My favorite grandmother, Marie, was bedridden due to rheumatism. I often would climb up the stairs to the third floor apartment, we lived on the second floor of our house, and on the ground floor there was a café run by my parents. The house was a typical Swiss wooden cottage. Every steps marked by a cricking sound. Every hours marked by the sound of the clock. Lying beside Grand Maman Marie I would keep her company and be regaled by her stories. The two that I clearly remember are:
A woman and a man, they loved each other’s, they had no children. The man spent more and more time at the café drinking with his friends. The woman asked him that every time he came home late due to his drinking habit, he would have to give her a tenth of what he had spend that night at the café. Several years later they found themselves in a dire financial crisis, the woman pulled out a box from inside her closet, opened it to reveal all the monies that her husband after each outing had given her throughout the years.
And she always talked about the beautiful English Ladies who came to hike/vacation in our village smelling of soaps and perfume.