For many years after my grandfather died, my grandmother continued to live in the house in Cupertino, California, that they had occupied together for over 40 years. Their house was an integral part of my childhood; it was where my siblings and I spent many afternoons and weekends eating Pringles, watching cartoons, shooting BB guns, and racing around their overgrown and amazingly productive jungle of a garden.
But my grandmother grew older, and she eventually moved in with my aunt. My grandparents’ house was left abandoned. It took on the air of a ghost town or a museum. Meanwhile, my grandmother turned 100 years old—then 101, then 102. She slept a lot, ate a lot of oranges and buttery pound cake, and was always occupied with whether or not she had given various family members their red envelope money.
I took photos of her. I missed her house. I missed my grandfather. I missed that part of my childhood.