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If going to visit your grandparents was the thrill of your childhood...


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what were they like? My best friend loves the smell of skunk because it reminds her of her grandpa. We were trying to figure out why visiting our grandparents was the very most special part of our childhoods.

 

Neither of us remember our grandmothers spending much time focusing on kids, but we had freedom to ride ponies, and shoot BB guns, and build forts in the woods with COUSINS! Hooray! Granny had chicken fried steak and coconut cream pie waiting for us when we got there.

 

There were wildflowers and fresh peach ice cream, and peas to shell on the porch swing. The aunts and uncles played 42 in the big farm kitchen, and we were allowed to drive the farm truck up and down the long dirt road.

 

If you cherish the memories of time spend with your grand parents, I'd love to hear some of them.

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YES!!!!!! My grand-father passed away when I was five so the visits changed somewhat (I mean besides the fact that he wasn't there anymore) but my grandparents house was THE gathering place. Friends who were like family, family, everyone having fun.

 

You wrote about smells - for me it is the smell right after rain and the squawking sound of crows and I am back at their house standing in front on the walkway to their front door.

 

A few years after my GF died, my GM sold the house and moved in with us and for some time the gatherings took place at our house, but it was usually minus the folks who has been friends with my grandparents and became just family. It was fun, but not as much fun as it had been.

 

When my grand-daughters visit here, dh, the kids and I do everything we can to make 'memories' for them.

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I loved visiting both grand parents. I'd spend time with both my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother.

 

My grandma never drove, ever. We walked to wherever we needed to go, or got a ride from her best friend. She had a box of toys left over from when my dad was a child, and I got to play with them. She never had much money, and we didn't go to exciting places, but she cooked for me unlike any one has ever cooked since! She was my total advocate when my mother was unreasonable (which was often). When I went to first grade, my grandmother bought me 5 dresses to wear. My mother hemmed them to be really short (think Cindy Brady from the Brady Bunch short). My grandmother thought they were too short and would lower them. My mother would sew them back up again! The hem-wars went on all year, so that by the time the school year ended, the hems were a mess! I didn't like the short dresses, and my mother wouldn't listen (IIRC, she called me a "prude"), so I was always happy to have Grandma on my side. She also made the best potato cakes on the planet, and kept me happily supplied with Big Red soda. My grandmother died in '92.

 

My maternal grandpa was fun, too. He would buy me anything I wanted! Even on my 6th birthday, he took me out so that my mom could prepare for my party, and bought me more toys, even though he'd already gotten me a birthday gift! His house always smelled like Old Spice and Juicy Fruit gum. He didn't get upset when I accidentally spilled hot chocolate on his sofa, either. He died when I was 10. He was also a good advocate for me when my mother was insane. I still miss him today, and he's been gone for 33 years.

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My mother's mother would only see one of us at a time at her house. We loved going to her house for few days or week. She lived in Washington DC. We went bowling. For me she might have a sewing project we'd work on together. She had a neighbor with children and sometimes we'd play with them. We walked to everything. I remember being excited to run through the alleys b/c the suburbs don't have alleys. She would also come to our house and take all of us to the neighborhood pool and get in the pool and play with us.

 

My other grandma had a farm. I liked running around on the farm, but I don't have good memories of time spent with that grandma, although I spent everyother weekend for 6 months a year and 2-3 weeks overnight without my parents there throughout my childhood. Part of this was to work on the farm, but the farm work didn't bother me. It's too bad I feel this way. I think she loved us. But she was difficult. Always telling us such and such cousin or neighbors child did something better. She also never participated in things with us. In some ways we were supposed to entertain her. We also seemed to need to do things that would give her something to brag about to her friends. She cooked and sewed for us, but she wouldn't teach us to do those things--it was too much trouble. One year I brought a sewing project with me to her house and she took it and sewed it on her machine. I had really wanted to work on it, but didn't get to. I never wanted the resulting doll--I wanted to do the project, which my mom thought grandma would let me do.

 

So, I guess my mom's mom showed a lot of interest in us and in doing things with us that interested us. With dad's mom our family seemed to be responding to demands and even the youngest children realized this.

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My grandparents had my brothers and me and our two cousins overnight every weekend. We could do anything at their house. We would build tents in the dining room and grandma would leave them up until the next weekend, climbing around them to get to her sewing machine. They also took us camping every summer - every weekend and for two whole weeks at some point. We spent every holiday and birthday at their house. They attended every event in our lives, were there when we were sick or took us if our parents were sick. My grandma was who you called if you wanted to know something; she was the 1970's version of the internet. I love the smell of old books because it reminds me of their attic. If we ever did anything wrong, grandma knew first. She had "spies" (friends) all over town.

 

I always thought of my grandparents' house as home, and drive by it whenever I'm in town. They've been gone twenty years and I still think of them almost everyday.

Edited by Mejane
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My maternal Grandparents, hold soo many memories for me. Almost all good.

 

I'll just make a list.

Popcorn with season salt and watching Dallas.

Watching cartoons on Saturday mornings while my Grandma vacumed around us.

Driving a tractor, down a county road with my Grandpa.

My Grandma teaching me to swim from the pond dock, even though she couldn't swim herself.

Going to the farmers co-op store in my Grandpa's old Ford pickup, and every time he turned, we had to yell "Your blinker is still on!" because he was deaf from WW2.

Eating co-op suckers, and drinking pop!

My Gandma teaching me to sew.

Letting us wear her nightgowns when stayed the night.

Shelling peas with my Grandma.

Crawling under the grapes and squeezing them out of their skins to eat them.

Canning, and the smell of the cellar.

The willy-wompus cat that my Grandpa told us lived in the furnace room.

The smell of hay, tractor oil and dirt all mixed together.

My Great Grandma telling the same corny jokes,like "Why do firemen wear suspenders? To hold their pants up." or "I'm just checking my eyelids for holes."

And about a million other memories, smells and feelings that come flooding back when I think of them.

I don't know that it was anything that they did other than including us in their day to day life and letting us be us. Without any scoldings or corrections, that parents have to give.

My Grandpa always said "I don't spoil them, I just let them do what they want."

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I forgot about drinking Big Red. There was always some out on the screened in porch. PaPa worked for Dr. Pepper, so we drank a bunch of that too, but Coke was never allowed.

 

My cousin can talk just like Pa, and when he starts up, it is like being transported back time.

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The comment on Juicy Fruit made me remember, my Grandma always had some kind of Wrigley's gum in her purse. It sort of became part of her smell.

 

She also always had 7-up, from which she'd make "punch". Which was home canned apricot juice, orange juice and &-up. I think I need some punch. Yum.

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My dad's parents always had craft supplies, baking supplies for baking lots of cookies, we always got to pick what we wanted for lunch, and they taught us alot of thing like sewing and the like. They lived in the city, so there was not much room to explore, but we had a great time!

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I love my grandma and grandpa, they were true grandparents.

 

My fav. memories are sticky rolls fresh from where my Grandma worked, oh and lace cookies.

 

Grandma giving us snacks and milk every nite before bed.

 

Fireflies.

 

The smell of moth balls or maybe just basements back east. The smell of my grandmas Estee lauder perfume.

 

A teeny tiny house that I thought was a mansion, until I went there in my twenties.

 

McDonalds after church service on Sundays. Walking to church from the house.

 

The list could go on forever.

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Visting my grandparents as a child was an escape from an alcoholic father until he sobered up when I was 13. Their home was peaceful, they didn't argue, we always did fun things! They kept the basement fridge/freezer stocked with ice cream sandwiches and Dr. Pepper- two things I never got at home! LOL Grampy and I played I "I Spy" and Grammy set me up a play office with a typewriter, phone and all other office supplies. In general I had a blast and felt loved 24/7. I am blessed they are still alive and both 84. Since dh and I moved our family to TX five years ago we now live a half a mile from them. I am glad to be so close to them in their later years.

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My favorite memory with my grandpa is sitting on his screen-in porch and rocking on deer-skin rocking chairs made by my great-grandfather. Grandpa (Paw Paw) would tell us the same stories from his and grandma's (Maw Maw) childhood about wild bulls and cougars, and a few made-up stories about monsters that were let out at night, just to scare us. I would sit on his lap and he would rub my hand with his rough thumb until my hand was raw (he didn't know he was rubbing it raw, and I was too shy to let him know).

Maw Maw always made huge lunches: hoe cakes, fresh tomato slices, black-eyed peas, and greens.

Maw Maw was funny. She'd tell us funny things about Paw Paw and would get us laughing so hard we would cry. Paw Paw was full of common sense advice that made you want to run and hide when he got on his soapbox; but he would spend more time with us and teach us things whenever he got the chance.

We'd usually visit Uncle Ray while we were there and have a fish fry with fish from his pond, homemade hush puppies, peach cobbler, lemonade, and grits. Aunts and uncles I vaguely recognized would tell me how big I've grown, and I always felt bad that I couldn't keep their names and relation straight.

Makes me sad those days are gone.

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I was very fortunate to have all my grandparents throughout my childhood. My one set of grandparents lived on a farm in upper state New York. There were alot of summers with and without parentts visiting on the farm with aunts, uncles and cousins who lived nearby. They had a cottage on the lake which we enjoyed. We did spend a few holidays there. They moved closer to us and still enjoyed over night visits with them. I love my Oma's cooking and learned to cook a good German meal through years of helping her. Even though they technically lived in the city, grandpa would get a turkey at the end of the summer and got him nice and big for the holidays in their basement. We still laugh about the Christmas dinner we had to pull feathers out of our turkey before we could eat it for Oma could not see very well and did the best plucking of feathers she could.

 

My grandpa G retired from the factory's in Lawrence Ma when retirements were very good. Moved to California where he and nana bought a winnebego just to drive across country and visit grandchildren and on occassion pick a couple up, drive back across country to their home and did everything there was to do in California and beyond. The summer she got me I flew out there, we walked everywhere, she taught me how to sew and we made me a dress. My uncle and his family visited that summer and we had fun going to Disney, magic mtn, sea world, mexico etc. She kept me the entire summer so she brought me clothes shopping for school and I was back the day before school started. My grandparents travelled around the world a lot. One thing she always made was chipped beef on toast. I don't think anyone really liked it but no one would ever say so.

 

the one thing I loved about both my grandma's they loved us so very much. They did not have much material wise but were always there for hugs, listen to our songs, watch our dances and always, always wrote back when we would write to them. I miss them so very much. I was bless to have both of those beatiful women in my life until a few years ago.

Edited by lynn
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A teeny tiny house that I thought was a mansion, until I went there in my twenties.

 

 

 

oh my goodness!!! i thought the same thing whe i was a child--i was certain it was a mansion!!! i don't remember when i realized --it is soooooooooooooo tiny!!! LOL!!!

 

my grandpa (Bumpa) just turned 89 in February!! i have TONS of fabulous memories fishing with him--whenever i would have a big one on the line, he would try to "help" me and i would hang on to my pole for dear life--i wanted to show him i could land the monster on my own!! i was the first grandchild so i was spoiled rotten by my Bumpa!!!! he still introduces me as his first grandchild to all his friends!!

i have memories of visiting his mom in a nursing home when i was small--i loved to visit her--he would always buy her a bottle of orange crush from the pop machine--he would give her a tiny cup of it and i would get the rest!!

my boys have a fabulous relationship with him--he is the best Bumpa in the whole world!!

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My grandparents lived in So. Cal, so (after the rainy NW) I remember sunshine and palm trees. My parents were awesome, but we definitely didn't have a 'child-led' household. My grandparents got down on our level, planned activities, answered questions, and were just plain 'all about us' while we were together. When the subject of evaporation came up, Grandpa put a pot of water in the sun. Grandma asked us what food we wanted while we were there and bought it for us (always Fruit Loops and Honeycomb, LOL! we never had sugared cereal at home). When they came to visit us, we baked cookies, went to the library, picked blackberries together, etc. Grandpa is a big computer/gadget guy, so he always let us play on his computer (a big deal back then) and look through his telescope. Grandma was always knitting or crocheting. She also baked delicious bread. We played games together.

 

It was always a wonderful time when they were around. And it is still that way. They act exactly the same with our children, even though they are getting much older (especially Grandpa). When we visited them recently, they planned outings to the beach, icecream treats, yummy dinners.... And when they come here, they always take time with the boys, one on one. It's awesome.

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Oh man this thread is going to make me blubber like a baby I miss my grandpa so much!! He died in 1988 but I still miss him terribly. I loved his smell and his smile. He was tall and elegant and always immaculately groomed and dressed. A gentleman through and through. I remember having to curtsy to him when I was young. But he was so warm and affectionate. He used to cuddle me and tell me wonderful stories and do magic tricks for me and call me his princess. He was so affectionate, warm and caring and even though he had many other grandchildren, he always had a way of making each one of us feel special and as if we were his favorite grandchild. My heart aches for him I miss him so much sometimes. He and his father were the two best men I have ever known in my life. Truly exemplary! One of my favorite smells and one that always takes me right back to my childhood is the smell of a cigar box. Even though my family didn't smoke, they were cigar makers and so there was always an abundance of empty cigar boxes around that we would use to store things in and it made everything in the box smell good. :) I still have several cigar boxes in my house to this day that I use to store things in that I had from my childhood. My grandmother used to bring us so much food and magazines and books and candies. I always loved it when my grandparents would come because I knew we would eat like kings! :) hehe

 

Ay, mi querido abuelito! Te echo de menos! :grouphug: :(

Edited by Ibbygirl
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My maternal grandparents lived in the county. I remember making forts in the woods; playing with the bunnies; and eating the fresh Cinnamon rolls my grandma would make for us.

 

My paternal grandmother lived with us in her own little apartment. Everyone would come to our house to visit her. I remember having goolash with all the cousins on a Sunday afternoon and playing outside afterwards. She was a gentle soul and always watching over us.

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One set of my grandparents lived in a rowhouse(a whole street full of tall narrow houses all attached) in Baltimore, MD. We watched old John Wayne and Alfred Hitchcock movies, walked to the library and the Piggly Wiggly grocery with grandma, went to the flea market with grandma and grandpa, played board games in their basement and listened to grandpa sing along to old records. Grandpa also told us stories from when he served in WWII. I remember helping grandma cook dinner in their tiny kitchen, and if you stepped too far to the right of the stove, you could fall down the stairs into the basement. I also remember eating Popeye's chicken, and getting ice cream from the ice cream truck. The ice cream man even remembered what we had ordered a year before!

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Guest janainaz

I have great memories of going to my granparents house, but none of them involve hugs and kisses from them, personally. I really hope to be a grandmother someday that my grandkids can be fully connected to and I hope that the excitement about coming over is rooted in the love they feel by me and by my husband. When my grandparents died, I felt nothing other than the grief felt by my father. I felt like I did not really know them at all.

 

It makes me wonder how I have all these great memories that involve my surroundings (the great backyard, the cereal they had for us, playing in the basement) and yet all those good memories involved me playing by myself.

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It sounds like we all felt like we could almost do whatever we wanted and our grandparents wouldn't fuss at us...

My maternal grandparents were so cool. When I smell a certain smell it reminds me of how their pantry smelled with cold fresh apples and empty coke bottles, it was the smell of fall too. I smelled that recently but I don't know why!

I stayed with them on weekends and at different times in the summer. Grandma and I would walk downtown and get stuff, art supplies, candy and chocolate, socks, she'd get her hair done. It was nice because I was the youngest of five and it would just be the two of us.

Granddaddy took me up into the mountains of Virginia where they had land and one particular time he was picking up trash someone had dumped. He threw a bag into the trunk and then noticed there were baby snakes coming out. Telling me to stand back in a very calm voice, he picked them up with his bare hands, threw them on the ground and started chopping with his axe. EW! When we got back home he handed me the snake book and told me to look them up (I was 8 or 9). "Gee, Granddaddy, I guess those were copperheads!" He smiled and agreed and Grandma was not very happy with him for putting me in danger. He continued to smile at me and shook his head. He was a retired sheriff for crying out loud, he wasn't afraid of anything!

In the fall I would spend a weekend with them and Grandma would give me a 50 cent piece for every bag of leaves I raked.

:crying: I think we all miss our grandparents! My paternal grandparents were a little cranky. That grandma wouldn't allow any of the grandchildren to call her grandmother. Each family had a different name for her! Don't know why. She had a strange voice, sounded like she was talking underwater.

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My grandmother was all elegance and refinement. She had a sweet smile and patiently listened to all that I had to say. She adored me and I knew it. She made time to go on bike rides together (she had a little motor on the back of her bike for the hills :lol:) and take me for the occasional Dairy Queen dipped cone. She let me type on her electric typewriter. She wore polyester pantsuits and high heels, and had her hair styled in a big, pink, hairsprayed helmet around her powdered face, and I wanted nothing more than to be just as elegant as her.

 

(Yes, you read that right--she truly did ride her bike in her polyester pant suits and heels--she had clips to keep her slacks from getting caught in the chain :lol:.)

 

The key is that she listened to me, always, and adored me. There is nothing that compares with knowing you are truly loved.

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One set of grandparents were "boring" but I suppose that just highlighted the other set!

 

They were great! My grandmother was the queen of garage sales and op (thrift) shops so there was usually some wondrous "new" toy or book in the cupboard when we visited. They only ever cost 20c but the price tag isn't what impresses a child. Not the sort of children we were, anyway. Grandma also let us play with her fabric scraps in her "doghouse." That was her sewing room. I'm not really sure why it was called that, but it always was. Perhaps she went in there when Grandpa was in the doghouse? They also bought us lots of sugary breakfast cereals. The kinds of things that your mother will never let you have at home, and would pretend she didn't know we were having there, and there was never any rationing. You ate until you weren't hungry any more. Grandma was a rotten cook so would usually serve canned veggies. My mother wasn't a bad cook, so we had this idea in our little heads that canned veggies were a special treat you only had at Grandma's :lol: Grandma was also a great believer in apple pie and ice cream, and second breakfasts. I'm sure she had much less of them when we weren't around, but of course that wasn't the point :) When she was young, we would get up at "the crack of dawn" to catch the train into the city. I can't remember what we did there, but going on the train was a very exciting thing and the ritual of getting up at the "crack of dawn" (whatever time that was) was terribly thrilling.

 

My grandfather used to grow strawberries, lots of strawberries just for me! Ok, now I'm grown up I'm pretty sure he grew some for himself, but back then I was a bit egocentric ;) He used to take us for long walks to exotic places like "the middle of nowhere" which was a very dull place, but was so exciting because we went there with Grandpa and called it the Middle of Nowhere. He used to listen to anything I was coming out with. I confess I thought poor old Grandpa to be a bit dull because whenever I asked "Did you know such and such" he never did! :lol: Still, it was very good for my self esteem, being a little girl who talked a million miles an hour to try and get it all out before everyone else told me to pipe down and go to play. Grandpa never did that.

 

:)

Rosie

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My grandma made sure there were homemade ginger cookies and the most amazing fresh whole-wheat rolls whenever we came to their lovely home. Their garden produced huge quantities of gorgeous tomatoes and giant squash (which she made into delicious casseroles). Their flowers bloomed year-round, it seemed.

My granddad swept the mimosa blossoms off the patio every morning and Poof-brain, their old Maine Coon cat, would stretch out on the warm cement for him to brush her with the broom.

There were family pictures going back several generations, all hung in the entry-way, and Grandma could tell stories about all of them, and of how we were related to those stern, upstanding citizens.

They had grown up in a tiny town in the south-eastern corner of Ohio; they built their first house with a set of hand tools they shared with the couple building on the lot next door. They had worked hard to have their beautiful home, but they were proudest of their children and grandchildren, and we knew it. Their home was always HOME in my mind.

I miss them terribly.

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My maternal grandparents were awesome! My mom always worked when I was young so I spent a lot of time with my grandma. I remember walking with her (she didn't drive) just about every where and her teaching me silly rhymes. Often my great aunt would come get us to go to lunch at Woolworths. Riding on the fold down arm rest in Aunt Wanda's car (before carseat and seatbelt laws of coarse). Watching her decorate cakes. Building forts out of blankets and couch cushions. Turning the breakfast bar stools upside down and sitting inside the legs while she spun me around. Playing Rummy. Dipping oreo cookies in coffee (she always had a stash of Oreo's in the kitchen drawer).

 

They always had big get togethers on holidays. Backyard BBQ's, running under the sprinkler or playing on the Slip and Slide, sherbert cups with the little wooden spoons. Christmas eves full of wonder.

 

The smell I most associate with my grandpa is cigars and beer (my grandpa was an alcoholic but he rarely got drunk). He had a collection of wind up toys that we were only allowed to play with, with him. Laying on the couch watching TV, bear hugs, and bear traps. Wearing his T- shirts as night gowns when I spent the night. Laying in bed with him listening to him tell stories. His favorite kids books were Dr. Suess's Bartholomew Cubbin's books, but some stories he told from memory giving them his own flair. Playing with the wooden blocks he made.

 

Wow! I could go on and on. I miss them so much it hurts sometimes.

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Wow. What memories - I grew up in FL; my maternal grandmother lived in a row house in MD. What I remember most is the snow at Christmas, the coconut sheet cake she always seemed to have just baked and sliding down the linoleum stairs with my sister. There was also a grate in the bedroom floor and we would sit there and listen to the adults talking downstairs. Her house always seemed warm and cozy. Aunts and uncles were always stopping by. I only ever saw my gm wearing a housedress. I never knew how poor she was until I was grown up.

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Oh, this thread is going to make me cry. I lost both of my grandfathers this year (my grandmothers had died in years past), and it's been hard on me.

 

I can't say I really knew my paternal grandparents as a unit very well because my grandmother died when I was four. My only real memories of her are of her sitting in her favorite chair and that she always had tapioca pudding for me when I came to visit. :) I was named after her, and I wish I could have known her better. My grandpa always called me Anna, which is what he used to call my grandma. I loved listening to his stories from when he used to play basketball and when he was in the navy. He did a very sweet thing for me by giving me one of my grandmother's two chairs. I had mentioned how well it fit me one day when I was visiting, and a month or so later, my dad said that my grandpa wanted to give it to me. I know that it probably wasn't easy for him to part with.

 

My maternal grandparents were divorced as long as I was alive, but they were always friendly with each other during family parties. They actually both ended up living in the same house during my grandma's last year.

 

My maternal grandma was a tough lady. I remember she was a hard worker and not someone you wanted to mess with. She lived with us for the last year or so of her life, so I got to spend a lot of time with her. She could sew pretty much anything, and she always wrapped the most beautiful presents. We always had a giant family party on Christmas Eve, and the presents always looked magical. For her last Christmas, she was too sick to be able to wrap the presents she had collected over the year, so her daughters (all five of them) got together and had a party to do them for her.

 

My family shared a house with my maternal grandpa all of my life, so he was a constant presence for me. Since he was always there, I know that I took having that relationship for granted. I can't even begin to describe all of the things he did for me over the years. When I was little, he had a fun organ I could play and a candy jar that was always full. He would "cook" dinner on Friday nights, which meant he would order the family yummy fried chicken or pizza. We would hunt for fishing worms in the back yard after a rain. As I got older, we could always count on him to be there anytime we needed him. He used to drive me to seminary every day at 6:00am. He was the person who taught me how to drive. He told the same old jokes all the time, and he was stubborn as heck. Actually, I find myself more and more like him every day... :tongue_smilie: Our birthdays were only four days apart, so we shared parties most of my life. I still crave his favorite cake on my birthday.

 

Even though he was in a lot of pain and knew there was no chance of getting better, he stayed on the antibiotics that were keeping him alive for an extra day so that I could fly up to be with him at the end. I was so thankful to be able to see him one last time. It's just the last in a long line of selfless things he did for me.

Edited by Annie
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My NJ grandparents lived close by and thankfully I was there often. I have fond memories of my other grandparents too and wish I could have seen them more often.

 

In NJ, my grandparent's basement was a big room with a kitchen and it always smelled like gravy and meatballs and fresh Italian bread. My grandma would make us zeppoles with honey drizzled on top, yum! On the first floor was another tiny kitchen with bedrooms and the living room although mostly people gathered in the downstairs kitchen area and it opened to the backyard (not underground like the front part of the house in that room) so it was nice and bright.

 

I remember the big table with my loud Aunts talking and the smell of coffee after dinner and my grandma giving us coffee too. My grandpa would give us wine with dinner mixed with cream soda! I remember liking it, lol!

 

My grandpa use to wheel his tv outside so he could watch the Yankee game. My cousins and I would go to the brook that ran through their yard and get wet. One sound that I equate with my grandparents is the sound of tumbling sneakers in the dryer!

 

My cousins and I would catch cray fish and throw rocks in the brook and follow it for what seemed like miles.

 

My other grandparents lived in England and I only saw them every two years but I loved, loved, loved them! I am tearing up thinking about how wonderful they were. I think of summer vacation and Cape Cod, gifts, card games and sunburn... also crying at the airport and having to say goodbye and sobbing after they left. :crying:

Edited by Jumping In Puddles
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My maternal grandparents' house was heaven. The smells were of Italian cooking--usually sauce (called gravy in NY) on the stove. And lots of garlic. She was the oldest of 12, so there were always cousins, aunts, uncles, etc descending at her tiny little house (didn't seem tiny at the time). They also lived in Queens surrounded by tons of kids. We moved around a lot (dad in military), so it always seemed like coming home to go to her house and all the neighborhood kids would run out to greet us (fresh meat). My grandfather would go down to the local bakery and get bagels and rolls every morning when we visited. When we moved to Ohio, ppl didn't know what a bagel was (let alone lox).

 

Going to my paternal grandparents was more like visiting the morgue. But my mother made sure we spent some time there as well even though there was not a single thing for us to do there but pick at the carpet.

 

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

 

Laura

Laura

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She had a long porch along the back of her house lined with windows and antique chairs: rockers, upholstered chairs, vinyl chairs. Every kind. I still have my chair from her porch. We would sit out there in the dusky hours, each in our special chair, listening to the crickets and eating green apples dipped in salt. Sometimes she would read to me one of the Little Golden Books that were kept at her house.

 

She had a huge, expansive backyard with a shed- and a brook out back. We would wade in the brook in our tennis shoes. We would hunt for four-leaved clovers. We would use the outhouse back behind the weathered barn where my grandpa kept an antique cooler filled with beer.

 

She had a circular drive that went around the barn and I would ride my big wheel out there for hours.

 

She kept a little red wagon under the porch with all my dishes and Grandpa would take them out for me and I would make mudpies in the driveway.

 

Sometimes, on really special days, we would go out to the dump. She would find me an old, broken doll and fix it up for me. We would look at the horses in the pasture on the way.

 

She had a 1950's tiled kitchen with the old metal cabinets and chrome detailing. There were always Archway cookies in the cabinet. And a huge sink that I bathed in until I was old enough to bathe myself in her claw-footed tub.

 

She would make me scrambled eggs with cheese, raisin toast and Hershey's cocoa syrup in milk, heated on the stove, for breakfast. She always listened to soft rock, and to this day, 1970's soft rock reminds me of being in her kitchen at breakfast.

 

I had my own room there. When I arrived, I would always run to that room and look on the dresser. There would usually be a little something there for me- a small toy, crayons and coloring book, etc.

 

She would take me to the grocery store and buy me anything I wanted, and I always wanted cheddar cheese.

 

There was a large gas heater in the living room that I would sit next to, to dry my hair after my bath. I had a special quilted bathrobe that I wore only at her house and I always felt so cozy.

 

She would let me lay my head in her lap and we would watch Mary Tyler Moore.

 

She pretended to be Santa every year and phoned me in her Santa voice. I argued with my 4th grade friends in defense of Santa.

 

My Grandpa would let me sit in the barn while he puttered around building or fixing something. He would scratch my back whenever I asked him to.

 

They took me sledding at the golf course, and grandpa stopped me if I went too fast.

 

They had a dairy bar across the street and we would go for ice cream in the summer once in a while as a special treat.

 

They had big picnics and reunions with corn on the cob and jarts in the cool green grass.

 

My grandfather made me a rope swing with a back on it when I was really little and hung it from a tree. He made me a board swing on the ropes when I outgrew the baby swing.

 

They had a well that was housed above the ground that I used to climb on. There was a giant gnome up there. I wish I had that gnome.

 

They used those blue Currier and Ives dishes- they were their everyday dishes.

 

My grandfather taught me the simple joy of French's mustard.

 

They had an attic filled with wonders that I would explore.

 

My grandmother was the best thing in my life as a child.

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She had a long porch along the back of her house lined with windows and antique chairs: rockers, upholstered chairs, vinyl chairs. Every kind. I still have my chair from her porch. We would sit out there in the dusky hours, each in our special chair, listening to the crickets and eating green apples dipped in salt. Sometimes she would read to me one of the Little Golden Books that were kept at her house.

 

She had a huge, expansive backyard with a shed- and a brook out back. We would wade in the brook in our tennis shoes. We would hunt for four-leaved clovers. We would use the outhouse back behind the weathered barn where my grandpa kept an antique cooler filled with beer.

 

She had a circular drive that went around the barn and I would ride my big wheel out there for hours.

 

She kept a little red wagon under the porch with all my dishes and Grandpa would take them out for me and I would make mudpies in the driveway.

 

Sometimes, on really special days, we would go out to the dump. She would find me an old, broken doll and fix it up for me. We would look at the horses in the pasture on the way.

 

She had a 1950's tiled kitchen with the old metal cabinets and chrome detailing. There were always Archway cookies in the cabinet. And a huge sink that I bathed in until I was old enough to bathe myself in her claw-footed tub.

 

She would make me scrambled eggs with cheese, raisin toast and Hershey's cocoa syrup in milk, heated on the stove, for breakfast. She always listened to soft rock, and to this day, 1970's soft rock reminds me of being in her kitchen at breakfast.

 

I had my own room there. When I arrived, I would always run to that room and look on the dresser. There would usually be a little something there for me- a small toy, crayons and coloring book, etc.

 

She would take me to the grocery store and buy me anything I wanted, and I always wanted cheddar cheese.

 

There was a large gas heater in the living room that I would sit next to, to dry my hair after my bath. I had a special quilted bathrobe that I wore only at her house and I always felt so cozy.

 

She would let me lay my head in her lap and we would watch Mary Tyler Moore.

 

She pretended to be Santa every year and phoned me in her Santa voice. I argued with my 4th grade friends in defense of Santa.

 

My Grandpa would let me sit in the barn while he puttered around building or fixing something. He would scratch my back whenever I asked him to.

 

They took me sledding at the golf course, and grandpa stopped me if I went too fast.

 

They had a dairy bar across the street and we would go for ice cream in the summer once in a while as a special treat.

 

They had big picnics and reunions with corn on the cob and jarts in the cool green grass.

 

My grandfather made me a rope swing with a back on it when I was really little and hung it from a tree. He made me a board swing on the ropes when I outgrew the baby swing.

 

They had a well that was housed above the ground that I used to climb on. There was a giant gnome up there. I wish I had that gnome.

 

They used those blue Currier and Ives dishes- they were their everyday dishes.

 

My grandfather taught me the simple joy of French's mustard.

 

They had an attic filled with wonders that I would explore.

 

My grandmother was the best thing in my life as a child.

 

These are such wonderful memories; thank you for sharing them with us! The part about getting your back scratched made me smile. That's a memory that I hadn't thought about recently! My grandparents would scratch my back anytime I asked. Isn't that just the smallest, tiniest little event...and wow, what an impact!

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My grandparents lived in the country and they just gave us a lot of freedom. We'd spend days at a time with them and we'd go outside after breakfast and collect caterpillars in the orchards, ride the tractor with Grandpa and just run wild. We'd see my grandparents at meals. My grandma was a great cook and her cinnamon rolls were legendary. I think the magic of grandparents is that they aren't overwhelmed with the cares of parenting and are able to have a little different perspective on a child's life. This is the only reason we are still living in California. If it weren't that my parents live 5 minutes away and Dh's parents are 30 minutes away we'd be out of this state so fast. It is the most important thing to us that our children have close relationships with their grandparents.

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My grandparents lived in West Hyannisport in the summertime. I remember heading over there in the car and literally getting butterflies and bouncing in my seat with excitement.

 

Summer with my grandparents was sailing and picnic baskets with pickles and chips and my grandfather playing the harmonica while we sang old sea chanteys letting our feet skim the waves.

 

They were Four Seas ice cream and penny candy at the Old Village store.

They were bocce and bluefish, croquet and bats in the car port eaves.

 

Visits at "Our House" meant cousins and archery and fishing and clamming and long lazy days on the beach and tar on the bottom of your feet from the walk home.

 

The old summer house bursting with bounty, it's row of high-bush blueberries, the grape arbor purple clusters that made your nose happy, picking beach plums with Mom and making jelly for days. Cattails and Red-Winged Blackbirds and sails in the distance.

 

Overnights and their morning smells of coffee percolating, grapefruit halves with sugar and Captain Crunch cereal.

 

Fall came with the annual back to school shopping day with Nana. It was her S-A-L-E song and always a stop for Sanka and an apricot danish. It meant the closing of the summer house and a last family hurrah at Thanksgiving.

 

And winter came and they would visit us, "shave and a haircut" and we would come flying. They were peppermint Chicklets and mothballs and Chanel Number 5. Winter visits meant presents from exotic places and Nana's sealskin coat that always made me think of Narnia.

 

I adored my grandparents and I miss them still.

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Okay, here I go again about my "nanny" (maternal grandma). Since my mom worked outside of the home, I stayed with my grandma during the day until I started school (and even then, I came over after school, until I was old enough to stay at home alone in Junior High). My biggest memory is how much time we spent outdoors early in the day. I have to confess that I am not an early morning person, so I have failed to recreate this with my dc - but I am thinking I am going to make an attempt after revisiting these memories. I remember her pruning her roses, hosing off the carport, and puttering in the yard. I remember it being first thing in the morning, since I was dropped off before my mom went to work at 7 a.m. There was just this really neat feeling, being outside while there was still dew on the grass. I would play for hours in the trees and the dirt, and of course follow her around and "help." I can't even fully explain all the sensory memories, but they really come alive this time of year. The dew, the birds, the slight chill in the air with the promise of heat, the smell of the flowers...Come to think of it, she loved telling me the names of the flowers, trees, birds...I think Nanny would have been quite "Charlotte Mason!"

 

We always went inside around 11, so she could get lunch together and watch The Price is Right. She had a little t.v. in the kitchen that sat on top of the dryer. She would pull down a big bin of crayons, and my Barbie coloring book. I would sit at the table while she got lunch together. She was such an awesome cook. Lunch would be something much different than I serve up around here! For example, fried pork chops, rice and gravy, field peas, etc. Of course, back then, I wouldn't touch a field pea! Sometimes, in the afternoon, we would walk down to the corner store, and she would buy me a push-up ice-cream. She usually had a special snack in a certain drawer in her kitchen, reserved for me and my brother.

 

I would spend over with her on Friday nights, which is when she would always go to the Winn-Dixie with my great-Aunt. We always ate at McDonalds first. She would always buy me something at the grocery store. She made cars for my Barbie dolls from shoeboxes, and I would play for long stretches of time in the evening after we got home. She would sit and do those circle-a-word puzzles while we watched t.v. at night. Her favorite show was The Grand Old Opry (and she loved the Statler Brothers). I sat through those, and in return she sat through MTV when I was older!

 

And she always had a cup of coffee. Always. So, my nanny smelled like spring, coffee, and a hint of Jergen's Lotion (which she always wore). Not bad. And wow, how I miss it...

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My grandma was THE BEST baker and cook! Her food was just one highlight of our visits to her home in Rahway, NJ at Christmas or in the summer time. Salty, Polish ham...potato salads...deviled eggs...Rosy Glow Jello Salad...cheeses...rolls...nuts...pickles...oh...and, all the Christmas cookes! Then, there was her masterpiece...Buttercream Cake! I put a picture of it below. I made it a year ago for a church function.

 

Besides food...she always let us play with her jewelry...look through all her clothing drawers for pretty hankies and gloves, etc. She had a doll house (which is now mine) that I spent hours playing with! Her basement was a bit creepy...but, I loved being a little scared down there! She had an old clothes wringer that she still used from time to time.

 

There was her black, Poodle...Cheri (shah ree)...her autoharp...her electric organ...the steep, narrow staircase with the thick, wooden banister...the bathroom with the French Poodle wall paper...the bathtub with the lion feet...the old, cast iron radiators...all the nicknacks on the shelf going around the upper part of the wall in her dining room (especially the stuffed armadillo and German figurines)...her cookie jar (which I now have)...

 

I could go on and on.

 

My grandma taught me to crochet and always had time to show me a new craft! She loved to play games with us...especially Rook and Pinnacle. I loved her dearly!

 

~Holly

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Grandma loved me, that's all I remember about her but it got me through many rough years. She died right before I turned 7. My mother, her daughter, is nasty and still is. My father drank, my brothers were bullies and I was their punching bag. I hated being alive, but when I saw grandma she would hug me on her lap and look at me and I knew I was loved. Somebody loved me! I knew she was genuine and I wanted to be like her. We never did anything else together because we didn't visit her often, but that was enough. She's my role model for mothering and I can still see her gentle eyes and smile.

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Grandma loved me, that's all I remember about her but it got me through many rough years. She died right before I turned 7. My mother, her daughter, is nasty and still is. My father drank, my brothers were bullies and I was their punching bag. I hated being alive, but when I saw grandma she would hug me on her lap and look at me and I knew I was loved. Somebody loved me! I knew she was genuine and I wanted to be like her. We never did anything else together because we didn't visit her often, but that was enough. She's my role model for mothering and I can still see her gentle eyes and smile.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

I'm so glad that you had her for the time that you did.

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I was blessed enough to have both sets of grandparents all through my childhood (and 3 of them are still alive today!) Both sets are wonderful Christian people who love us kids and always took time with us.

 

Specifically, I remember more about my paternal grandparents during my childhood. They lived out in the country on a lake. I have many memories of going out there and spending time with them. My grandpa (I called him Pop Pop), especailly. He's my only grandparent that is not still alive and he's the one I probably have the fondest memories of. He died ten years ago when I was 19....shortly before my wedding. I wish he could have been there and now see my two wonderful little girls.

 

I remmeb er that the two of us would go on hikes through the woods. We would pack a lunch and stop and sit down on a fallen log to eat. I remember one day I arrived at their house and informed my grandpa that I wanted to make something. Of course, he had all the necessary materials and I walked away that day with a painted wooden car and boat. I still have them today and display them proudly in my curio cabinet. Sometimes they would spend the night at our house and each morning they would sneak in and wake me up super early. We'd leave a note for my sleeping parents and head to the local McDonalds for breakfast. Whenever I'd spend the night at their house, we'd wake up early and head to the tiny local restaurant for breakfast. They'd always let me get a grilled cheese and a huge glass of chocolate milk.

 

I remember many days spent down at the lake with my grandpa. One time we even walked all the way around the lake. One time we were swimming and a snake swam right past us and my grandpa made sure it stayed away from me. My grandpa always had a pack of lifesavers with him. He said that the green ones will always help with a headache.

 

My other grandparents (maternal) were wonderful people as well. My grandpa would always take me to the candy store. He'd let me pick out anything and everything I wanted, no matter how much, and buy it for me. He would walk us to the horse farm down the road from their house to pet the horses and see all the dogs. He would bring out the lawnmower and pull us behind it in a trailer.

 

I love the memories that I have of my grandparents!

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Grandma loved me, that's all I remember about her but it got me through many rough years. She died right before I turned 7. My mother, her daughter, is nasty and still is. My father drank, my brothers were bullies and I was their punching bag. I hated being alive, but when I saw grandma she would hug me on her lap and look at me and I knew I was loved. Somebody loved me! I knew she was genuine and I wanted to be like her. We never did anything else together because we didn't visit her often, but that was enough. She's my role model for mothering and I can still see her gentle eyes and smile.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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My grandparents are my very favorite people on the planet. My Memaw is my best friend. I love them so much that the most important thing I wanted to do for my kids was make sure they have a relationship with them. And I succeeded.

 

There's not enough bandwidth here for me to indulge all my memories and experiences.

 

Even after buying all natural cleaning products for everything else, I will always use April Fresh Downy and sheets to do the clothes. Every single time I do the laundry, put on my pajamas, or get into bed at night, I'm reminded of them.

 

They have shaped who I am, and they think my kids are perfect.:D:tongue_smilie:

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My grandparents (maternal) were a huge part of my life as a child, esp my grandmother. My dad's parents had died before he became an adult and both my parents were only children, so my grandparents represented ALL family for me.

 

The memories are just too much to list. I think the theme we hear in this thread is TIME. They gave us the time and space to be who we wanted, gave us what we wanted, and loved us for it all, in spite of it all. It's a very dear and precious gift and I hope my kids are getting that from their grandparents.

 

Very nice thread!

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My dad's English grandparents were quite formal and English, but I loved them...my grandmother smelled nice and she used to always have a stash of sugared almonds. They were sweet in their own way.

 

My mum's Mum and her long time partner Pa Jack were my favourite grandparents. Grandma was a fiercely indpendent woman and the house was hers- it was on the edge of a lake. Pa Jack would take us fishing. We used to plait his tiny amount of hair and jsut about every day he would bet on teh horse an we would sometimes go to the TAB with hm so he would pick up his winnings (rare!) or place bets. Very Australian! Grandma was good with kids- she had lots of rnaments from her travels aroudn eh world, on her shelves as you walked into her house. The sort of ornaments that kids love and can touch- little dolls with bobbling heads, spinning tops and other things. She travelled a lot and always had new wonderful things.

She related to us. Me especially (I was the eldest cousin). She took having family around her very seriously as she never met her own cousins till she was an adult. I was close to my cousins and spent many hours playing doctors and nurses and those sorts of games with them. I was also more often allowed to sit with the adults, too, as I was the oldest.

I remember helping her make Chrstmas pudding and being allowed to lick the bowl. I remember shelling peas with her. I remember falling out of bed and cracking my head. I remember she had a really thick plush bath mat which seemed very impractical but oh so wonderful. I remember the brand of shampoo she used.

She would buy us gifts, knit us scarves and send us stamps from all over the world for our stamp collections.

Pa Jack died years ago now, and after that, Grandma went downhill with Alzheimers. She is 90 and in a top quality nursing home now- very little memory left but she did still remember me last time I saw her. She has been a big part of my life- and not always a sweet one- she was a very tough woman- but we had and have deep connection.

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My grandma would always let me have 2 cones of ice cream at the same time...seemed like such a big thing at the time...sitting with her on her porch swing with 2 "cones of cream" as she would call them!

 

my grandfather used to haul watermelons and he would always let us climb up in the back of the truck all over the watermelons and pick out which ones we wanted to eat! He always sent us home with red and yellow meat watermelons that were the best ever

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I think it was an extension of home, where we could feel safe and explore freely, just as we did at home. There were different things to look at and experience. Different sounds, smells, sights.

 

I think having extended family to tell you stories about life and your family history, etc. is very important. Just as important are other adults in your life other than parents to support the things you've learned at home. Knowing that others feel similarly lends credence to what's expected of you, for instance. At the same time, LOL, sometimes they will let you get away with things that your parents won't, even though they may still let you know that you needn't expect to do that sort of thing all the time.....

 

One set of grandparents lived just a short walk away, across a field from our house, so we grew up there as much as at home. While they were always busy and didn't talk to us all that much, they were a huge part of our lives. I remember:

 

Walking the farm with the dogs (about 350 acres, but we were confined to the nearer fields, within hollering range);

Roaming around the barn;

Visiting new chicks in the chicken house;

Lambs and goats when I was very little - horses most of the time - cows always, an occasional pig.....

Fishing in the many ponds;

Popcorn and comics on Sundays;

Sitting around at night and being handed slices of orange, apple, etc. as my Grandmother peeled and handed it out;

Lawrence Welk;

Heavy cotton home-made quilts;

The coolest attic of any house I've been in;

Mimosa trees and apple trees for climbing;

Poring over the Sears catalog and turning down pages of outfits I wanted as I got older;

An endless Christmas Eve day every year waiting for everyone to get home from the store so we could eat and open gifts;

Different breeds of dogs passing through over the years, but collies always......

The store, which was a big part of life for all of us, of course, which was like another home away from home.....

Stargazing off the elevated back porch out over the open fields - saw my first satellite there, Seven Sisters, so much - my first UFO, LOL......

My Grandmother (she's still living) would regularly load up my sister and I and take us with her over to visit family, mostly her two sisters, who lived near each other. She was a terrible driver, LOL! Preeeesssss the gas and let off it, preeeesssss the gas and let off it - so you sort of lurched along. Anyway, we used to go with them and sit outside at their houses drinking lemonade, etc. We used to visit old, old cemetaries and listen to stories of long gone family. I SOOOOO wish I had recorded all that stuff in their own voices.

 

My other grandparents I didn't visit nearly as often. We did go there and stay for a week or two at a time in summer and that's when we had the most freedom.

 

I remember roaming a stream and the woods near their house.

We rode our bikes up and down the road in the morning mists (they lived in a very rural area, down in a holler). Listening to the sighing of the breeze and whipperwills at night.....

Fabulous biscuits....

Glorious lemonade made with sweet well water from a neighboring farm and sliced lemons and sugar.....

The mule.....

A stand of white pines like an avenue.....

The church which was so much a part of their rural lives....

(They had no phone, by the way, most of the time......)

Watching my Grandfather when he was older harvesting his crops and taking them into a nearby city to sell.

Interviewing my Grandmother about her family's history (I did NOT save the tapes. Wow, how stupid.)

My Grandmother saved stamps and some cancellations and gave those to me, starting me on a hobby of stamp collecting. She couldn't drive and had never traveled much at all, but was a world traveler through her stamps....

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My mom's parents were my "Nanny" and "Bompa". They lived about 2 hours away, so I didn't see them all of the time, but they always came for birthdays, we went there on Christmas, and other weekends, but the best part for me, was that I always got to go for a whole week by myself and stay with them.

 

My Nan always seemed to be in the kitchen. She was a great baker, and let me help. She was always singing-very high and off pitched. I remember she used to call me "honey girl" and "baby doll". I do the same to dd. She was also a big sewer. She sewed a lot of her clothes, and she did a ton of Barbie clothes for me. Remember the cloth hair scarves that were shaped like triangles with strings? She made me a bunch in all different colors. I used to wear a ponytail with the scarf over it.

 

My Bompa doted on me, and I could do no wrong. He was always busy doing things outside, and I remember following him around and helping.

After my Nan died when I was 13, he came and stayed with us a lot. I had gotten a horse, and he would help me with him. By that time, I called him E.D (his initials), and he called me T.L. I felt I could talk with him about anything. He loved country music.

 

Gosh, I am so glad this thread was started; I haven't thought about these things in a long time.

 

I really miss them. I'm bawling as I write this, but it's a good thing.

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My grandparents all lived close by; it wasn't so much a thrill as it was comfort. I have many cousins, and we would have large family dinners on holidays etc. My grandparents are greatly missed by me, but our relationship wasn't marked by thrills... just the comfort of their presence, knowing they loved us, my paternal g mother Shepard's Pie, and my materal g mothers chicken soup. etc. My grandfathers could fix stuff, too, so that was nice. lol

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