Friday, July 3, 2015

The old attic

It's funny how certain things can transport our minds back to a memory of earlier days. The smell of a wood-fire instantly places me in the attic of my grandmother's old clap-board farm-house.  A house that stood only metres from where we now call 'home'.

Granny's house was a two-story wood-frame; painted a light grey with an olive green trim. I remember ever detail of this old house. In the attic there was a wooden chest that held many black and white photos of our ancestors. Some of the photos were in tin frames and some were inside albums. There were old blankets and hand-sewn quilts that my grandmother treasured. I wonder now if they had been created by her mother. I loved looking at the beautiful lace doilies that were carefully tucked away inside an old book. I can still smell the old wood and remember the 'clang' of the hardware as you opened the lid. And the buzzing of wasps around the only window; a window that was just inches from the floor and if you lay on your tummy you could look out over her vegetable gardens and into her neighbour's field. The sun would stream in there and brighten up the shabby surroundings. The pipe from the wood-stove in the summer kitchen came up through the floor along with the smell of the burning wood, and if you put your ear there, you could hear the laughter and the conversations between the adults.  I can still hear my mother's laugh. :) 

 This attic was where I headed, as a child, once the "hellos" and hugs were over-with on every visit. "Now be careful with the photos", my mom would say.
And every late Spring, there was a very special reason for rushing to the attic on arrival. Maggie, my grandmother's brown & gold-striped tabby, would proudly show off her litter of kittens as she spent six weeks or so caring for them in an old wicker basket that my gran so lovingly prepared for her. To me, it was like entering the gates of heaven :)

hugs, Deb


  1. Deb, I can see from this (and previous) posts that you had a wonderful childhood and a loving relationship with your grandmother - and mother! Thanks for sharing these memories. Have a great weekend. Jo

  2. Oh how lovely this is Deb. It's so funny you said how you remember every inch of your grandmother's house....I do too! I can just imagine how you played and explored her belongings in her attic...just a sweet and precious shared memory! Love it!

  3. Funny how smells can trigger our memories isn't it.... for me its the Sand and Sable perfume my grandmother always wore as she was allergic to most other perfumes... the smell of the Oil of Olay that she religiously put on every night before bed... She had a box of costume jewelry that she would let me sit on her bed and go thru....She had each piece in its own little box and i would sit for hours opening the little boxes....

    A musty smell instantly transports me to my Uncles garage where i would happily spend hours getting greasy and dirty 'helping' him work on postal trucks and the like.... He'd give me a bucket of water and i'd 'clean ' his tools... may not sound like fun to many but for me it was blissful happy hours....listening to his stories Hugs! deb

  4. Ah! The good old days...My memory goes back to
    when l was five...I remember all sorts...Little things that
    happen, or you see..And the memories come shooting
    I wish l could remember before that...The day l was born,
    my fist night, and nights there after, l put in a Moses basket
    to sleep..Apparently we had a white fluffy cat, can't remember
    it's name..strange..but he used to climb into the basket and
    sleep along side me! Keep me warm, so my Mum says....!

    HeHe! I always joke...I don't want to go to heaven.....Shan't
    know anyone there....! :).

  5. Sweet, sweet memories. Being a cat woman runs in the genes!
    Purrs and hugs ....

  6. Nostalgia! You have me remembering the smell [creosote] and the treasures in my grandparents' attic in the Vermont farmhouse. It was an especially appealing place on a rainy summer day--looking out that one window into the wet leaves of the maple tree.

  7. Nothing is at redolent of memories as the phrase 'old attic'...

  8. Lovely memories! Thank you for sharing. I have so many memories of my grandmothers with their aprons and bonnets, barns full of kittens and puppies, warm cookies and cold milk fresh from the milking. Both of them also had rambling old farmhouses with secret hiding places. Wish I could visit there again.

  9. what delightful memories - and the kitty image is precious1

  10. I enjoyed hearing about your grandmother's attic. Oh, and the basket of kittens! Reminds me of days I spent with my Aunt Berlie. There were always barn cats and baby kittens around. When I asked her if I could have a kitten she would always say, why yes, if you can catch one. The kittens were wild. I wanted so badly to hold one. I did a post about Aunt Berlie's attic a good while back.

  11. Oh, grandma's attic! I have memories of mine, too, that I treasure. We only visited for a few days each year, as they lived in a different state, but I was up to that attic as soon as the hello's and hugs, just like you. I also remember every inch of that house.

  12. Oh my transported me there! Lovely.

  13. what wonderful memories -- I feel as though I'm with you! My grandma had a big walk-in closet -- deep, dark and fascinating! I love the cat painting. How perfect!