On Saturday morning we headed down to the beach for an early morning walk. “Can we stop by my Grandma’s on our way home,” I asked my husband as we prepared to leave. “I wanted to drop off that zucchini bread I made.”
That’s how we found ourselves going from one side of town to the other, from shore to forest, all before noon. Not bad for five people who have hardly left the house in three months.
I had talked to my Grandma early that same morning, so I knew she had already been out in her garden, spreading grass clippings and checking in on her homemade chipmunk traps. As we rounded the corner into her backyard, I didn’t expect to see her amongst the tomato plants or crouching over the peppers, but still my eyes swept the garden-a habit.
The girls stood by the sliding glass door. “Did she see you?” I asked as I motioned for them to back up.
Moments later, Grandma appeared at the door, shooing the dog inside as she joined us on her patio. She wasted no time giving us the tour of her garden. She was especially happy to have Arnauld there to show off to. It had been a while since he had visited her yard. The tour was as extensive as the garden itself. I marveled at the neat rows of plants in the upstairs and downstairs garden and the hidden vegetable plants among the irises and lilies. “Did I do a good job?” Grandma asked as she paused for a moment on the tour.
“You always do a great job,” I told her, struck by her request for feedback. She has to know that her garden is a work of art, but her question reminded me how important it is to be seen. My Grandma lives for these opportunities to share her hard work.
“Who wants macaroni?” Grandma asks as I glanced at my watch.
“It isn’t even noon,” I say at the same time as my kids begin jumping up and down screaming, “Me!!”
So our quick stop is now extending to lunch. Grandma disappears into the house to get the macaroni started.
She makes a few trips back out to bring plates and utensils. The girls comment on the buttery smell they insist is coming from inside, their mouths practically watering at the thought of Grandma’s buttered noodles.
Soon, Grandma emerges with a covered pot that I know holds a whole pound of macaroni and a generous amount of butter. She lifts the cover to stir the macaroni one more time before dishing each girl a heaping bowl, which will not be their last.
For a few minutes there is silence as the girls dig in and Grandma watches with delight. “We haven’t had macaroni for a long time,” she remarks, drawing out the word long to reflect the time that has passed.
There is so much love and joy in that pot of macaroni.