Upstairs, 1983

summer 1983Every single day

we visit with Grandpa and Grandma and Aunt N.

When Grandpa’s not sleeping in the afternoon

because he goes to work at night

we don’t have to be so quiet.

Grandma gets out funny German music

and teaches us to polka.

All of us girls dance

Grandma with Sister

me with Aunt N

all hopping in circles

around the living room.

We check the garden every day

for tomatoes and green beans.

Grandpa and Mommy had a contest

for the first red tomato

and Grandpa cheated!

He painted his tomato red

but he didn’t fool Mommy.

They laughed and laughed.

After our dinner of hamburger macaroni

and Aunt N’s seven layer salad

and Roman Meal bread with margarine

we snap the green beans

or we pick pecans out of their shells

while we watch Wheel of Fortune and Golden Girls.

We always have dessert.

Grandma has a drawer just for Oreos and Fig Newtons

and it smells like cookies even when it’s empty.

Sometimes she makes root beer floats

or gives us a pudding pop.

I love it when she makes icing flowers

hard in the freezer

so I can decorate her Mississippi Mud cake

however I want.

We put our pajamas on

and Aunt N combs our hair over and over

while we watch Remington Steele and Knight Rider.

The comb feels so good

I wish she could do it forever.

Sometimes we fall asleep

and they carry us down the steps

into our beds.

I’m so glad they’re always

just upstairs.

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