There was a weight to everything my grandfather said. And everything my grandmother made. Upon entering the farmhouse, you were gathered in the scent of baking sugar and pipe tobacco. The furniture was thick and sturdy. Each bed ballasted by my grandmother’s quilts. It all felt so certain.
When I was young, I couldn’t stay overnight at anyone’s house. I would get too lonesome. But I could stay here. Grandpa Reuben would say “Good night,” and I believed him. Grandma Elsie would kiss my forehead. Tuck the quilts around me. And I was safe. I was loved. Certain.
The house still stands, I am told. A variation of it. I haven’t been there in years. I don’t really need to. I carry it all with me. I have paintings of the barn. Of my grandfather. Quilts that my grandmother made. Even in this country far away, I am saved.
We returned from vacation yesterday. Running on no sleep and wobbled by jet-lag, we stumbled through the afternoon (Everything always seems a little off at first.) And the house was cold. No sun had entered. No heat had been on for three weeks. We opened the shutters and gave light to the familiar.
And I saw it — this beautiful life we have created. This home. I felt steady. I put two of my grandma’s quilts on the bed, (a double Elsie), and I sleptin the certainty that I, we, are home.