Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Closet

The Closet of my grandmother's old house was the portal to her past. She was and still is the only person who's past I was ever able to enter. Her world became mine when I opened the door and I had many a Narnia moment in the back of that closet.

What was the best was that everything was real. It wasn't the kind of dress up stuff you buy for little kids. It was real grown-up clothes and I liked real grown-up clothes best. She had everything that a little girl could need in order to become a woman at the tender age of six.

I would wear her sparkly silver and glass high heels which I called her "Cinderella Shoes" because that's exactly what they looked like. The closet was about three feet deep inside and when you pushed back all the clothes there were piles and piles of hat boxes.

I would turn the low watt light bulb on which hung from a very old pull string and get to work digging through the boxes in order to determine what sort of outfit I was looking to pull together.

To this day the scent of musty cedar reminds me of her closet and all those gently worn clothes. Even in the summer heat, I would be in that closet on the second floor with no central air, practically suffocating. I remember sticking my head out between the clothes, gasping for breaths of fresh air while my fine brown hair would get matted to my forehead. Then like a baby seal I would go back under. But I didn't care.

Eventually I would emerge with the most fabulous ensemble I could find:
A short brown wig.
A pink pill box hat.
White gloves with black polk-a-dots on them.
Gobs of jewelry about my neck. Coral lipstick, and her Cinderella Shoes.
I was Audrey Hepburn A-la-Carte and I loved myself.

But I don't know who enjoyed the game more. Me, because I got to play dress up, or her, getting the biggest kick out of her granddaughter clop, clopping around in those Cinderella Shoes.

9 comments:

~**Dawn**~ said...

Gosh, I've missed your blogging. You took me right back to my own Gram's closet. It was probably six feet deep but it was built against the slope of the roof so I could fit just under the ceiling, but even she, at barely over five feet, would have to stoop. And oh the treasures in that closet...

Colleen said...

Dawn- Ohhhhh, I love it. You gotta hand it to those Grandmothers! ;-) How we love them.

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

Colleen. your story made me see the closet, feel the heat and want to be at my Grnadmother's house again. I think of her often...
xoxo Nita

david mcmahon said...

I never had grandparents - so this post really struck a chord, Colleen.

Colleen said...

RTH- I think of mine too. She is so frail and delicate now, but I love her so much and even though we are miles apart, we are VERY close =) How I miss that old house of hers...

Colleen said...

Daivd- I'm not sure what to say. I remember that you mentioned that you never had grandparents. Your comment is bittersweet, no?

Momma said...

While I never got to dig through my grandmother's closet, I did get to play with my mom's clothes. I think you've touched on a common thread among most of us women today. We actually got to play make-believe without benefit of a computer game!

Peace - D

P.S. - David sent me.

CrazyCath said...

Aaah yes I remember doing this. Such memories. Thank you.

lime said...

what a sweet and lovely remembrance. sop glad you shared it.

here via david, btw