Butterscotch Candies

It’s an old colored photograph, taken by a camera with no memory chip or digital screen. A little grainy and slightly faded, it’s one of my favorite childhood photos, my grandfather reading to me in his big, cushy recliner; my head resting on his chest, undoubtedly the comforting scent of his Old Spice cologne filling my nostrils.

His shirt pocket always full of butterscotch candies and he would unwrap two of the crunchy plastic wrappers just for him and I before he flipped to the first page, shifted his glasses, and began reading; his voice low and comforting.

My favorite book was Corduroy. It was about a teddy bear at a toy store in a shopping mall that lost a button on his overalls and went searching for it. The ending was my favorite part, and even though my grandpa read that book to me at least a hundred times, I breathed a sigh of relief when poor Corduroy was found by a little boy and his mother, every time.

He always had a way of making me feel important and somehow found a way to make everything fun; teaching me to play cards, pool and baiting my hook when we went fishing; the evening silhouette of me and my grandpa sitting at the end of the dock, my feet dangling off the side and our bobbers lazily floating in the water. Our laughter echoed on the lake and probably scared away any possibility of a bite, but we didn’t care; we had a pocketful of butterscotch candies and, for me, that was enough.

My grandma and I had our own big adventures, spending the summer afternoons in her garden where we’d pick plump, red strawberries and I would sit, cross-legged on the kitchen floor watching her make jam.

We were quite a pair back then, rising early and grabbing the classified ads, circling a course of yard sales and filling up her trunk with our precious finds, our reward for the day a creamy swirl of ice cream from the local Dairy Queen.

Their house always smelled the same, a flowery scented comfort that I appreciated even as a child.

And even now, when I get the chance to see them, I am taken back to those days of my childhood, my grandpa’s shirt pocket still full of butterscotch candies; the crunchy sound of two plastic wrappers a constant reminder that there are some things we may never outgrow.

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Monday, 19 November 2018