Granny and Paw Paw’s yellow brick two bedroom home was built in the 1940's in a nice Ft. Worth neighborhood near the TCU campus, and was sold when Granny moved into an assisted living home nearer my aunt and uncle. Granny was widowed in her 70’s, and lived there several more years before eventually moving into the assisted living residence, then a nursing home. Her quality of life and dependence on others swiftly see-sawing in opposite directions.
I stayed with Granny often when I was a baby, while my mother finished her
BA at TCU. I visited the house every summer as a
kid, traveling from Roswell, El Paso and later Phoenix. I even moved back in for a few months during my college transition year.
The smell of that house lingers in my memory: the cold mildew of the unfinished basement combined with Paw Paw’s gold bond talc powder and closet moth balls. The shush sound the front door made when it was opened, rubbing against the plush carpet
and the squeak of the brass plate mail slot in the door. The sticky crackle of the linoleum
underfoot in the tiny yellow kitchen. The rotten dried husks of pecans on the
thin border of concrete that framed the back yard where Paw Paw would chip and putt golf balls endlessly.
Granny’s pinktiled bathroom vanity had deep drawers filled with stacks of dial deodorant soap and multiple tubes of Pepsodent toothpaste, bought on triple coupon day at Minyards Market. Those packaged
soaps are now over 30 years old. I saw them last thanksgiving in my aunt’s bathroom drawer along with Granny's steel comb with a pick end handle. Attached was a single grey hair.
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