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I've been waiting all day to write this post. The second I read the prompt, I knew I wanted to tell you about Grandma's kitchen.
I loved spending the night at Grandma Leona's and walking into the kitchen to the wonderful aroma of coffee and bacon and muskmelon and unconditional love.
I'm the oldest of four children (born within six years) so having anyone's undivided attention was pretty darn special. To have my beloved grandmother all to myself was the best thing ever! Grandma and Grandpa lived on the farm house that Grandpa had grown up in. The kitchen was huge - big enough for a giant table that seated at least a dozen, Grandpa's rocking chair (that is now in my living room) and all of the necessary kitchen-y stuff and appliances.
Uncle Phillip and Uncle Con would arrive their polka dot caps to join Grandpa for farming work of the day. They'd grab a cup of coffee and commence to some gentle niece teasing. The local AM radio station was always playing in the background - all talk; weather, obituaries, commodities reports, and more weather.
Leona Gremelspacher was known as a saint all throughout the county. I remember pushing even her grandmotherly patience one day. I was seven years old and followed Grandma around the kitchen chattering about what must have been fascinating second-grade business. She finally asked me if I ever took a breath - and admitted that she needed a little quiet time.
I spent hours this evening looking for photos of us in the kitchen or recipes written in her hand. I found lots of her recipes that I'd written at the huge table in my loopy junior-high handwriting, misspellings and all. I remember feeling so grown up, copying down the details from her recipe cards.
I was 23 when Grandma died and I am so fortunate to have known her that long. It is rare that I catch a whiff of that particular combination of percolating coffee, frying bacon, and sliced cantaloupe, but when I do, I'm transported to that place of unconditional love - like walking into a warm hug.