I got to spend a lot of time with my grandpa and grandma when I was growing up. We lost my grandfather many years ago and the other day I was talking about a book that reminded me of him. The book is called "Could Be Worse" (look it up- it's a great book). My perspective might not be what he really was, or how he really was but I was a young girl who got to hang out with my grandparents regularly and in my mind it was special every time. I'm glad I only remember the good parts, or maybe there never were bad parts. I wonder if my mom's story about my time with them when I was little would be different. This is about memories and grandparents- the ones we have and are grateful for, and the ones we wish were never lost.
Grandpa and Grandma Knaub: My mom's dad was the silent type. Ask him a question and by the time he answered you were pretty sure that he either never heard you or had decided not to answer. This was just how he was, or how I remember him. I would spend the night many Friday nights. I don't recall a lot of discussion for our Friday night schedule, it was just how it was. At 8pm my grandma or I would turn on the tv and put on the channel that showed TGIF. We loved watching Full House, Step By Step, Family Matters and whatever other shows entertained us from 8-10pm. Then it was "bed time". This ritual included story time. My grandma would sometimes tell me this story about a legend- a talking fox in Japan. I don't recall the story but remember it was a little scary (but I also really enjoyed it). We (and sometimes just I) would read Grimm's Fairy Tales. I loved those stories. If I remember correctly, this was when it was Grandpa's time to shine. Grandma would go to bed and he would silently get out the table, the checkers board and pieces and set up our checkers game. We would play and chat. I don't remember who won and it didn't matter.
In the morning I would wake to the smell of cinnamon pancakes. They were perfect every time. My grandma used a simple recipe- I think it's just flour, milk and egg, like a crepe. Then she buttered it and sprinkled on cinnamon and sugar. I've made it for my kids and some of them like it. It's still one of my favorite things to eat. That and my mom's creamed eggs are two of my favorite comfort breakfast foods.
I also remember some other things from my time there. I used to love, love, love sitting down in the basement on a stool playing on the typewriter, listening to the "how dry I am" dog and pretending that the bar was my office. I loved pushing the very old stroller around the "scary" part of the basement, though it was never so scary when my grandpa was in the workshop that was in the same room. The giant pine tree in the backyard was my secret hideout. I bet I was real sneaky with my bright pink outfits hiding in that sparse growth. The house behind theirs, beyond the bushes and down the little hill (which looked big when I was little) was certainly occupied by a witch. To my family- you probably know and love many of the things I'm talking about! If not, ask someone about them. My grandfather died from a heart attack years ago. Hopefully my grandma will be around for many years to come. My mom had me when she was 29, I think. Once I asked my grandma how old she was and she said, "26". I'm happy to keep it that way :)
Grandpa and Grandma Klineyoung: Because of some circumstances beyond our control I wasn't able to spend as much time with my dad's parents. Though I loved them both I was closer to my grandfather, perhaps because I didn't grow up with my dad and he was a good figure to look up to. Even as an adult I felt like a kid whenever I saw him. Not like I felt I was being treated like a kid, but like I wanted him to play ball with me or something. I was glad I got a few years of visits and time with them after I had kids. I remember when they had crabs for dinner (or lunch). I was TERRIFIED. I was maybe 6 and was sure these grotesque things were going to eat me. I still won't eat crabs. I remember spending time with my cousins. I don't recall much of the house but as an adult I am in love with the style of house in which they lived, so it must have had an impact on me. We lost them both recently, only a few years ago and I am reminded that time here is short; time with the people you love, doing the things you love, is limited.
My kids are lucky. They have their Obasan (my mom- grandma in Japanese...and I hope I spelled that correctly because I'm not spell-checking), Grandma and Grandpa Weaver (Jason's dad and step-mom), Nana (Jason's mom), Grandpa Ron (my dad- he calls himself Papa Ron, they call him grandpa), Japanese Grandma (my mom's mom) and also their great-grandparents Abuelo and Abuela (Jason's step-mom's parents) and Mom Mom and Pop Pop (Jason's grandparents). They have a unique and special relationship with all of them and I hope that continues for years to come. I hope they can grow up with fond memories with all of them. As it is, I'm sure they will!