Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just Write - Sleepovers with Nonnie

This blog is part of Just Write, a free style writing exercise meant to encourage you to simply write without too much thought, over-analysis or correction. You're simply supposed to let the words flow. It's interesting what you come up with. Keep this all in mind and enjoy :-)
My Nonnie and me at my wedding
For some reason, this morning I was thinking of what it was like to wake up at my Nonnie's house.

When I was little, I used to spend the night over at Nonnie and Bopap's all the time. It's probably one of the most vivid things I remember from my childhood. All the little details flood my mind, my nostrils. Like, how before we went to bed, Nonnie would slather her arms and face with baby oil and that we would watch "The Golden Girls" on her little TV after turning out the light. On her nightstand, which I can see plain as day in my head, sat an old clock radio, Halls cough drops, a couple lemon drops, and some Vicks rub. Sometimes some Kleenex.

I got to sleep in her bed since Bopap slept in the next bedroom. But, you could still hear him snore.

Nonnie and Bopap didn't have air conditioning, but they did live on a lake. During the hot summer nights, Nonnie would keep both the window and patio door in her room open. I fell asleep listening to the voices of WCCO talk radio accompanied by the lake lapping up on the bank in the backyard. And, any time I woke up in the middle of the night, I knew everything was alright as long as I could still hear those two sounds (with Bopap's snore mixed in sometimes).

I slept in at Nonnie's, only waking up when the bright morning light coming in the patio door and window became too much for my eyes to handle. I would gradually open my eyes, letting them adjust, and inhale the fresh smell of the night lake air that lingered. The room was so bright that I just felt enveloped by it. It was quiet, calm, peaceful. I had no agenda and the only thing waiting on me was my French toast or waffles Nonnie was making me downstairs.

I would pull back the covers, step out of bed and make my way down the creaking stairs. Bopap was gone already — at morning coffee with the other local retirees. Nonnie was in the kitchen ready to whip up my breakfast order. And, it was likely that Mom and Kyle would be making their way over to take a late morning swim in an hour or two.

I love reliving those sleepovers in my head. I'm grateful that I have them bottled up so tight that the smells, sights and feelings haven't escaped and I can visit Nonnie's house whenever I want.


  1. Emily, you write well. I can place myself right there with you. I've known Vera since the mid-70s. We worked together at Faith. She was fun and we had a strong relationship. I only knew your mom a little bit. But as time elapsed, we grew apart and after awhile, didn't see each other for a long time. I've seen her a couple of times in these later years. I have good memories of Vera. I'm glad you do too!!!
    Ann Richards
    now of Scandia


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