Writer’s Block: Granny Lil’s House

A young girl learns valu­able life lessons at her grand­mother’s knee.

More of Our Canada - - Contents - By Rox­anne James, Kam­loops, B. C.

Ilive at Granny Lil’s house. It is a small house that used to be the colour of Christ­mas or­anges but now is the colour of the sun be­fore bed­time. The porch looks to be as old as Granny her­self and all the win­dows look like pic­ture frames. It is a warm house with many smells: salmon, cin­na­mon and li­lacs, even in win­ter.

I live here be­cause my mom is go­ing to school in the city. I miss my mom, but I like it here and Granny likes to have me. I kind of feel sorry that my mom is all by her­self, but when she is done school we can all be to­gether again and she can get a bet­ter job. My teacher says it is not right for my mom to leave me here, but I think that maybe she just doesn’t un­der­stand. Lots of kids on the reser­va­tion live with their grannies. It seems to me that leav­ing your granny on her own is about as bad a thing that any­one could do.

I will turn nine this sum­mer and my mom will be home and all my aun­ties, un­cles and cousins will come to my party. Some­times, my cousins tease me be­cause I don’t look like them; they are all dark like choco­late. My mom says I look like my dad be­cause of my blonde hair and green eyes. I have seen his pic­ture and his hair is blonde, but I can’t see his eyes. Some­times, the other kids on the res call me names be­cause I am dif­fer­ent; Granny Lil says that peo­ple need to learn to see with more than just their eyes. I think she means that just be­cause a per­son looks a cer­tain way on the out­side doesn’t mean that you can know how they are on the in­side.

Granny takes me berry pick­ing and is teach­ing me how to bake. One time, we also made moc­casins for pow-wow. At night she tells me sto­ries of the olden days, when she was a girl and even be­fore that. Granny went to the gov­ern­ment school, but she doesn’t talk about that very much. She says we all come from the same place and that we are all broth­ers and sis­ters be­cause our mother is the earth and our fa­ther is the sky. She says that our grand­mother is the moon and our grand­fa­ther is the sun. I asked Granny if she was the moon, but she just laughed. I don’t see how the sun and moon could make a baby, but if Granny says so, it must be true. My teacher says that it is a myth, a made-up story, but my granny doesn’t lie so the teacher must not know any bet­ter.

Some­times at night when I am in bed, I miss my

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