grandmother was such a kind and loving person and was the hub around which the entire family of uncles, aunts, cousins and relatives revolved. She was the linchpin. Since her passing, it’s never been the same. I suppose it’s like this with most families. The grandparents are the common bond between everyone. Once they are gone, there is little reason to get together aside from the occasional family reunion. I miss those times of Grammaw’s house being packed with everyone, but know that it will never be like that again. It is what it is: bitter and sweet.