A Pot Full of Macaroni.

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.

12 thoughts on “A Pot Full of Macaroni.

  1. A love a quick stop that extends itself! I can feel the connections – the reconnections here – first with Arnauld and Grandma and the girls eating at Grandmas! It feels soooo good to connect again with those we love – it has been a looooong time! Love!

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  2. I would love to quiz your Grandma about what sounds ingenious gardening ideas – hidden vegetable plants (do the creatures not find them in the Irises? what vegetables?) and does she catch any chipmunks and if so, then what? (I no longer find them cute – they’re everywhere!) And the macaroni! Beautiful images you paint of your lovely family.

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    1. The hidden plants are security- in case the regular garden doesn’t come through. She has back up in my yard, my mom’s yard, and brother’s. Also, a tomato is just as beautiful as a lily, so why not mix them up?!? My grandfather once caught a skunk and drove it in his car to a new location… my grandma swears this particular chipmunk she is after is flying into her raised garden box. She’s entertaining! If you ever get bored this summer, I’m sure she’s be happy to give you a tour. She loves a good listener.

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  3. What a beautiful extended moment. I love the way it starts with a quick drop off and turns into a garden tour with lunch. I could see the garden and taste the macaroni with butter. It all sounds amazing. I’m so glad you can visit again. Your grandmother sounds amazing!

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  4. I teared up at that last paragraph. This is a beautiful moment in time that you captured and you will be so glad you did. I miss my grandparents so much. A grandma is so special. This pandemic has kept us all apart and it is one of the saddest pieces of it all, in my opinion- grandparents need to be with their families! And families so desperately need their grandparents. Beautiful and poignant writing.

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  5. Chipmunk traps! Your grandmother is a delight, and I know how much this visit meant to all of you, especially the girls. I’m visiting with my youngest grandchildren on Friday. It will be the first time since March 5! Your post shows the love you all feel. I’m looking forward to it Friday.

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  6. Such a sweet memory captured with your Grandma. I could hear her voice throughout this! I am so happy she has her garden to keep her busy and I am sure she still shares with the family- except of course no peppers for you!

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  7. I can feel the love of family in this piece. You grandmother’s love shows through in every action she does in this piece, to taking care of her garden to feeding her great granddaughters. Just beautiful.

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  8. Mmm… a wonderful trip after three months at home. I bet the girls will remember it – and if not, you will. The sensory imagery here makes the moment come alive. And your grandma makes me think of a quote by Richard Sheridan: “Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.”

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