The day had finally come. Tiffany’s dream of a sleepover at grandma and grandad’s had arrived. Although the room was still snug with furniture, boxes and other items hugging the walls, the bed was clear, and Tiffany was able to walk all the way around the bed. She excitedly unpacked her little overnight bag. She took a book and her iPad from the bag and went to put them on the wicker nightstand.
Kat was proud of the work she had achieved with Jane to make this day possible. She was also proud of the arrangement on the nightstand. It brought back memories. There was a stack of old Dolly magazines from Kylie’s teen years. Kat thought Tiffany would get a kick out of reading those. There were two framed photos – one of Kylie sitting on Santa’s knee and another of old Samantha, the cat they’d had before Tabitha came along. There was a little statue of a ballerina Kat had found at the op shop, and there was Kylie’s old autograph book. As Kat explained all these items, she pointed to the page with Warwick Capper’s scrawled signature.
Kat said, “Your mum used to have a crush on him. That signature would be worth something now. After he played football, he became a celebrity. He’s on the TV all the time.”
“I’ve never heard of him.” was Tiffany’s reply. She looked at the crowded nightstand and put her things on top of the pile of Dolly magazines. “Grandma, can I charge my iPad?”
“Sure. There’s a power point behind the nightstand. Here, let me move it for you.”
As Kat moved the furniture, the ballerina wobbled and fell. Kat gasped but was relieved to see the trinket land on the soft pile of Kylie’s clothes set aside for Tiffany to try on. While Kat dealt with that incident, Tiffany found the power point. Unfortunately, she also found an unnerving pile of mouse droppings, which she pointed out to her grandma.
After cleaning the mess and trying on the clothes, none of which Tiffany wanted, it was time for dinner. The kitchen was still out of action, so they headed outdoors, where Bill had fired up the barbecue. After Bill explained the finer points of how to barbecue sausages, Tiffany asked when he was going on his next caravan adventure.
“Well, good question, Tiff. I’m hoping to convince your grandma to come with me to Lakes Entrance. That’s where we had our honeymoon and I’d like to see the old place again. I’ve been waiting all my life to retire and start making more memories.”
“Bill, how can you think of tripping off and leaving the house empty?”
“It’s certainly not empty, Love!”
“No, I mean unprotected!”
“Well apart from the TV and the computer, which are insured anyway, what do you think a thief would want?”
“Oh Bill, don’t be silly. Think of all the family history we’d lose.”
Tiffany spoke up. “Grandma, we did a family tree at school. I know a lot of our family history already. And I don’t need a dusty old wicker nightstand to know that grandad’s grandad was a wicker worker.”
While Kat was impressed that Tiffany respected her family’s history, she was horrified to think Tiffany didn’t respect the things she treasured.
“Tiffany, one day your babies can sleep in the wicker bassinet that your great great grandad made.”
“No thanks. It’s probably got lead paint on it. That’s not safe for babies. Anyway, I don’t know why you have to keep all that old stuff from the past.”
Kat sighed. “The past is all I have left.”
Tiffany curled her lip and said, “But what about me?”
“Oh, your future is all ahead of you.”
“No, I mean don’t you care about making brand new memories with me?”
“Of course I care about you. I have a lock of your baby hair, don’t I? I’ve kept all your birthday cards. Your mother was going to throw them out. I’ve kept every gift you ever gave me and every drawing your ever sent me.”
Tiffany looked at her grandmother aghast and made a mental note: Don’t give grandma anything anymore.
Catch up on all the past Adventures of Kat here.