There was magic in grandma’s playroom. The dust sat heavily in the air like specks of pixie powder; welcoming us children into a land of imagination and dreams only the youngest entertain. Within these four walls my cousins and I found contentment, beauty, and life.
The little wooden table with its four chairs sat us politely down to tea. We pretended to sip our teacups like little old ladies, holding our pinkies in the air with pursed lips while we chatted. There was nothing more important in the world than that very moment. The cookies were real, of course, lemon sugar cookies fresh from grandma’s oven. The eight remaining from the dozen sat in the tilted glass cookie jar with the corked lid on top of the refrigerator, anxiously awaiting the next tea party.
In grandma’s playroom was a play closet, with two beautiful gowns for us to wear while we sat to tea. I favored a blue, fitted gown covered in shiny lace. The other gown was pink, long, and flowy. We looked miraculous in grandma’s gowns.
Near the little wooden table was a small, carefully painted rocking horse. We didn’t know it was painted, nor made by a toy maker either, for that matter. The small rocking horse took us through surrounded deserts, along winding rivers, through the gold rush country, and atop steep mountains. After long rides, we’d climb off and ask grandma for more cookies, and perhaps some fresh-squeezed lemonade.
Always, in grandma’s playroom with the blue curtains and white bed, was the thimble. The thimble was the brightest treasure of all in grandma’s playroom. The tiny, shiny, silver thimble sat carefully on the shelf, waiting to be picked up for our favorite game. We spent hours taking the thimble off the shelf and hiding it somewhere in grandma’s house. Sometimes grandpa would play too. We counted to fifty while grandpa mischievously hid the thimble atop the third shelf of the long bookcase in the hallway, next to the book about Santa Claus. After what seemed an eternity, we found the thimble and begged grandpa to hide it again.
And so it went for hours… running around the house, hiding and looking, hiding and looking… always returning to the magical playroom to put the silver thimble back on its shelf.
We would close the door to the playroom after hours of playing, and in my child’s eye, if I waited long enough before shutting the door to a close, I could see the rocking horse give one last rock, bidding me farewell until our next adventure in grandma’s playroom.