Posted tagged ‘grandparents’

“Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.”

June 3, 2019

The early morning was cloudy, but the sun pushed the clouds away. The day is lovely with the sun, a slight breeze and a blue sky. It will be in the 60’s. I have to go to the garden shop to pick up the potting soil I bought. There was no room in the trunk the other day. I also want a few more strawberry plants and the plants for the front step pot. If more plants catch my eye, I’ll just load them on the cart. I am a sucker for plants.

Today is laundry day. Enough said!

Henry is upstairs hiding from me. He sensed I wanted him. He’s right. I need to put his name tag back on his collar. He also needs a trip to the vet’s to have his nails clipped. Poor Henry!

I have a slow week as there is only a single entry on my dance card, one for Wednesday. The garden shop and the Christmas tree shop are on my list. I need to replace my barbecue cover as the spawns of Satan have chewed off one half of it. It is bare to the elements and covered with pollen. This cover is the fourth victim of the spawns. The third cover disappeared completely. It wasn’t on the deck or in the yard. A six foot fence surrounds my yard. It must have taken an army of spawns to steal it and get it over or under the fence.

When I was a kid, old was relative. My grandparents were really old to me. My parents, not as much. Each grandmother wore the accepted old lady’s wardrobe of the day. Their dresses were flowered, small flowers, not big ones which would draw the eyes. Their shoes were black with laces and stubby heels. They wore bib aprons which also had flowers. One grandmother wore slippers in the house. Her nylons were scrunched around her ankles, and the backs of her slippers were flattened by her feet. My other grandmother used to have a wire basket with wheels. She’d take it up the street to the First National, buy her groceries then drag the filled basket home. She was the unimaginative cook. I never thought as either one as the future me.

“Cities get built out of poet’s dreams.”

January 26, 2018

The day is again beautiful if you just look out the window, but if you go outside, dress warmly as it is only 29˚. I hurried when I got my paper and the mail from yesterday. I do need to go out later to get a few different cat food tastes to tempt Maddie. She’s hungry but not thrilled with the beef and liver. I can’t blame her. Liver would never thrill me either. She’s upstairs hiding again. I only got to give her one of her three meds this morning, the one slathered on her paw. As for the other two, she is getting wiser and checks my hands when I get near her.

My grandparents, my father’s parents, lived in the same town we did. They had a great old house on a street of old houses. I remember the smell of their house. It was the lingering aroma of my grandmother’s lilac perfume. Their kitchen had tall wooden cabinets, and I remember an ironing board hidden behind one long, skinny cabinet door. The closet in the kitchen always had bottles of root beer on the floor, but I don’t remember who drank it. The kitchen eating area was built in and so small we never ate there. We always ate in the dining room. I remember the furniture there was dark. A breakfront took up one wall. My grandmother stored her best dishes there. Another wall was all windows and right across from the neighbor’s back door. The chairs at the table were tall. For the longest time my feet didn’t touch the floor. The living room had a piano but no one knew how to play it. Their TV was a huge console in a light wooden cabinet. The mantle and fireplace were lovely but never saw a fire. The sun room was off the living room. It was a tiny room of all windows. A desk sat at one wall and two chairs with a table between were the rest of the furniture. My grandfather kept his pipe holder filled with pipes on that table. On the desk, there was a paperweight with an R embossed in gold. That was my favorite room.

My other grandparents also lived in an old house but in the city, in East Boston. We used to visit on Sundays. My father dropped us off at the house then he’d roam the streets looking for a parking space. The city was mesmerizing for me. All the houses were right beside each other, and every corner seemed to have a small store with an old lady behind the counter. We played in the street. I remember stick ball and using an old broom handle as a bat. The ball was half a pink rubber ball.

I loved visiting my city grandparents. We always felt welcomed. My father’s parents were aloof and lacked warmth. We visited them far less even though they were close at hand. They didn’t seem to know what to do with us or even what to say. When I was older, I never went with my dad to visit them. I doubt they even noticed.

“I love the ritual of drawing up lists, and there’s something wonderfully satisfying about ticking tasks off.”

April 14, 2017

Today is chilly, only 52˚. It will even get down to the 30’s tonight. Luckily, though, Easter Sunday will be 64˚, perfect for Easter outfits.

When I was a kid, girls wore dresses on Easter. The dresses were fancy.  They were pastel colored and poofy with a couple of petticoats underneath. My sisters like to swirl their dresses by quickly spinning like Whirling Dervishes. On their feet, they wore white patent leather shoes with a strap across the foot. Their socks were delicate with lace around the top. My sisters were much girlier than I. Petticoats itched. I never once wore one. I remember one Easter at my Grandparents’ house. There were cousins, lots of cousins, and aunts and uncles. I was around 10 or 11. I overheard an aunt ask my mother about my Easter clothes which weren’t dressy. I wore a new skirt, new blouse, and a new blazer. I felt spiffy. My mother answered my aunt: that’s what she wanted. That ended all discussion and was the best answer.

Gracie had a not so good day yesterday. She jumped off the couch and somehow ended up on her back with her paw caught under a basket. She was perfectly still and frightened. I untangled her and got her on the couch. A few hugs later she was wagging her tail and wanting a treat. Gracie was none the worst for her fall. Today is a good day. I am taking her into the yard through the yard gate so we can avoid the steps going down, the scary steps. Gracie loves being in the yard.

Skip, my factotum, is here doing a few jobs. New lights are on the deck rail and in the yard and both are connected to timers. Skip is now working on the stairs and putting the new treads down. I’m just hoping Gracie will go upstairs so I can start sleeping in my bed.

I made another list. I discovered I get more done if the list is concrete. It forces me to get up and out of the house. Today there are four errands. I have plotted the route. None of the stores are close to each other. I figure to start in South Yarmouth at the vets to pick up medicine for Gracie, then on to 6A in Dennis to Nancy’s Candy, then back to South Dennis to Agway for litter and puppy pads. My final stop is Dennisport. I need Easter gifts for the two dogs, Gracie and Darci, my friends’ dog. I’ll hit the bakery for them, the dog bakery. I’m hoping they have whoopie pies. My last stop is for me, Buckies for a sandwich, for number 14: a panini with cheddar, bacon, avocado, tomatoes and a horseradish sauce. I’m salivating at the mere mention of that sandwich.

The list is right in front of me, mocking me. I have to hurry.

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

April 29, 2016

This week has been boring. I figure it’s my fault for doing nothing except some house chores and a dump run. I was going to take a ride yesterday, but I got stopped at an accident where three police cruisers were blocking cars from going any further so I turned around and went home. I brought my laundry down stairs this morning and it is sitting in front of the cellar door until I can’t stand looking at it anymore. It is just one of those weeks.

When I was young, I was a dreamer. My imagination was filled with adventures I knew I’d have. My friends too had dreams, but theirs were far different from mine. Some dreamed of getting married and having a family. One of my friends used to cut out pictures from bridal magazines and put them in an album. I guessed she wanted to be ready. Her dream did come true as she ended up being the first of us to be married and have children. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. One of my friends dreamed of starting his own company and making lots of money. The last time I saw him, decades ago, he was a salesman. He seemed happy. Many of my friends went right to work after high school, got married in a while and had kids. Now they’re grandparents. Some became social workers, nurses and teachers. They all seemed happy with their choices. One became a nun, but she left after a while. I don’t know what she does now.

When asked, I would usually answer teacher because it was an easy answer, but there was far than that to my dreams. I saw myself as an adventurer wearing a safari jungle hat and safari clothes while riding in a Land Rover which bumped up and down on roads not deserving of the name. I could see myself on a boat drifting down the Amazon or the Nile. I wasn’t picky. I was in the jungle and I was in the desert. A desert nomad and I shared bush tea in a tent near an oasis. I’d read adventure stories and put myself into the exploits. I would travel to so many places and see the world. I am a dreamer who grew up but has never stopped dreaming.

“Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.”

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, My Friends

No white Christmas here: it’s raining. I don’t mind though. It’s the day we celebrate, not the weather. My Christmas trees are lit and are bright with color. It took no time for the bubble lights to perk. I watched and waited. My friend and I met for Christmas breakfast, a tradition only three years old. It was at our usual Sunday spot, and this morning every booth was taken. The coffee was free, a Christmas gift from Tom and Nancy who own the diner. I bought bacon for Gracie.

Our gifts were always in the same place by the tree every Christmas. They were artfully displayed with a doll in the high chair, books front and center and games leaning so we could see them right away. We always got new games. The year of my brother’s bike had a different spin. The bike was in the kitchen, hidden so he’d be surprised. My father sent my brother for matches in he kitchen, and he got them without even seeing his bike. Finally my parents brought him to the kitchen and turned on the lights. I remember his bike had blinkers so he could signal his turns. My parents always acted surprised at what Santa had left.

In the afternoon, after Christmas dinner, we’d go to my grandparents’ house. My mother was one of eight children and all of them, but the two who still lived at home, brought their families there. Those two, an aunt and an uncle, were around my age, the aunt even younger than I. We hated leaving our presents at home, but we knew they’d be more when we got to East Boston to my grandparents’ house. Their tree was in the small room, and the room was filled with presents for all of us, for the grandchildren. My grandmother also had chocolates to hand out, Santas or reindeer. Spaghetti was always hot on the stove. It was one meal she could make enough of for all of us, the aunt, uncles and cousins.

We’d stay until early evening when my father would have us gather everything up, say goodbye and thank you to my grandparents then we’d grab our coats and head to the car. We always fell asleep on the way home from East Boston. Christmas was the most wonderful day.