This is a wonderful thread!
My earliest good memories are of my grandparents. All of my best memories from childhood are actually involving my beautiful grandparents.
I must have been about 3 years old...getting to stay at their house for a weekend or something like that. Sitting at their kitchen table in the morning in their cozy, warm little kitchen. My grandpa sitting opposite me at the table, being funny and making me squeal with laughter, and my grandma at the stove making breakfast, laughing along. There was always so much love and laughter in that house. It was heaven on earth.
Sleeping with my grandma...her big bed was the softest, safest place on earth. I can still smell the linens and see in my mind her little slippers neatly placed by the side of the bed. She wore a long nightgown and a cap to bed. We had this special bond between us, and one of our little "things" was that we were so in tune with each other, neither of us could get out of bed-no matter how quietly-without the other knowing. My grandma bragged about that to people, and as a little kid, that made me feel so special. She was my kindred spirit, always.
I can remember at dinner, my grandma setting the table and an aunt and uncle were there, too. At my grandma's table, you minded your manners, wouldn't dare show up wearing a hat or without a shirt, and my grandpa always blessed the food before we ate. I can remember at this particular dinner my grandpa winked at me, cleared his throat ceremoniously, folded his hands, closed his eyes, bowed his head, and said,
"down to your navel
up to your chin
pick up your plate
and CRAM IT IN!!!"
....and we kids just squealed with laughter....my grandma scolded him fiercely for teaching us that awful thing, and made him do it over. LOL I still remember that adorable, devilish expression on his face.
At my grandparents' house, I was free to be loved and adored...they told me I was smart and beautiful...and at their house, during those magical days, it was true. I was just a little girl there....I played games outside with their neighbors' children, made mudpies, painted, did all the normal, fun things kids do. My grandma and grandpa would take me for a walk to get ice cream or a soda in the afternoon. I can always remember wishing that I never ever had to go home.
I can remember that they had the patience of saints. I have countless memories of helping my grandma in the kitchen...standing on a little wooden chair at the stove with her arm circled protectively around me, stirring something in a pan. Grandma teaching me how to peel apples and potatoes....frosting a cake....helping her with the dishes. I can remember helping my grandpa in the garden, dropping the little seeds where he instructed me to, all the way down the row, then he covered it. It was a little garden, and we'd water it together and how exciting it was when the first little plants poked their way through the dirt! And then when we had tomatoes, cabbage, beans, cucumbers, and juicy melons to eat, my grandpa would beam and tell everyone, "these are my Tasha's tomatoes (or whatever it was), she grew these, aren't they the biggest and prettiest ever?" and I felt 10 feet tall!
My grandma sat me in the chair next to her and I watched her crosstitch or crochet, and she taught me some of the stitches. I can remember her long, slender fingers, and how special those times were, sitting with her.
I have so many wonderful memories of them, but right now this morning, those are the ones that surface in my mind. My grandparents were so full of love, for each other and for everyone around them. They were fiercely devoted and loving towards each other...they always kissed and hugged each other every day, and everyone else around them, too. They were married for 62 years. They showed me what love is, and that it really exists. They instilled in me that goodness is real, and they gave me the gift of my faith. I think I am alive today because of them.
Thanks again for this wonderful thread!
(Edited by Natasha at 9:59 am on April 2, 2002)