I am happy to introduce Lee from Life Lived Out Loud.  Not only is she an amazing writer, she is also my awesome mother-in-law.  She tells the best stories, and below she shares one of her favorite memories.

Memory resides in our brains, but can reach into our souls with an electric shock that brings tears… or fear…or maybe the biggest smile or laugh of a day. It is a sort of inner magic, sometimes so clear that it seems more present than past, sometimes so fuzzy that it seems more dream than reality.

One of my favorite memories is from my childhood. My grandfather was a carpenter who had created a workshop in the basement of his Atlanta home. He made furniture there, some of which we still have, I’m grateful to say. One piece he made especially for me was a sturdy little stool. He would carefully place it a safe distance from his work bench so that I could watch him work without being in danger from flying wood or sawdust.

In my memory I can still smell the rich, red Georgia clay of that basement floor, the scent of wood being cut and the sharp stinging odor of the stains he lovingly applied to finished pieces. I can still see him, standing tall over the workbench, measuring and sawing, connecting the pieces to make a cabinet or bookcase. I can almost hear his voice as he told me what he was doing when the saw wasn’t making too much noise for me to hear his voice.

My memory is one that I believe engendered my love of creativity in whatever form it takes. It might have affected my childhood penchant to be a tomboy, since I so revered my grandfather. The memory is also one of a safe haven that I shared with a man I held dear, a man who made a place of love for me in the space where he seemed most himself.

My grandfather has been gone from this earth for decades. But he is still here, still my “Pops,” very much alive in my memory.