My Grandmother’s Living Room

It has been hot in Seattle this summer. Unusually hot. I have a lot of windows in my home and plantation blinds. It was hot where my grandmother lived. Very hot. She had lots of windows in her home and Venetian blinds. Grand Mommy would pull the Venetian blinds down against the fierce San Fernando Valley sun. Her living room would become dark and calm and peaceful. Now I pull the plantation blinds down against the sun bearing down on my own living room. The room becomes dark and calm and peaceful. I think about my grandmother’s living room on a hot summer day.

We would lie on the floor in front of a blowing fan.  Four cousins, best of friends.  Sometimes Grand Daddy would bring home a bag of ice and put it between us and the fan.  With the ice melting in a brown paper bag, I would lie very still on my grandmother’s brown rug, surrounded by my cousins. Cooled air would blow across our flushed faces and small sweaty bodies.  I felt safe and loved and comforted.  On those days, and in those moments, the heat became my friend.