The crockery cupboard was on the left- door open, filled with china and cruet sets, the wee pot for mixing mustard for Granda. The other cupboard, the one on the right, was the mysterious one. It went from floor to ceiling, and was so deep I never saw the back.
The bottom third was Granda’s. It was filled with tools and cleaning equipment, like shoe polish and all the possible brushes. While Granny chopped and cooked and cleaned, he’d gather up all the shoes in the house- I had to take them off my feet- and polish them to a military shine. The whole house shone, in a way few do now.
I was never tall enough to reach the top of the cupboard. Granny was tiny but ingenious. She had a solution for every problem, but I’m not sure I ever saw her get to those shelves. Even standing on a kitchen chair wouldn’t have brought her to much above the height of her sons.
The shelves I could see had envelopes and photographs and sewing tasks and the nearly finished knitting. The inside of the door had postcards from people who’d got away for a few days, to Bundoran, or Skerries. And when the cupboard doors were closed, all was neat, tidy and safe. Presentable.
It all changed within a few weeks. We moved too far away for daily drop ins. Granda died. Our worlds were shaken. Other relations moved in with Granny. That kitchen wasn’t mine anymore. I was a visitor.
The cupboard doors were closed.
Task for Future Learn Creative Writing course- generate something new