I smile sleepily and excitedly as we enter Grandma and Grandpa’s driveway. What a relief to have finally made it after nine long hours of highways, books, and passports. I release my seatbelt, untangle myself from the mountain of granola bars and sweaters wrapped around my ankles, and jump out the car door, landing on my stiff legs in the cool evening air. My body is sore, I need to pee, and I can barely keep my eyes open, but I don’t really care. I’m at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! My mind flickers to memories of singing our own version of “My Favourite Things” and going to the beach with the cousins and roasting marshmallows during Camp Grandma. The thought of Grandpa’s puzzles and Grandma’s hugs brings a smile to my face. Pictures of tents and sandcastles and hotdogs flood through my mind. I look at their small garden out front and peer to their backyard, anticipating the fun to be had in the next few days.
The old porch steps greet me like an old friend. Wind chimes sing softly as I approach the door. I swing open the squeaky screen door and reach for the handle, but Grandma flings the door open and grins. “You made it!” she exclaims in the quiet night. Grandpa stands behind her and smiles too as we enter their house. We all hug and the hugs feel real and familiar. I glance around and see their trusty old desk to my left. Their piano says a silent hello, and I see all the grandchildren smiling in awkward school pictures on top of it. Their coffee table sits by the couch like always. I spy some magazines and Peanuts comic books lying on a chair. I breathe in the memorable smell of the house.
Soon our suitcases are all in the bedrooms and we sit around talking and laughing for a while before heading off to bed. It’s been a long day. I peer into the library as I brush my teeth and smile at the books lining the shelves. I spot the kid’s version of Left Behind, which I had borrowed and read at home. The computer sits quietly, patiently waiting to be turned on. The carpet under my toes feels familiar and comforting.
As I lie in the bunk-bed later, I close my eyes and remember good times, of friendly faces and smiling family and cousins performing skits and grandparents hugging and laughing and being grandparents. I can’t wait for tomorrow to begin. I can’t wait because Grandma and Grandpa are the kind of people that I always want to be with, who I never want to leave, and who leave lasting memories in my heart. They love me and love God and love life and laughs. Hey, I think to myself suddenly, Grandma and Grandpa are nearing their 50th anniversary. That’s so cool! And I fall asleep with my heart thumping softly in memories and love.