There were always animals; we had rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles, and our black cat Spooky. I remember the smells and the plants: picking lemons off the tree in the backyard and mint from the herb garden, the roses and the geraniums. I always did the ironing because I was good at it and found it calming. The Colonial style furniture was heavy to move when vacuuming, and that orange couch was hideous but comfortable. Every room was painted a different color, but the carpet throughout was blue.
We always visited during the summer. We would be outside a lot. We would walk down the hill to Lake Superior to look for agates on the beach. We would follow the creek into the woods (not very far). My sister would fall into the lake or the creek at least once every trip. If it rained, we would play with the same toys my mother had played with in her playhouse in the backyard. I remember the smell of the basement, and of cigarette smoke on my grandmother’s clothes. We would eat herring and brown bread for lunch.
Solving for X: 14
Photograph | Personal