Sunday, March 02, 2008

SS--Time Machine

Clock 2

Happy 100th to Sunday Scribblings:

Here I have traveled in time to the year 2061.

It’s hard to believe she turned 100 today. Gran is the oldest person I have ever met. When you look at her you can tell she is that old. Her skin is wrinkled all over and has those age spots everywhere. When you touch her, though, her skin is soft, so soft. Not like a baby’s. A baby’s skin is soft but plump with all that lovely fat just under the surface. Gran’s feels like a fine thin cloth tossed on a bed, with wrinkles and folds scattered randomly. The baby skin is warm to the touch and Gran’s is cool. I always want to hold her hands and transfer some young warmth to them.
People in 2061 live longer than they used to but Gran is still pretty old. We have discovered that science and improved diet can help people live longer and stay healthy but that eventually the body just starts to shut down. Even without cancer, heart disease, strokes and diabetes, people just plain get old and die. I don’t want to think about Gran dying. I’m not sure what I’ll do without her.
I’m amazed at how sharp Gran still is. I love it when she tells me stories about her youth. The technology back then, or more aptly, the lack of technology back then was amazing. I can’t even imagine what her life was like. Back then there were only a few television channels and the first TV’s were in black and white, sort of like an antique photo. You couldn’t record television, there were no DVD’s or CD’s and no one had their own computer at home. The internet didn’t even exist! They actually had to go to the library and look at books to do research for term papers. Of course, without the internet it was a lot harder to catch people who plagiarized too! Nowadays you have to be so careful to use your own words!
Gran taught me to read books. I already knew how to read but I had always done it electronically. Gran has an enormous collection of old books. She is a bit of a pack rat that way. Her house is full of bookshelves. So she would read to me when I was a little kid from books by authors from long ago. The pictures were so much more amazing on real paper. She let me hold the books as long as I promised not to tear the pages. Imagine, pages that can be torn! Later she let me browse her shelves and take home whatever I want to read as long as I return it. I know that antique stores would give a fortune for her book collection so I am very careful with her books.
Gran also tells me stories about her childhood. I like hearing about her grandparents and parents and about her two kids who are really my grandfather and great-uncle. They are pretty old now but her stories and pictures make me feel like I knew them when they were kids.
Gran’s stories about learning to be a doctor in the 80’s and 90’s are so funny sometimes I feel like they are science fiction. Psychiatry was really in the dark ages back then. I can’t believe the “treatments” they used. Maybe it was the best they had at the time but still. . . !
Gran kept working part time until she was 80. She still talks like a shrink from an old TV movie. (Yes Gran got me hooked on some of her favorite old series which we watch for hours together). Her voice is soft and soothing and she always seems to have the right thing to say. It is hard to imagine her being young and green and doing all the foolish things she says she used to do. Hardly anyone does talk therapy anymore because hardly anyone seems to want it but every time I visit Gran I feel calmer and more centered.
I hate to think of losing Gran but I know it could happen any day now. She seems not to be too worried about death. She says that it is something that you learn to accept as you get older. She says that she will live on through me and her other great-grandchildren. I know she must be right but the world will not be the same without her.
In the meantime, I am helping Gran write her memoirs. She told me she had wanted to do this since she was around 20 but never started. Her voice is a bit unsteady and sometimes it is hard for her to dictate so I help after school. Some of the things she says make me a little uncomfortable. You know what I mean—when she tells a story about her first sexual experience, stuff like that. But I feel happy to be part of keeping the past century alive. I’m looking forward to the first electronic edition. Too bad it can’t come out as a paper book. Gran would have liked that!


ummi said...

Hi Sarala,
Thank you for visiting. Brolly is actually umbrella in British English slang. :).

I was just browsing through your blog when I saw my gmail notifier flashing to say that I have received a comment on my blog. I was going to comment on yours to say how lovely your blog is, and how wonderful your story about gran is..but i guess you beat me to it :)..You have great imagination, your story is very engaging..i guess i need a lot of practice, since life has taken a lot of the child in me, and my imagination along with it...
I will certainly visit your blog often.


Kathe said...

Good to see the creative juices flowing again. Very cool post.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Beuatiuflly written and nice take on the prompt!

Devil Mood said...

Very clever :)
I wonder about the series GranMa liked to watch...Was it Frasier?

La Traductora said...

Loved your comments about your grandmother. It's so nice to have a grandmother who inspires you like that, but I'm sure it is a blessing to have a grandaughter like you, who is not too busy to care. Loved your writing!