My childhood memories are packed with visits to Gram and Grampa's house. We used to spend every Columbus Day weekend there, even through a couple college years. I remember when I got my first car and my first "road trip" was to drive the 50 miles north to Grange Hall Rd and pay them a visit. The sound of their gravel driveway beneath the tires of the car was met with shear excitement as I knew they'd be waiting for us on their porch to greet us. I was always given a great big hug and kiss by both of them as we rejoiced at seeing each other again.
Sadly, most of my visits over the past few years have been very brief. A Christmas afternoon here, a Summer House lunch there, as Jordan and I have lived so far away. I have always struggled with the distance because I remember promising Gram as a little girl that I would take care of them when I was older. So this time, I decided to do something I've wanted to do for a long time. Take seven whole days and soak up every bit of them I could.
Gram and I enjoyed "reliving" all of our favorite things to do together when I was a kid. We made the famous and umatched raspberry jam-filled sugar cookies, an apple pie (Gram makes the crust while Gramps peels the apples), and ate at our favorite diner for breakfast every morning. Grilled bagels with cream cheese and a half order of home fries never tasted so good! Before breakfast, I'd find Grampa sitting at his kitchen table reading the newspaper. He likes to separate the sections and line them up neatly on the table when he's done reading them. He quickly caught on that the only "news" I cared about is the jumble word and crossword puzzles, so he'd have them out and waiting for me before I came downstairs. Every night we'd sit and watch "Pawn Stars" or "60 Minutes". But let me not forget the most important time of day... Happy Hour :) About 3:30 every afternoon, Gram and Grampa make it a point to stop whatever they are doing, make a drink, and sit on their porch for awhile to relax. Now this is truly what we all need in our lives! Relax I did, and reminisced with two amazing people.
Gram told me all about her family and for the millionth time, I poured over her photo albums and asked questions. She even shared with me her diary from when she was in high school. She shared with me her poetry, her deepest thoughts and desires. I am so thankful for that special time we spent together in her bedroom, swapping secrets like we were two high school girls at a sleep over.
Just a couple of things I simply adore about them that I want to record so I will never forget:
When Gram is getting ready to go to bed, she always says she has to "Go brush her tooth". Love it.
When we went out for breakfast every morning, Grampa always paid. But he always pulled out a new $50 bill! One morning I asked him where he gets all his fifties and he says "Oh, I just go down to my cellar and make some every morning before you get up". He was so matter-of-fact I think I might believe him:) Haha.
One afternoon Grampa said he saw a hawk and he thinks that's what is keeping the birds away from their feeders. The next day Gram asked Grampa where he saw the hawk and Grampa dryly reports "Up in the sky, Glory". HAHAHA. No need to dress things up for Grampa; he likes things as simple as they get.
Lastly, I truly love how everything in their household is "Grampified". He must customized everything to fit his needs. And yes, by everything I even mean putting glue on the back clasp of his base ball cap to keep it from falling apart. So cute.
Gram and Grampa are definitely creatures of habit and hard work. They put away their pennies to buy what they needed. Grampa built their house with his own two hands, and Gram filled it with love. They have been there for me my entire life. They've come to concerts, field hockey games, graduations, recitals, and weddings. They've supported me when I've made tough decisions, and they've loved me for who I am. I am so incredibly blessed to know them, have them in my life, and call them my grandparents. In fact, Gram and I both agreed that there should only be granddaughters and grandmothers in the world... to spoil each other, laugh with each other, and make memories together.
Gotta go... I just made a batch of sugar cookies:)
|My sister Julie and I making Gram's sugar cookies on her counter (she was 4, I was 2)|
|Same great counter, same great Gram!|