Sibling Assignment # 103: The Table in the Sunroom

Silver Valley Girl gave the sibling assignment this week:
"Write about specific things you remember about being at Grandma West's house during the summer."

The Table in the Sunroom

The rays from the evening sun glowed on the hollyhocks;

the windows of the sunroom framed Grandma’s tall gladiolus .

Dad wiped his reddened face,

the pitcher of ice tea sweating under the stifling heat.

Steam rose from the bowl of garden fresh beans --

we climbed to the back of the table

wedged between the Singer sewing machine and the old Frigidaire,

squeezed in the six chairs.

Corn on the cob was always in season.

The kernels small and golden.

Grandma cut her kernels delicately off the cob,

I begged for the knife so I could do the same.

In a voice that even the neighbors could hear, Mom announced,

“You have good, strong teeth…

just eat it off the cob.”

Next a plate of tomato slices

followed by cooked beets and fried pork chops.

I lifted my legs as my bare skin stuck to my chair,

while my brother was kicking my foot,

my baby sister’s damp hair stuck to her head.

From my seat I couldn’t gaze at Grandma’s garden

or watch the bees buzz around the roses,

but I took in the slow table conversation

as I tried to cut up my tomato:

Canning cherries, and Norm and growing cucumbers,

Konkleville, Canada Hill and cousin John came up.

Is that fire still burning out at Yellow Dog?

What is on special at the Glenwood Market?

Dad took his paper napkin and wiped his face again,

And told Grandma this was the best corn he had ever had.

Her eyes lit up as she rose from the table

And thank goodness headed to the old chest freezer.

Vanilla ice cream from the Orofino Creamery would be

passed around last.

The sun slipped behind the crabapple tree,

The shadows cooled the sunroom.

That cold vanilla ice cream was the best I had ever had.


on location at the Writing Retreat


  1. Oh my, having "retreat envy" again. I love what you wrote. I felt like I was right there with you. Those are the special times!

  2. Anonymous19.7.09

    I am sitting here crying. That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. Great Grandma's house was the most peaceful, the food was the best and being in her presence was a true gift. What a precious lady she was. I sure miss her.

  3. Angie Bishop19.7.09

    That was not supposed to be Anonymous - that was me! 8-)
    Angie Bishop


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