Paracord, Small Towns & Grandma

In a sort of six degrees of separation way, paracord is related to my grandmother.

It all started with my penchant for survival gadgets, which prompted my son to send me a bracelet braided from paracord that can be unraveled in an emergency.  Next I found online instructions for making my own, at which time I asked Blaise for a source of colored paracord.  Not finding the latches, I let the whole thing stew for months.  Last week on another blog, instructions once again pop up, siting supply sources.  I checked Blaise’s recommendation for cord and it’s the same.  I order everything and notice the Supply Captain is on Western Avenue in Marlboro, NY.  I guess they’ve become popular and their website mentions their proximity to West Point.

Marlboro is a tiny little town with an IGA and an Italian bakery on the main street.  We’d stop to buy bread (and sometimes Italian cookies) on our way up the mountain to my grandparent’s for dinner.  Ziti, sausage and meatballs.  I would grate the cheese into a bowl as Grandma prepared individual bowls of salad on her small kitchen table.  I’d carry them into the huge dining/family room off the kitchen that was at one time an outside deck.  The cloth covered table was actually a large slab of wood on legs.  Apparently they didn’t make a table large enough for our entire family when gathered on holidays.

The little house, that my grandfather built, was on a hill over a creek.  The front door was level with the street, but the back had an entire staircase down to the back sidewalk that ran around the house.  Out front was a giant flagpole.  When it was time to change the flag the family all coincidentally had gathered.  Pickup trucks were backed up to the pole and the men had a grand time.  There were two bedrooms and one bathroom and a living room that was never used.  I would take a book and hide there.  Everyone eventually walked by on the way to the bathroom.  The basement was finished but not heated., and the garage housed Grandma’s little red Nissan three speed.

In the summer she tended her gardens and hung clothes on the line strung on the side hill.  The house was dark red with white shutters and there was a skinny porch on the front.  My sister and I would go out there to play Barbie or paper dolls.  The creek would be lower in the late summer and purple flowers would erupt everywhere.  Grandma fed the ducks everyday.

Reading ” Marlboro, NY” makes me want to go back to that house.  Makes me want to check the real estate listing.  Makes me imagine that it’s really fall as I cuddle in my blankets in the chilly air pretending that the heat is really on and the sliding glass door is not really open.  Is it really the house that lures me back?


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