Grandma's House

Grandma's House

By Ricky Robertson

Art of Biography and Autobiography

Grandma's House, our haven in the urban sprawl of Washington, D.C., among the quiet residences of Silver Spring, Maryland. After six hundred twelve miles, Grandpa would open the front door. We would pile out, stumble awkwardly into Grandpa and Grandma s waiting arms, then into the living room and basement. Never go to Grandma Krieghoff s house on a full stomach , we used to say, for first there was that gigantic garden they kept every year, full of fresh vegetables, then there was Grandma s excellent cooking, a good enough excuse all by itself, and of course the best chocolate chip cookies you ever tasted.

Grandma's House, from this place we would base our expeditions into the tourist traps of the Capital. We would always go to the National Zoo and admire the giraffes, elephants, birds, camels, and the rare panda bears who the zoo people were trying to get to breed in captivity. We called my other Grandpa from the zoo once, to talk to my parents who were at his house. He had just picked up the phone to call someone else before it had had a chance to ring. When he heard us talking, he thought we were upstairs in his house playing with the phone, not realizing we were at a pay phone at the zoo.

Grandma's House, Grandma and Grandpa knew most of their neighbors. A group of the neighbors and my grandparents bought a truckload of crushed limestone and made little parking strips in front of their houses next to the road. One of the neighbors on the left worked for the Government and had an official looking car. Since the land where the parking strips were was actually public property, he parked his state car on my Grandpa s strip. Grandpa never objected, I don't mind, he said, it makes the burglars think twice before breaking in. My Grandparents also kept extra keys to all their neighbors houses. Once we were eating supper and the lady from across the street came to get a key to her house because her kids and some guests had her keys and she couldn't get in.

Grandma's House, too soon it was time to leave. We said our good-bye's and piled back into the Suburban to begin our twelve hour trek home. Time has marched steadily forward, exerting its influence on all of us. My Grandma got cancer so my grandparents sold their house and moved north to live with their daughter, my aunt, and all their grandchildren. Now she is gone, the garden, greenhouse and beautifully landscaped lawn belong to someone else. We will no longer return, but the little house on Rodney Road will always have a special place in our hearts.

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