Pink canvas shoes kick up dust while walking the gravel and sand road to Grandma’s. Looking down at the darkened creases they reflect how many times the road has been walked. A dusty cloud swarms up into the air like a fog tickling an inherited nose. The afternoon sun beams down giving the sensation of being an ant under a magnifying glass. The four blocks from home to Grandma’s seem to take forever. Maybe it was the grumbling stomach noises or a mouth that feels like it is stuffed with cotton balls, that makes the walk seem so long.
It doesn't matter how scorched or parched one might feel walking in the summer heat, I was almost there. Passing the prickly bushes along the side of the red brick house is Grandma’s front yard. The soft scent of her rose bushes fills the air. There is the familiar old porch swing that creaks when pushed by a gentle breeze. Peeling away hot shoes and socks, sweaty feet can finally breath in her plush manicured lawn. The long swaying stems of the weeping willow, once again shade and protect from a glaring sun.
Once again, racing over to the water spigot, turning the worn bumpy knob to the right, patiently waiting for the rushing water to come gurgling and flushing from the old green hose. Tilted head the weathered hose releases its cool wetness. The scent of wet grass perfumed the air. The first gulp of well water tastes metallic but quenches a thirst and revitalizes as it refreshes tingling skin. Waiting anxiously for their turn, the birds watch from the tree top. The hose is drug and placed in a carved cement feeder and filled with life. The robins should have a place to splash and flutter their wings.
Suddenly, the thump of the front door. Grandma stands smiling in her long denim skirt and white blouse with a ruffled collar. Her long gray hair has been pulled back to a sleek bun. Her wedding rings catch a glimpse of a sunbeam and glitter as she reaches for a great big hug. She smells of fresh baked sugar cookies and when she gently kisses my cheek, she leaves behind a smudge of flour. It is our ritual.