Art is My Religion

March 25, 2010

Grandpa’s House

Filed under: blogging,poetry,short stories — Michele Spector @ 3:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

By Michele Spector

Motley shingles of grey adorned Grandpa’s house,

Out back old plum and peach trees were laden with ripe fruit,

A ’53 two-door Cadillac Coupe was a denizen of the front yard,

Testament to his major preference for huge cars.

The bannister was occupied by Salvatore, his favored silver tabby,

And a great lover by my Grandma’s basic accounting,

He sired two decades of litters born in the huge wooden shed,

Sally, as he was called, marched or walked,

Orchestrated by Grandpa’s index finger,

At the peak of too many stairs for my little legs to mount.

The cellar underneath possum and raccoon co-inhabit,

With two small rabbits, one black, the other white,

Late one night we were snuck in to peek.

The store attached to his house confronted the street corner,

It brimmed with trinkets from The Great Depression,

Which sat on shelves enclosed in the same musty boxes.

Grandpa emerged from this mysterious doorway,

And clutched a windup doll beating on a drum for me,

Cars and trucks for my younger brother.

After I outgrew his heartfelt gifts,

I was given brilliantly striped socks,

Pippy Longstocking was the probable first owner.

Rodin’s Lovers graced the living room mantle,

Where my uncle’s piano sat next to the kitchen entrance,

And a bathroom whose tub crouched on lion’s feet,

While male relatives by automobile forum bonded,

A conversation instigated by my Dad, a confirmed expert.

Precariously I sat on an immense rocking chair,

That threatened always backwards to go over,

Upstairs in my other uncle’s tiny room,

Surrounded by Chevy car plastic models.

Even as I write down this older poem it evokes such strong memories. I am there again, summertime. I can’t wait to climb that huge staircase, greet my grandparents, and endure their huge hugs and kisses. This poem was a couple of years in the works. I had only divorced a few months ago when a friend invited me to go to the movies on my birthday. It was early February afternoon which turned out to be the coldest, windiest day of the year. The movie was Nobody’s Fool starring Paul Newman. In one scene Paul Newman ran after his friend whose feelings he had hurt. He sat next to him behind this one house. It had the same shingles as my grandfather’s. I was hit with such a wave of nostalgia, that tears ran down my face even as the wind stung my cheeks. As we ran to the car, my friend asked me, “Why the hell are you crying?” I thought it was just getting over the whole divorce. It wasn’t. I was remembering my grandfather. That feeling lingered for a long time. A few years later I watched the same movie and again felt those feelings emerged. I wrote a poem just to purge my system. I showed it to my brother. He said he hadn’t thought about that place in a long time and this brought it all back.

I gave this poem to my father on Father’s Day a few years ago. It sits framed over the fireplace.

Do you remember your grandparent’s house? What treasure trove of memories does it hold for you?


  1. The pictures your words create hold the magic of childhood. It’s good to go back to remember a simpler time. I’m thinking of my granddad’s house now.

    Comment by mairmusic — March 25, 2010 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

  2. Thank you so much for your comments. Yes, nothing seemed so magical as childhood.

    Comment by Michele Spector — March 25, 2010 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

  3. What a wonderful poem…it took me back to my grandparents home and all the wonderful memories stored there…thank you so much for this beautiful poem.

    Comment by slpmartin — March 25, 2010 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

    • You’re welcome. These are such vivid memories for me. I’m glad yours are as well. It’s easy to forget them until something triggers them again. For me is was…motley gray shingles? LOL

      Thanks for your comments and stopping by!

      Comment by Michele Spector — March 26, 2010 @ 3:39 am | Reply


    Happy Poet Award,
    Hope that you enjoyed the Rally.

    Commenting for 6 participants that are new to you may help you get more feedback …

    Comment by Jingle — March 26, 2010 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

  5. very touching. the memories of grandparents is most probably one of the most tender memories.

    Comment by trisha — March 26, 2010 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

    • Absolutely! I even remember hearing my grandfather singing. P.S. years later I found out he even sang in a chorus and had a beautiful tenor voice. Thanks for your comments.

      Comment by Michele Spector — March 26, 2010 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  6. i love how your posts trigger the one’s thoughts. I remember my grandparents house. It is still there and we still spend the christmas and the easter with my grandmother 🙂

    Comment by nanno1982 — March 27, 2010 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

    • You are so lucky to still be able to visit. I think sometimes I’d like to visit my that old house. But it will have probably changed and I’d like to remember it exactly like it was in my memories and from the photos that I have.

      Comment by Michele Spector — March 28, 2010 @ 2:39 am | Reply

  7. You wrote such a beautiful poem and I so enjoyed reading about your childhood and your later years. Lovely narrative, very heart touching. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Also, thank you for visiting my page and commenting. I appreciate your kind and gracious, warming, words there.
    John, aka Poet Traveler

    Comment by PoetTraveler — March 28, 2010 @ 12:25 am | Reply

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ll always remember that house in my heart. Thanks for visiting.

      Comment by Michele Spector — March 28, 2010 @ 2:37 am | Reply

    • Thank you for your comments John. I just love your poems! You make it look easy.

      Comment by Michele Spector — March 28, 2010 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

  8. Wonderfully told memories. Those happy ones of childhood are tied to the heart with a ribbon. Unfortunately, I never knew any of my grandparents as they passed away before I could hold memories. I did have a favorite uncle who crafted lots of interesting things, models of all kinds and even rugs. It was always a pleasure to visit.

    Comment by Jan Freeman — March 28, 2010 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for sharing your memories! Both my grandmothers passed away before I was born. My grandfather had actually married again before I was born. But she still treated me like a granddaughter! I still remember the mashed potatoes that “she beat till they cried.” Thanksgiving was always such a feast. I always had to sit in the highchair to reach the table because I was always small. It was a fine day when I graduated to a real chair. lol There was an old washing machine with a ringer on it in the kitchen. A lot of really nice little memories all rolled together. Thanks for visiting!

      Comment by Michele Spector — March 28, 2010 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  9. Strong vivid childhood memories…felt like I was there. Very nice.

    Comment by suzicate — March 29, 2010 @ 1:19 am | Reply

  10. This is OLD? It’s gorgeous! I marked your blog and will have to come back when I’m slightly more sober to do some real digging about and reading. Thank you for sharing your world.

    Comment by catherrick — March 30, 2010 @ 2:58 am | Reply

    Happy Easter!

    I grew up close to my grandparents…

    Comment by Jingle — April 5, 2010 @ 1:24 am | Reply

  12. I really love your blog!

    I was wondering if it would be okay if I added you to my list of “Poet Friends & Other Links” on my blog? Thanks! If you are willing would you please comment here:

    Comment by Mitchell — April 15, 2010 @ 4:13 am | Reply


    5 awards on the bottom,
    enjoy some!

    Comment by Ji — April 26, 2010 @ 1:57 pm | Reply


    another poetry award 4 u.
    have a beautiful day!
    I appreciate your uplifting comments and handsome spirits.

    Comment by Jingle — May 20, 2010 @ 7:47 pm | Reply

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