a piece of grandma’s kitchen

Climbing up on a chair, I’d grab the handles I couldn’t reach from the ground. I would open the cabinet to pull out cereal for breakfast or a cup for some milk. I’d tug hard on a drawer handle to search for a fork or admire all of Grandma’s tablecloths. Eventually, I didn’t need to pull up a chair to reach the tall ones and I didn’t have to tug so hard on the drawers. I would wrap my fingers around a handle as I would go rummaging in Grandma’s kitchen for…

yeast for making Thanksgiving rolls

a green ceramic bowl for a helping of Grandma’s cobbler

a big spoon for scooping out dad’s Tutti Frutti homemade ice cream

ziploc bags for taking home leftovers

The kitchen stood basically untouched for decades. Those handles I snatched as an adult were the same ones my parents tugged on before I was born.


And they were there after I was born…a backdrop to so many of my ‘firsts’…like my first time eating ribs.


And in the background of all our Thanksgiving pictures…the handles in Grandma’s kitchen.


After my grandpa passed away and as a family we began preparing my grandparent’s home to sell, I sought permission to remove all the handles from the kitchen cabinets and drawers. The house was purchased by a company that would restore and update it. The the cabinets would be removed and discarded. The handles – they came home with me.


Over the last several years my kids, too short to reach our tall cabinets, used our drawer handles as a ladder. Slowly, they broke every handle (despite my constant reminders not to climb on the drawers). As we began updating our kitchen, I knew exactly what handles I wanted on my cabinets. The same handles I grasped as a little girl. The ones my grandma used everyday as she prepared meals for my grandpa. The ones that hung on the perimeter of a room filled with off-color jokes, family traditions and the very best home cooked meals.

My kitchen looks vastly different than my grandma’s, but the handles are the same. Now my kids will be the ones growing up and tugging on those handles as they rummage through cabinets and drawers…and I’ll smile each time I grasp one and am reminded of grandma’s kitchen.


Happy Thanksgiving. My prayer is that you find moments of calm to notice little things – like Grandma’s handles – that spur up gratitude within you.


And simply because I would like to have posts related to my grandparents’ house all together…here are a few from the past.

Sister Cousins photoshoot

To Grandpa’s House We Go

Saturdays Nights at My Grandparents

A Normal Ole’ Saturday Night

How’d You Get to be so Pretty?

When Sadness is a Gift: A Letter to the New Owners

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