A Field Trip to Aunt Beth’s

March 24, 2010

Did you ever have someone’s house that you went to when you were a kid that seemed magical? My grandparents’ house was like that for me. They had three acres with a big vegetable garden, fruit trees and grape vines that stretched across the yard. I remember doing the simplest things there… like playing in the gravel in their driveway, or climbing up this big weeping willow that was in the median of the circular drive, or sitting on the swing in the dark with my granny, listening to grown-ups talk and the cicadas sing.

When I look back on it now, there was really not anything to do. They didn’t keep any toys at their house for us to play with, although sometimes we would borrow the neighbors’ bikes. The house was tiny and modest, with one bathroom that all seven of us would share, and I slept on the floor every night, sharing a pallet made of old quilts with my two brothers and falling asleep to the drone of the television.

But, still, something seemed so magical about being there. Food tasted better, the simplest things were more fun. I think it was just so different from where I grew up, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. My grandparents lived in the country in Huntsville, AL, on a road named after them because theirs was the first house built there.

My kids have that at their grandparents’ houses, too. The magical basement at Grandmom and Grandad’s house where you can hit a golf ball into a net or “work out” on the exercise bike, or ride a scooter. And, the great cul-de-sac at E. and Papa’s where they ride the battery-powered cars she keeps for them, sled for days, and play with their cousin, Mack.

Digging in Aunt Beth's garden

But, as a bonus, they have Aunt Beth’s house. On an acre-and-a-half in Spring Hill, Aunt Beth dabbles in lots of things that I don’t… namely gardening and cooking. Today, the kids dug holes in the dirt, spread four-o-clock seeds under the weeping willow, fed the geese in the pond, “worked out” in the basement and cooked up some pretty darn good pizza roll-ups.

Being able to spend the morning at Aunt Beth’s took a little bit of the sting out of not being able to go to school for Tanner. She came home tired and napped while Jake napped.

Tanner manning her rock store at Aunt Beth's house

Overall, Tanner doesn’t actually seem to feel bad, although she is stuffed up. I really believe she has allergies, but without knowing for sure or having any idea where he counts stand, keeping her home again today was probably the right decision. We’re off to the clinic tomorrow after dropping Jake off and we’ll find out for sure where she stands. She’ll also get her monthly IV dose of Vincristine, begin her five-day course of steroids. Tomorrow night, she will also take her weekly dose of oral methotrexate, which can kind of wipe her out the next day. So, even if her counts are high enough to return to school Friday, I don’t know how long she’ll last. Monday and Tuesday will also be pretty doubtful as she is usually pretty wiped out by the steroids.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this rollercoaster. I might numb myself to it, but then I find I’m numb to all the good stuff, too. For right now though, that’s how I’m sleepwalking through this current disappointment… numb and in a fog.

I’m hoping to wake up tomorrow.


1 thought on “A Field Trip to Aunt Beth’s

  1. I also had those magical fun places to go as a child. Very precious memories…

    Avery could not have been more excited to see Tanner a week or so ago at Panchos. I was just thrilled that she got to see her as well, as she & Taylor think of & ask about Tanner often. We are praying for you!

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