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Essay: Cucumbers Don’t Like Me

“I like cucumbers,” my grandmother used to say, “but cucumbers don’t like me.”

I wondered what she meant by this but I was too embarrassed to ask.  At our house, cucumbers were part of every meal during the summer.  I loved them and, as far as I could tell, they loved me back.

My grandmother said other things I didn’t understand.  Sometimes she announced that she had slept well as if it were a special occasion.  I always slept well and couldn’t figure out why she didn’t do the same. 

Now, all these years later, I’m a grandmother myself and I know about not always sleeping well.  I also know some other things about getting older that aren’t so much fun.

I hear about them from friends and have experienced a few of my own.  Although cucumbers still like me, I can’t eat as much ice cream as I used to or run as many miles.  Which doesn’t mean I’ve taken to my rocking chair.  Neither did my grandmother.  

It means I appreciate everything more, even as everything is changing.  I especially appreciate how much my grandmother didn’t say about her aches and pains, her fears and disappointments.  Most of it she kept to herself.

I plan to do the same.