Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Most Relaxing Place Ever

When I was a kid, I always looked forward to being sick. A high temperature or a sore throat meant my Mom would drop me off at Grandma’s house on her way to work. The first thing Grandma would do on a cold winter day is sit me in front of the fireplace and make me a “hot toddy.” Then I would “make my nest,” as she called it, in front of the TV with a bean bag and fuzzy blanket. Her scruffy little dog, Ralph, black kitty (who had no name that I was aware of), Grandma and me would spend the entire day watching soap opera’s, The Andy Griffith Show, and Perry Mason. If it got late before Mom picked me up (which it often did) we’d watch Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. As the night wore on I’d watch Soap, M.A.S.H, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman through barely open eyes. It was acceptable for me to drink hot tea with a shot of whisky but these late night shows were not allowed unless I pretended to be asleep.
Being sick at Grandma’s house was comfortable, safe and warm… but it was also fun. I was allowed to eat and watch things that were “off limits” at home. It was a wonderful combination of the familiar and predictable and the new and exciting. It was a rare opportunity in life to experiment and explore in a safe and unconditionally accepting environment. Although it was not my house, it is one of the few places I have ever felt truly at home.

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