Grandmother had a feather bed on top of her mattress. When I lay my body down at night, the feather bed enveloped me with sheer luxury, conforming to my every shape. Grandmother and I would lie there in peace, sweet peace, softly talking until I drifted off to sleep. I loved spending my time with Grandmother.
Granddad fixed peanut butter and syrup stirred together on a plate to put on his biscuits. I don’t remember much about what else we ate for breakfast, but there was always brown beans for dinner and supper, no matter what the main dish was.
Grandmother puttered around in her little kitchen, serving dinner (that is lunch to you) on her 1950s chrome dinette set. The windows all around were filled with potted plants growing up over the curtain rods and all across the windows. Outside those windows were roses and flowering bushes of every kind.
Behind the studio couch in the front room were her piano and guitar. If I was good, she let me play the guitar, sitting in the middle of the couch so I wouldn’t bang it on the wooden arms. And since I took piano lessons, she sometimes let me play the piano. Granddad stood looking over my shoulder, correcting my mistakes, since he had learned to read music by the shaped-notes method and sang bass in quartet fashion.
I loved spending the night with Grandmother and Granddad, always on a Friday night which was church night at their little country church next door. Grandmother was the preacher and played the piano or guitar and they sang together, including me in their songs, and having me sing my specials. They stood me before the church when I was 5, singing Mansion Over The Hilltop with Grandmother.
Most children lose the desire to spend the night with grandma by the time they become teens. I did. When I was a teenager, and got my first car and first job, Grandmother asked me often, “Why don’t you come and see your poor old grandmother sometime?” and I always said, “I will, Grandmother, one of these days soon, I will.” But the only time I ever saw her was when she came down to Mom’s home to visit. Then I got married and moved away.
I have letters she wrote me when I lived out of town, and then when I moved back to Vinita, I saw her often, but never spent the night with her again. Never settled down into that feather bed beside her and held her hand as I drifted off to sleep again.
It is understandable as children grow up that they grow away from their parents and grandparents. However the memories that are made during those overnights at Grandma’s house will stay with them forever.
“I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 NKJV.
Till the day she died, Grandmother’s little bed was piled high with a feather bed.