Turning Back Time: Grandma Sounds

I woke up to the sound of pots and pans clunking together in the kitchen. Snuggling under the covers, I remembered that my grandparents had arrived at our house the day before. They had made the trek from Des Moines to Chicago in their huge boat of a car, a thermos of weak coffee and a coffee can full of crunchy cookies to keep them going.

In the morning, Grandma would wake up early. She would move around the kitchen to find a pan to heat up her wonderful homemade sweet rolls. Soon after I woke up, the aroma of cinnamon would waft up to my room. Grandma knew those rolls would lure all four of her grandchildren into the kitchen. And into the kitchen we came to devour those sweet rolls for breakfast. The bottom of the rolls would be crispy sweet, sugar and cinnamon melted together. A thin layer of icing sweetened the top of the rolls. Mmmm…there was no better breakfast than those sweet rolls!


A few years ago, Grandma sent me the recipe to her sweet rolls. She wrote that making them was more than just following a recipe — rather, it “was a process.” She made her rolls for us into her 90’s. While we would turn down weak and watery coffee she made, we never turned down a chance to eat her sweet rolls.

One of these days I’ll try the process of making sweet rolls so that the smell of cinnamon will fill the house. The next morning, I’ll wake up my children by clunking some pots and pans together, so that they will blearily wander into the kitchen to have a taste of time gone by.

What are some of your favorite childhood sounds?

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10 Replies to “Turning Back Time: Grandma Sounds”

  1. That was really well written! You had me hearing those pans and smelling the cinnamon from my house! 🙂 What a great tradition to pass on.

  2. Lovely!The sound of the Snoopy cartoon theme brings me right back to childhood and waking up to see my dad with his textbooks spread out around him in the family room, studying late into the night, with the Peanuts cartoon on for background noise.

  3. Oh goodness, that made me cry. I miss my Mamaw so very much. She's been gone for three years now. My happy place that I go to when I'm stressed is when I was about five years old, taking naps on her bed. You could hear the wind in the pine trees, the sea gulls and a lawn mower. Gotta be in my top 5 favorite sounds. =)

  4. Oh my goodness, they sound wonderful! I can just taste them now! You should totally make them. Nice writing and such a warm memory!

  5. My grandmother would sometimes make rice and raisins when we were there. The recipe is really easy, but neither my mother nor I have ever been able to make it exactly right. According to my Mum it's because of the pans we use: they are not the right ones!!

  6. I LOVE it! Love the visual you painted for us of your gma and gpa. I love their simplicity of travelling with a thermos and a tin of cookies. I travel with the car packed like a mini mart … and that's just to go across town!

  7. This post gave me goose bumps. I have not looked at your blog forever… Wow! things have changed. You are doing great!!Tricia

  8. Those rolls sound delicious and even more so since your gram made them for you. I spent my summers in NY at my Grandma's house and I always remember waking up to the thunk shuffle shuffle of her doing her morning laps around the house with her cane. She had debilitating rheumatoid arthritis and stuck to her daily exercise routines of laps around the house.

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