Posted tagged ‘Grandparent’

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”

June 9, 2012

This morning I went out to the deck to fill the suet feeder then I just stood there enjoying the morning. All of a sudden the smoke alarm in the hall went off. Animals ran: the cats low to the ground and the dog out the door into the yard. I went in and the house was filled with smoke, mostly the dining room and kitchen. I went looking and found the culprit: the toast blackened and on fire in my toaster oven. I had forgotten all about it as I don’t usually have anything but coffee in the morning. The house still has a charred smell.

Finally a deck day! I have to sweep and clean it a bit but that’s fine with me. When I’m done, I’m going to bring out my book and a cold drink and soak up the sun and the beauty of the day. It is the  best sort of day. The sun is bright, the breeze just enough and it’s already 70°. Gracie is asleep on the lounge. That’s a sure sign of a beautiful morning.

Once my brother and I rode our bicycles to East Boston to visit our grandparents. It meant riding along Route 1, a busy, busy highway, crossing it at a rotary with cars all over and then riding, still on Route 1, into the city. We knew the route because we used to go visit my grandparents many Sundays and every Christmas and Easter. When we knocked on his door, my grandfather opened it and looked around for my parents. He was shocked to find we’d ridden our bicycles. He called my mother, and she was horrified. She didn’t drive back then so she couldn’t pick us up, and my father was a salesman who could have been anywhere on his route so he couldn’t come get us. All my mother could do was tell us to ride home and be careful. My grandfather gave us some money for a snack and off we went.

It was just a ride home for us. For my mother it was waiting and looking out the door hoping she’d see us riding our bikes up the hill. My brother and I just couldn’t understand why she yelled when we got home. Her, “You could have been killed,” meant nothing  to us. We hadn’t been. We let her yell as that always seemed the best approach. When she was finished, we asked if we could go out bike riding. “No,” was all she said.

“May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten”

March 18, 2012

Today is a lovely day, but I think I have a cold coming on so I’m lying low. My throat is scratchy and my body aches, but I really don’t feel all that bad yet so I figure I’m nipping it in the bud as Barney Fife used to say.

I am late today as I slept late and my usual Sunday call to my sister was for two hours. We talked about my grandparents and where they used to live and what we remembered. My mother’s parents lived for a long while in an apartment in East Boston. My sister remembers that on each side of the front steps was a decorative granite piece which was a perfect slide though it was a really short ride. I remember far more. The hallway went from one end of the apartment to the other. It always seemed dark to me as the bedroom doors off the hall were often closed. Stephen King could have used that hallway as a setting for one of his scarier novels. At one of  that hall was the kitchen. The living room and a small TV room were at the other end. I remember the kitchen was bright with windows, and the deep, white porcelain sink stood on pipes which were hidden by a skirt my grandmother had made. The table was near the windows.

At the other end of the hall was the living room which had a giant heater near the back wall. I remember it always made a hissing sound. That was where my great-grandfather’s rocking chair was and where he always sat. He was big and scary to me. He never talked to any of us grandchildren, but he always yelled at us to get out of his house. I think he was senile and had no idea how scary he was. We used to stand in the doorway for a minute to get up our courage then we’d run by him for all we were worth to get to the TV room. He’d yell but we knew he’d never leave his chair so we were safe.

It’s funny what we remember. The day-to-day things fade, but the extraordinary, the strange and the wonderful pieces stay longer. I think we’re lucky that way.

“Family is just accident…. They don’t mean to get on your nerves. They don’t even mean to be your family, they just are.”

February 5, 2011

I have no excuse for the lateness of the hour. Today is just one of those low energy days that happen every now and then. I have a list of the errands I had hoped to accomplish, but I’ve decided I don’t want to do them today so I’ve most over to tomorrow and a couple to Monday. I will fill the bird feeders, and I have a wash going. That’s about as accomplished as I’ll be.

It’s another gray day, and I’ve lost count of how many we’ve had. Yesterday’s sun now seems a tease from old Mother Nature. I find it difficult to believe it is only the beginning of February. This winter has been so long it should at least be the middle of March.

I have two pairs of saddle shoes, and I have decided to wear them once the sidewalks and streets are cleared of snow. I bought the first pair years ago and forgot about them until after I had bought the second pair for a 50’s party. Being 63 gives me all sorts of privileges including eccentricity, and I suspect that will be people’s reactions to my saddle shoes. Perhaps I’ll even wear stripes and plaids though that may be taking it too far, even for me.

The very young and the old are allowed to do so much more without criticism. People figure the young don’t know any better yet and the old are past caring or may even be forgetful. I am neither but I’m willing to take advantage.

My grandmother walked everywhere. She went grocery shopping and pulled a wire basket behind her to carry her groceries home. She always wore a dress and those clunky heeled shoes. Once a week or maybe every other week, she went to the hairdresser. My grandmother never learned to drive, and I don’t think it mattered. She had a really loud, annoying laugh and punctuated her conversations with it. I never noticed that laugh until I was older then it drove me crazy. My father visited her often and tried to drag one of us along with him, but we never wanted to go. She wasn’t a warm grandmother, but she did write to me when I was in the Peace Corps and always put a dollar bill in those air letters which said they should not contain any enclosures.  A dollar bill doesn’t sound like much, but in Africa in those days it bought a lot. When my grandmother was in her late 80’s, she forgot most things, even my father, her son. At Christmas I’d sit with her in my parents’ living room when she came to dinner. We all took turns sitting with her and keeping her company. She’d chat and ask a lot of questions, some several times, but we’d answer her every time. I think it was then she was the warmest she’d ever been.

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