Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Grandmother Inventory

'My Noni always had little cans of Pepsi, juice drinks in plastic bottles that look like barrels, and Rollos in her fridge. Always.'

Ah ha! Buddy gives me another memoir to publish!

I think that everyone remembers the grandmother inventory that accumulates after years of penny pinching, yard sales, and habits formed decades ago.

When one of my grandmother died, we doled out her meager belongings. I told my mom, 'I want that cup that tastes like metal when I drink juice from it.'

My mom marveled, 'Wow! That's what your cousin Mary wanted, too, and for the same reason.' The cup was already gone, but the indelible grandmother inventory was set.

My other grandmother always had Listerine in her bathroom and when I hugged her, she smelled faintly of it. Her house always smelled of yeast as she had bread rising so when I visited, we would knead the rye bread dough together while talking.

Her inventory included a circular, wooden clothes hanger with time-worn dowels hanging from a loose metal fitting.

I don't see how the inventory can be consciously constructed. Because our own traits are often identified by the children in our lives and our legend lives on through reminiscence. From talking to Buddy, it is clear that our grandmother's each have a clear inventory, as we each daily generate our own.

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