Grandparents. We all hold a special place in our hearts for them. Grandma is the one we go to yummy sweets and huge hugs. Grandpa is the one who shares years a lifetime of wisdom with us. In general, grandma’s (and grandpa’s) is where we go the stuff we can’t get at home–spoiling! This is not to say that our parents can’t/don’t spoil us. With grandparents though, it’s a special type of spoilage! Mom always cooks us the healthy food to help us grow strong. Grandma fills our bellies with cookies, chocolate, dinner rolls (yeah!) because she knows we need that too. Grandpa–well, he’s the one that’s always home when dad is at work. He’s always there when we need help fixing a bike or preparing for a fishing trip.
I have many special memories of my grandparents. We grew up just 7 tenths of a mile from them. Whenever we got permission from mom or dad, we would ride our bikes down to see them. When we were younger, Grandma and Grandpa took us on many fun outings. Several times a year we went fishing at local pay lakes. Every year, each of us boys got to go to Michigan for a week just the 3 of us. (They alternated. I got the first week, Mike the second.) I can still even remember walking into their home in the fall and seeing tables upon tables covered with Indiana popcorn. The Thanksgiving dinners with piles of sweet rolls, pies, cakes and cookies.
Time with Grandpa
Looking back, it seems like I was always down there. During the day, the TV was never on, so if I was with grandma or grandpa, I was helping with something around the house. Grandpa and I hour spent hours gardening, working in the garden and working on the cabin in Michigan. It’s probably why I work so much now. Grandpa never seemed to rest and while I was there, he taught me all kinds of things about working around the house and such. One of the things I remember the most is the smell of his shed. Dad’s shed was always piled with junk, but grandpa’s, that’s where the treasure was! Everything was tucked neatly in its own place and there were always things in there that we never had at home. Like his rotary plow, or the yard roller, or the riding mower cart! Also, he ALWAYS had fertilizer, grass seed, bug sprays, etc in that barn. It smelled like the yard…in a box!
You see, grandpa was very particular about his yard–still is. He retired from Western Electric when he was in his early 50’s. While he worked at Blocks and some other big-box retailers of the day, I always remember him at home. Whenever we drove by, his old Gravely riding mower was in the yard–either with him mowing or loading something in the pull behind cart. He never let us ride our bikes on his grass, but that was ok because his yard was AWESOME anyway. In those days, he had 400 trees in the yard (We counted many times) From the road, you couldn’t see the house in fact–but not in an unkempt way. I used to love walking, running and playing under all of his pine trees around the perimeter. Good Times
Time with Grandma
Inside, things took an entirely different tone. Grandma always had an apron on it seemed–but she always had something freshly baked in the kitchen. I rarely remember walking into their house and not seeing a fresh plate of cookies, a pie or better yet the dinner rolls. (Yeah, I am caught on that–her dinner rolls were to die for!) We often helped her cook, but even more so, we crafted with her. When we came to visit, she dropped what she was doing and sat down to do crafts with us. I don’t remember everything we made, but she had an entire crafting room. She taught us to sew, got me started on counted cross-stitch, and helped me make all sorts of things.
The craft room is where I first stumbled upon my great-grandfather’s crafts. He used pop cycle sticks–not the ones we use today, but the OLD round ones. He made kites, cars, motorcycles, people, houses and countless other things. By this time, Grandpa Dewey was gone, but grandma helped us make some of the same thing–like kites! Grandma built them with us and grandpa helped us fly them.
Those were definitely the good ole days. I only have one grandparent left–Grandpa–and we don’t talk as much or get along like we used to. We can’t always live in the magical world that is grandma’s house in our childhood. At some point we grow up, and we learn things that change our perceptions. I do love my grandparents but I also know I don’t want to be exactly like them. To this day, I know that I got some of my best traits from them, but some of my biggest struggles to. Would I change anything? Some things perhaps–but if they were different, they wouldn’t be MY grandparents. I’ll keep them just the way they are and do my best to cherish them (him) while he’s here.