By Emily Fisher
I open my eyes to the quiet murmurs down the hall – slippered feet pad upon the tile floor. The coffee aroma wafts into the room, swirling around me in a comforting hug. “Ah, grandma’s house” I smile to myself.
Sitting up on a bed firmer than my own, I rub the slumber from my eyes and stretch my arms up over my head. And then side to side, the muscles sweetly straining and resisting as my body begins to realize it is awake.
Hopping out of bed, I see my sister sleeping on the cot nearby and quickly switch to tip-toes. I have to sneak between the bed and cot to get to the door. I cherished my alone time with grandma when the windows were painted pools of darkness with sunrise on the horizon’s cusp.
Barefooted and adorned in a fetching Little Mermaid nightgown, I followed the hypnotizing scent to the kitchen to see grandma wearing her floral, pearl-snap bathrobe, pink slippers, and her luminous white hair pinned up in soft curlers. She is busy slicing the cantaloupe and checking on the coffee cake in the oven, as always.
As I flutter into the kitchen, she looks up, sunshine spread across her face.
“Good morning, Emi,” she greets in her warm gravelly voice. “How did you sleep? Do you want some coffee cake and cantaloupe?”
Delighted, I exclaimed “Yes, please, grandma!”
She took the coffee cake out of the oven, placed it on the wire cooling rack, and picked up the plate of cold, cantaloupe crescents. We made our way into the dining room and sat down. Gentle rays from the sun greeted our giggles before anyone else had opened their eyes.
This ritual, between grandma and me, is an unwritten tradition. A brief moment in time that was just for us and us alone.