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My Happy Place

By @raniyab

My grandmother’s house used to hold a very special place in my heart. I spent many summers at that place.It was my home away from home,one of my favorite places on the entire planet earth.My Grandmother’s doors were always open for everyone no matter what. In the summer time she and whoever happened to be at the house would sit out in the yard for hours and talk about anything, ranging from light-hearted discussions of day-to-day occurrences to significant contemplations while playing chess, I would just swing on the oak tree and observe the breathtaking yet serene scenery, enjoying the intense aromas of fragrant herbs and other greenery. In the evening the mellifluous summer wind would sing me lullabies and the fireflies would come out dancing onto their starry stage, transed by my grandmother’s ability to conduct an orchestral symphony within nature, as if they spoke the same language.

The house was old, the dusty apricot orange walls with a moss green roof which made it stand out from the other houses nearby. The house was a perfect reflection of her personality; it always felt like spring in there. Warm and welcoming. My favorite part of the house was the kitchen. The tiles were cyan blue from an era past, a time when their colours were all the fashion. My grandmother loved cooking. On Sunday mornings, the kitchen counter and most of the utensils would be coated with flour and the air would be filled with the sweet savory scent of baked apples. She’d invite neighbors to brunch, tables were always filled with enormous platters of food. Eggs, stew beans, piles of crunchy potatoes. The yellow centre of the egg always made me think of fresh picked daisies. To this day, I like to imagine that the yellow centre reminded her of daisies, too, since they were her favourite flowers for the simultaneous simplicity and persistence of their nature. Perhaps that’s the reason why my grandmother would never forget to serve eggs for brunch; despite the overwhelming variety of the dishes she would make for the neighbours and me each Sunday, the eggs stayed as an indispensable part of every one. It is with all-embracing warmth that I reminisce about the card playing accompanied by constant chatter and laughter, while I would snack on the leftover beans. 

The last time I visited the house was three autumns ago, six months after she passed away. It looked dull and lifeless; I remember driving up to it and the first thing I saw was a dead oak tree with a tire swing hanging from one of the tree limbs. The yard was covered with murky yellow, rotting leaves and a garden of withered flowers. The apricot orange paint turned a sickly greenish and started to chip away. When I entered the house, a cold sensation suddenly ran down my spine because the kitchen was unfamiliarly empty. This is when it hit me. I realised she was gone.

When she had passed away, it felt like a little piece of me died inside, my childhood. Her home was never the same for me after that, and now I can only revisit those happy memories in my head. My grandmother was a big influence in my life, she was a wonderful and energetic person who tried to spread happiness and love to everyone around her. 

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