“Pic” (as she was called) lived second door to my grandparents and was Mom B.’s best friend. Mom B. was a tall, skinny, somber person while Pic was a short, plump, fun-loving person — a friendship of contrasts for sure, but it worked for them.
I remember Pic spoke English with a very thick Eastern European accent so I would guess she hadn’t always lived in America. And I also remember that she was a wonderful, warm lady who would always pop in to give us a hug, and bring good things for us to eat, when we were visiting.
After Pic was widowed and she was afraid to stay in her house alone at night, she started sleeping at my grandparent’s house. That’s a bigger deal than it might sound like at first, because the only place there was space for her to sleep was in the dining room!
Mama and Daddy bought this little house for Mama’s parents to live in in their old age. It was a tiny house with four rooms — a front room, a dining room behind that, and the back space was divided into two small rooms — a kitchen on the left and a bedroom on the right. There was a screened-in porch on the back (where Pic and Mom B. are sitting in the first picture) and a tiny little bathroom had been added to the back of the house by enclosing one end of that porch and putting the door to the bathroom out of the bedroom.
Because it had always been there as long as I could remember, I never thought about it being odd that on the far wall of the dining room, on the other side of the dining room table (which, by the way, I don’t remember ever eating at!) there was a bed — that was where Pic slept!
And when Pic’s grandson Danny came to stay with her, they both came to Mom and Dad B.’s to sleep at night. He slept on the sofa.
Of course, I don’t have any idea how people decide to invite a friend to sleep in their dining room, but I do know that after Dad B. died, Mama said it was as much of a blessing for my grandmother as it was for Pic, because it meant that Mom B. didn’t have to sleep alone in the house either.
This is a childhood memory that seems perfectly normal to me, because it was always a part of my life. But, I’m guessing most of you don’t know of anyone who slept in your grandparent’s (or anyone else’s) dining room … for years!
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