I've been spending some time lately remembering my Grandma Nona. Though I really have only a few memories of when I was young at home, but many of the times spent at her house on the lake are part of some of the best times from my childhood. Grammy lived on a small lake that became part of my summer dreams during the years I was growing up.
My grandmother was very special. She was small quiet women, who had a small and magical house. I can still remember the smells of old books and some of the most wonderful old black looking wood furniture. I can remember running my fingers over an old glass windowed book case with what to my young eyes seemed like thousands of books on top of more books. I would often sit in the chair beside this fantastic bookcase reading the many book titles within. I never knew those books for they weren't the kind found in the libraries I knew, but the magic of having that many books in one spot was like capturing magical animals to keep behind glass. I was a lover of books even then and loved to see so many treasures all in one place. I could just imagine exploring all over the world through my grandmother's books.
But none of the books were as much fun as listening to her stories about her childhood, for you see my grandmother grew up in a family circus in the 1800s filled with real Indians in buckskin, animals and fabulous people. I have pictures of Grammy dressed in buckskin and beaded head gear, and when she was young in one photo, and in the equivalent of tights and a leotard with a whip in her hand like a lion tamer in another.
Though she never talked about those times much when I was young, I can remember the pictures and a time when we became a part of that long ago circus through playing dress up. When my cousins and I were very small we use to dress in the Indian buckskin that by then was at least 50 years old. Soft and supple it gave off a wonderful smell of imagination and excitement as we paraded through the large closet to the mirror to view how each outfit changed the way we looked and felt.
Those years still create such good feelings today when I meander through the memories of the wonderful old house and all the "Alice in Wonderland rabbit holes" where we could escape to another life and another era. Wandering through those pictures in my memory are often the best escape from a difficult day even now. Those years were truly magical.