I remember those big family reunions at Grandma's house when everyone stayed overnight.
I would wake up to the familiar chatter of women's voices and the smell of bacon frying on the stove.
Still sleepy, I would go out to the kitchen where their love would surround and claim me.
I was one of the eldest children and it made me feel grown-up when they accepted me.
The men were almost always in the garage, tinkering, showing off, laughing and talking in those deep, resonant voices.
Sometimes they played football in the backyard, all the men and all the boys, except Grandpa and my dad.
Grandpa was too old, and Dad said he didn't care much for football, so the two of them would sit and talk and watch the game until the ladies called the men in to supper.
In the evenings they all played cards.
Sometimes I got to play, but usually the children played their own games, occasionally complaining about the unfairness of being children.
On special occasions, we would all go into the back room, and Grandma would play her ancient piano.
The keys weren't all quite tuned, but their odd tinkling sound only made the old songs seem even older.
Eventually we would trickle away, back to our own homes, just as the time trickled away much more quickly than anyone thought it would.
Grandma's house is gone now, but in my heart it is still there, comforting, and sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, I can still hear her working.
And I know that when I dreamed I was there once again.
(These pictures are not the ones I wanted and may be replaced when I find the right ones.)