5.13.08

Our Sunday School teacher has been encouraging us to write in our journals everyday and to help he has been sending us emails with writing prompts.  I have yet to write in my journal because of his prompting.  I just don’t take the time.  I really struggle with writing because I feel so incompetent.  I have a very hard time putting my thoughts and feelings into words, just ask my husband.  Well today’s prompt was something that I thought would be fun to do.  Anyone else who wants to use it please do, it would be fun to hear about other’s memories.

"What do you remember about your grandparents?"

My Dad’s parents lived next door to us.  There was actually two lots between our houses but my parents owned one and they owned the other.  They had a pretty good size piece of property.  My mom says ours was 1/2 acre so judging by that, I would say they had maybe 3/4, on the corner.  Their front yard had several apple trees growing in it and they were the best climbing trees ever.  I would start eating them as soon as they started showing the slightest sign of yellow instead of green.  I didn’t care how sour they were, I loved them.  I loved when the weather started cooling off and it was time to pick the apples.  They were so yummy.  My granny would dry them on sheets stretched between sawhorses, out in the sun.  Or sometimes they would squeeze them in a great big juicer and make cider.  We’d all help out picking, boxing, peeling, slicing, canning, etc…I loved cranking the peeler, corer, slicer, over the sink, and eating the peels till I was sick.  The extra apples would go in boxes and get put in a cellar they had below their shop next door.  Such good memories, no wonder I love apples so much still.

Our bus stop was right there on the corner so every morning we would hop over the fence and pick an apple before school.  Which brings me to another memory.  My Grampy sold gravestones.  For years they had two head stones sitting in their front yard.  Kids at the bus stop would ask about them and we’d tell them, "oh yeah, there’s someone buried there."

Ok, so those were mostly memories involving their home and property.  Mostly I remember the way my granny smelled.  Years later I discovered it was her face cream.  I still see it at Wal-mart once in a while and love to open up the jar and let all the memories flood over me.  I also remember her hugs.  She was a plump woman and she was so soft to hug.  In her later years she was diagnosed with diabetes and lost a lot of weight after being forced to control her diet.  It felt so different to hug her after that but it still felt so wonderful.  She taught me how to crotchet and play "go fish."  She was never very serious, in fact looking back now she acted very much like a young girl.  Her house always smelled like chili and some times fresh tortillas.  Mmmmm, I wish I had learned her secret to soft tortillas.

My memories of Grampy when I was young are not especially fond.  He would keep locks on every door he could to keep all of us grand kids out of his stuff and then he was always shooing us out of everything else.  I don’t blame him, we were always down there and always into things.  After I got older and started having kids I noticed a change in him.  He beamed every time I came to visit.  He wanted to hug and kiss me and he’d say how glad he was to see me in his heavy Hispanic accent.  I never disliked him when I was young but I never felt a bond to him like my Granny until that point.  I suddenly felt like he really did love me and it meant so much to be able to hug and kiss him and visit with him.  He would still shoo my kids out of things but not nearly as much.  :)  One of the biggest things that sticks out in my mind about my Grampy was how he worked.  The man never sat still unless he was eating.  He was retired long before my memories start but he was always at work on their property, fixing a fence, building a new shed, chopping wood (way too much wood) anything to keep himself busy.  And he didn’t throw anything away if it could be fixed.  The one that sticks out the most is the plastic laundry basket of Granny’s that had broke around the top edge.  He cut an old garden hose so that it fit right under the that lip on top and wired it in place all the way around.  Good as new.  I really try to keep that in mind when things break in my house.  Can it be fixed?  He didn’t waste anything.

My Mom’s parent’s lived about an hour away and we would go visit, I would say once a month.  Not sure though.  I remember my Grandpa always sat in his chair in the living room and he and Dad would watch football, cheering or booing at the TV.  Mom and grandma would sit on the couch talking (arguing) back and forth.  I would lay on the bright green shag carpet in between the coffee table and the TV for a while then wander off to one of the bedrooms to see what I could get into.  Grandpa’s room had an old piano in it that was incredibly out of tune.  They had a Disney songbook and I remember I loved the way "We are Siamese" from 101 Dalmatians sounded on it.  I was fascinated with the big wind up alarm clock that glowed in the dark sitting on the long counter in their back bathroom.  "Why would they keep their alarm clock in there?", I wondered.

After eighth grade I developed this habit of finding somewhere to go for the summer.  I loved the freedom.  One summer I stayed with my grandparents because my ballet teacher lived in the same town and would not be driving to our’s for the summer.  I’m so glad I had that opportunity.  I was able to see them on a much more casual level and watch how they interacted.  My Grandma was always so uptight and worried about everything.  My Grandpa just sat back and took everything in stride.  He was such a calm, patient man.  I know my Mom has very fond memories of him and I look forward to getting to know him better some day.  While my Grandfather was suffering from lung cancer I spent a lot of time riding with or driving them and my Mom to Phoenix or Tucson.  And going down to Tucson to visit them after they started renting an apartment down there.  I’m also glad for that opportunity because I was able to bond with my Grandma.  My Mom’s family is not at all affectionate and loving.  But I love to hug my Grandma now and she puts up with it.  :)  She is the only grandparent I have left here on earth.  I wish that I could see her more.  I love WA but I sure miss family.

My sis took some pics of our Granny back in 2006.  She may not look great but I still see my wonderful, sweet Granny.

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