Heaven On Earth

My grandmother, Nana, tortured her grandchildren and neighbors by taking outside showers, well, that is, until the shower broke, and she couldn't find a person within miles to fix it. The shower or pipe stood about five long, with a shower head on it, and a place where you could attach a hose on the side, like a shower/water faucet combination.

There was a concrete floor under the shower so your feet didn't sink in the grass and form a muddy mess while you bathed. 

My grandmother's property was in an old neighborhood that accommodated the new world: for instance, her garden and ancient outside shower were next door to her neighbor’s tennis court and paved circular driveway, whereas, Nana’s circular drive was gravel. However, the ingredients of the old and new worlds did coexist, at least as far as location was concerned, because sandwiched between Nana's back porch and the neighbor’s back door stood the outside shower. Although, there were hedges between my grandmothers garden, shower, and the neighbors tennis courts, they served as natures curtain, perfect for curious children and peeping Toms, but they didn't offer much in the way of privacy to anyone else.     

Although, we all played in the water pipe/shower, especially in the summer, and Nana occasionally took a shower, the outside water hose/pipe/shower, also functioned as a water supply to the garden and the rest of the side yard, when necessary.

My grandmother never understood why her grandchildren refused to take an outside shower, although, I think she did notice how eager we were to take an inside bath anytime. It wasn’t the fact that Nana took an outside bath that was the problem, our embarrassment was due to the neighbors clear view of her at their breakfast table. In other words, she could never grasp the fact that the people next door may not wish to view her soap her body, underwear or not, in the gleaming sun while they drank their morning coffee.

When her neighbors began to complain about their view from the breakfast table, we took it as one of the first clues that the best of both worlds were going to collide- It was just a matter of time-

I will never forget the evening we received our next clue...It is an evening that will rest with me until the end of my days:

I heard my older brother from Nana's back porch screaming, as if bitten by a snake, “Nana! Please stop!” he yelled, however impossible it was that she might hear, “I swear Nana, I’m never coming over here again if you don’t stop! Mr. Coors (her neighbor) is having a tennis party next door for some of his friends at the Country Club! They can see you, Nana!” he screamed so loud, you could see veins popping out of his neck.
“They are watching you as we speak!”

I saw my brother jumping up and down waving his hands at my grandmother, while she slowly lathered the shampoo in her hair, oblivious to his shrieking! (Or pretending she was-)

My eyes followed my brother, who ran from the back porch to my grandmother's garden generating the attention of the tennis party next door from waving his hands back and forth, and jumping up and down in the the middle of the tomatoes; hence, the red juice from the fruit was splashing up in the air like fireworks on the fourth of July, and to top it off the garden was adjacent to my grandmother’s backyard shower and the neighbors tennis court.

Picture this image: My grandmothers neighbors guests playing tennis next door at their party, Nana's garden, my brother jumping up and down screaming, and my grandmother gently lathering her hair. I stood on her back porch wishing a nice family would rescue me from the insane one to which I had been born.

Although, now when I recall those memories I'm grateful our minds are capable of recording moments experienced long ago, because I can replay the voice and character of my best friend, who was also my grandmother, Nana. So often we forget the impact our family members have on our lives, until we think of a song, smell, or see something like an outside shower to help us remember a moment shared long ago.

Nana passed away eight years ago, and I still recall this shower drama as if it were yesterday. I hope that when we remember a shared experience of long ago that the ones we've lost remember it too- that would be my idea of heaven on earth.


Sandee said...

It was a different time for our grandparents. What a great memory of your grandmother.

I remember my mother giving me a bath in a big tub outside when I was little. It's a long story too. It wasn't funny then, but it is now.

Have a terrific day Annie. Big hug. :)

Grace said...

That had me laughing - I could picture it so well - still, would have liked that on old 8mm black and white film!

(Hmmm - word verification is: exproust - Madelaines anyone?)

Finding Pam said...

Annie, that is such a cute story and I can just see your Nana taking her shower.

I think your memory of her is divine, and certainly one that you or your brother won't ever forget.

dawn said...

I remember the first time I read this... it was great! A wonderful memory of your grandmother.
Hope you feel better soon Annie!

Lauren said...


What a wonderful story. I laughed. I cried. I peed my pants. Your Nana sounds like an incredible lady. No bullshit about her.

I remember my grandmother's Styrofoam heads for her wigs that sat on her dresser. There were three of them. I think. They scared the hell out of me every time I stayed there overnight when I was a kid.

The Painted Veil said...

You are very lucky to have those wonderful memories. I only had one living grandparent when I was adopted and she passed away when I was 6.

But, I still have some memories of fireworks and playing at her house.

Take care and have a great weekend!!
Big big hugs,

jijie said...

Adgitize(ing) here! and Newest follower, hope you will follow me back here@ Step It Up! Happy X'mas :)


Sue said...

Annie, it's great to see you posting again. I've missed you.

I wishing you a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year!

Sandee said...

You and yours have a very Merry Christmas. Big hugs from sunny California. :)

The Painted Veil said...

Merry Christmas Annie to you and yours from sunny Corpus Christi!!

We drove down here to be with the kids.

Love and hugs!

Pakionline said...

nice work

Papa Sez said...

Here's my take... as long as she's happy (oblivious of it all) doing it, then neighbors can look, laugh, etc. they want. :)

photo said...

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Tim said...

Cool stuff.

"Annie" said...

I know most of you wrote this comments in December, so...I'm not sure if you'll read this, but they all meant so much to me I wanted to read them again.

Thanks to all of you!

My love,


Lisa said...

With or without underwear?

So did she wear underwear, underneath that outdoor shower, or did she not?

I'm not really sure which is worse...

I saw my grandmother in her underwear a lot. The underwear was huge. She was a very dear woman and I miss her.

Write My Essay said...

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Br Best said...

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