I settled myself into my favorite cozy chair to watch my evening programs. My youngest grandchild was safely ensconced in the old bedroom I put her in. With a book. That should hold her there for a while. I put her in the front bedroom so I could hear if she snuck out to watch the shows back there in the dark. Or if she snuck out the other door to the hall cupboard where I keep the extra food.
I smiled to myself, thinking about what a thrill she got out of being in the same room that her dad used to sleep in. It was even the same bed. With him being the youngest of my own six children, I didn’t see any point in replacing it. Who knew that my frugal decision would make her so happy?
Lawrence Welk came on the screen in the dark front room with the big window that looked out onto the street. I shut off all the lamps to cut on the light bill. My glass of soda sat next to me on a little pie-edged, two-tiered table. On top of a lace doily. My young granddaughter got a kick out of that, too. What was it about all this old furniture that made her so happy?
I watched the beautiful people on the screen and had the strangest thought float through my head. I had told my son not to marry that woman. That she wasn’t suitable for our family. He never had been very good at listening to me. Was I glad about that now? Oh, yes, I was. Just that one girl in there that was thrilled by every little thing we did for her made my life so wonderful when she came to visit. And there were three older grandchildren at home. I can’t take them all at once. One of them is a real rascal, just like his dad.
I don’t think I ever tell my son how much I love his kids. Maybe if I said something to his wife she wouldn’t look at me so sideways. Sheesh, woman, that was more than 15 years ago. Nah, I comforted myself. My son knows that I love these kids. Didn’t I buy this little one papaya every time she came to visit? As for the wife, well, I give her a birthday gift and a Christmas gift every year. I don’t need to apologize for saying that she wasn’t fit to marry my son because she was a divorced single mother.
Do you have a suggestion about how I can improve? Please do share.
8 thoughts on “Prompted – TipsyLit “Through the Eyes of the Elderly””
I like this, second time I have read it, I still can’t tell you why. It was the first that I read and inspired me to try my own hand.
Thank you! I like it, too.
Reading through this, I see so much of my own grandmother. Having survived the Great Depression, she was always looking for ways to save. You’ve done a great job of capturing that spirit. One suggestion is to pay attention to your tenses, especially important when your character is time-tripping.
Thank you, Wendy. If you can be more specific about which tenses I scrambled I’d really appreciate it. I know this is an area I can improve on.
I did base it on my own grandmother. She stockpiled food and saved money any way she could. It’s funny now how I do some of the same things.
I really like this apart from the last line……I don’t actually think you need to clarify the reasons why she doesn’t like her daughter-in-law, leaving it ambiguous gives more weight to the sentence about gifting…….I rather like the touch of cynicism in that line ‘didn’t I give her a birthday gift…etc’, like it proves that she’s changed her opinion when, really, anyone can give a gift but not the sentiment that is usually attached to it, right? That’s just my take anyway, I loved that you picked a prickly topic, children sometimes are the glue that hold two families together, but I prefer the idea of there not being a convenient resolution to the narrators thoughts.
Thank you for your insight. I read it over without the last line and I also like it that way.
Another good one.
I never met either of my grandmothers, but this reminded me of the times my grandfather (my mom’s dad) would visit in the summer, and just he and I would stay up late eating a snack and watching the old black and whites together. Good memories that make me smile, as does your writing.
Thank you so much. I really did watch my grandmother sit down with a soda and watch her old programs in the dark. She didn’t want me to watch them that way with her because she said it would ruin my eyes. When I think back on her life I realize what a hardworking lady she was. When my grandfather was alive they had a huge family dinner every Sunday. By the time I was old enough to remember those Sunday parties were more like every few months. I’ve heard a lot of great things about my paternal grandfather. He died before I was born so I never got to meet him.