Behind Grandma’s Furnace

Some life lessons are hard to learn . . . as a child, I loved to visit Grandma and Grandpa Brown’s house. Sitting on the front porch glider with Grandpa . . . listening to his stories, smelling his cherry tobacco, and watching the smoke rise from his pipe. OR helping grandma fix the meals, snatching leftover bacon in the frig, or playing the old upright piano in the front room.

These were all well and good, but one of the best things was to sneak away for a few minutes . . . down to the basement. It was damp and musty . . . you might hear the sump pump running on and off. Cobwebs could brush your head as you were walking through. . . but there was a treasure – back behind the furnace. There was a little three shelf bookcase filled with Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew books. There had belonged to Mom and Aunt Gale. The pages were yellowed, but I didn’t care. I would go down and leaf through those books , spending hours reading. Grandma always knew where I had disappeared.

I was so excited when one day she said, “Why don’t you take the books home?” I couldn’t believe my ears! We loaded up three grocery sacks, and I gently took them home, carefully and proudly displaying them in my room on my bookshelf. . . I read three in one day!

You would think this story would end happily there. . . but the next time I went to Grandma’s house and disappeared down to the basement. . . I sadly walked over to the bookcase. . . it was empty! There were no books waiting for me. I realized that I had made a mistake, a great mistake. Those books belonged at Grandma’s and my secret hiding place. I should have slowly savored those books at Grandma’s house . . . not greedily devouring them in my room . . . some of life’s lessons are hard to learn.

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