Gram is sitting at her kitchen table, Kleenex in hand. She holds a blue fountain pen and I hear it scratch the big table. She’s doing her daily crossword puzzle. Sudoku books sit next to her blue placemat. Perched on her little blue cushion, she sniffs as the “Wheel of Fortune” spins on the television in the corner. I’m crawling around on the floor and the short, rough carpet is irritating my knees. I move towards Gram’s feet, along the counter, follow the lines on the carpet, and I turn right. My Boppa snatches me off the ground and plops me on the counter. We’re going to have some beets from a can he keeps in the refrigerator—just for Kelsey Locks.
Next to my jar of beets is another jar full of olives. They’re for my brother. Next to those is a jar of Gerber baby food—blueberry buckle—for Elizabeth. Rice dream ice cream for Reagan, Bridgeen, and Oliver. On the counter next to the fridge rests a jar of spaghetti-o’s for Lindsay. These are all of our favorite foods, stocked and restocked each week of the summer by our Boppa.
My pink swimsuit must look strange against the dim light, thick curtains, dark wood paneling, and yellowed counters in the kitchen. The red licorice, Chips Ahoy, and tootsie rolls in three jars under the window grow warm from the summer sun. With my bowl of beets and a fork in my arms, I study the pictures of my cousins and my brother on the refrigerator. In the pictures, our lips are always rimmed with blue and green popsicle residue and our hair is wet from swimming. I feel so happy spending my summer in Boppa’s kitchen, eating beets from my jar and swinging my legs back and forth as Gram finishes her crossword puzzle.