When I was little we lived simply and thoughtfully. We had close connections with our extended family. We spent a great deal of time with our grandparents. It was during those times that memories of simplicity were borne. It is to those memories that I retreat when I need the comforting thoughts of recall of a time too distant now.
It was a time of make, make-do, wear-out and reuse. These were skills born of necessity. We were by no means poor people. We were rich beyond imagination in love. If we were lacking in other material things, I was not aware. We were protected from all but what we needed to know.
Our was an idealistic childhood... days full of exploring and discovering...sunny days of summer that never seemed to end. We watched very little Television. Our meals came from the kitchen, and very little in the way of groceries (other than staples) were brought into the house. We spent a lot of time near the kitchen where my grandmother seemed to spend all of her time. I cannot recall a time when we arrived at her home that she hadn't prepared a HUGE pan of homemade goodies... just for us. We were always made to feel welcome, as if we were long awaited special company. Of course we knew that we were more than just that.
When I was little I was expected to entertain myself in the mornings when my Nana did most of her chores. It was cooler then and she knew to use that time to her advantage. I suspect that she was up for long hours before the calling of the train in the distance woke my brother and I. At noon we marched off to the beach with Nana and a lunch... the same every day...jam filled sandwiches. We sat on a blanket and swam in Lake Ontario, dug holes to China and listened to the grown-ups share news of family and friends.
Mid afternoon we returned home but were expected again, to amuse ourselves quietly on the screened-in porch, while Nana and her sisters watched their "story" on television. I think I recall that it was "The Days of Our lives" but that memory is sketchy. I only remember in detail, the knowing feeling that we had better be quiet during that hour. Nana never disciplined us, but we loved her so much, we wanted to please her.
Our evening meal consisted of meat, potatoes, vegetables and gravy. Always. As twilight approached we were brought inside and spent an hour or so playing "Snap" or Checkers with grandpa. Nana served us Tea and toast and then were were off to bed to sleep and dream on sheets, fresh and stiffened from being hung outside.
My ardent desire is to create memories of this sort for my grandchildren.. and so at every opportunity, I will welcome them into our home, as if they are long awaited special guests. Of course they will know that they are much more.
The century mark - ContemplationMy brother-in-law Pete took this picture of my father many years ago. It's been a favorite, though, for all the reasons you might imagine: it...