Even though I was home two weekends ago it wasn’t as comforting as I thought it would be. Yes I was in the town where I was raised, sleeping in my childhood bed in my old room still decorated with past Washington High memorabilia but the big difference was that I was home alone. My parents were out of town for the weekend and I was just staying overnight after a high school friends wedding. The house was like an empty core, kind of like when you crack a peanut shell open to find no nut inside. It really just made me crave Thanksgiving Break more and sadly I didn’t have any reservations about heading back to Columbia. It isn’t’ the house that makes a home, it is really the people.
On my way back to Columbia I decided to swing through Chesterfield to visit my Grandma, it would only add about 30 minutes to my drive home. I haven’t seen her since August 2nd, the day I returned home from Africa and immediately returned to Columbia for classes. Little did I realize that was the last time I would see her in the house she shared with my Grandpa. He died this past June so in September Grandma decided to move into a retirement apartment building. I have to admit I was surprised when I walked into her building. My baby cousin Jack says he is going to Grandma’s Hotel when he goes to visit her. That is the feeling you get, that it is a luxury hotel, the place is clean with a colorful courtyard, an indoor pool, weight room, dining room that has waiters who bring your food, and more. It is quite spectacular.
Grandma’s apartment has a simple layout, one bedroom, one bath, kitchen and living room. However, it was like I was sitting next to her in her house in Washington. The furniture was the same, she had the same pictures hanging on the walls and I kept expecting Grandpa to walk in. It is weird how quickly you can forget that things have changed. My visit that unusually sunny and warm fall day was a refreshing escape from school and a pleasurable time chatting with Grandma.