Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grandpas and Granddaddies, Grannies and Grandmas

I was thinking yesterday (yeah I do think ocassionally) that I have some really good memories of my grandparents. My kids have some but not as many I think. I had 4 grandparents though and they've only really had their Grandmas. My Dad is Grandpa Bob and he's always been there but as his memory got worse he'd more than likely just stay in his bedroom instead of interacting with the family when we would all get together or just come by. Chris's Dad has nothing to do with us and hasn't for the last almost 7 years. Jessie was 4 and Nicky was 6 the last time they saw Grandpa J. and that was only because he came by our house to ask if we had heard anything from Chris's brother since the wedding. I was going through the early stages of finding out I had diabetes. Well, I didn't find out til that next year but I couldn't stay awake so I wasn't very good company when they just showed up out of the blue like they did. They were showing off a car they were buying. They weren't interested in seeing us really. Just wondering about brother in law like usual. Brother in law is a great guy but they've always shown more favoritism to him. Before he married they would have him visit and not even tell us he was in town. They celebrate his birthday but not Chris's. I could go on and on but that's not what this post is about. Anyway, I had a Granny and a Granddaddy on my Dad's side and a Grandma and a Grandpa on my Mom's side of the families. My kids have no memories of Chris's Dad and just a few of my Dad. Grandmothers though they have several. My Mom is Grandma Pat and Chris's Mom is Grandma Betty. My Mom has problems getting around so she's not as active with them as Grandma Betty is. Hopefully Grandma Betty won't have any really bad medical issues in the future. She's just a year younger than my Mom but her Dad lived to be a 101 years old so she's definitely got longevity on her side. Granny and Granddaddy are my Dad's parents. When I think of my Granddaddy I remember he always was taking pictures of us. Polaroids were all the rage in the 60's. It was a big deal to watch the picture develop too. I don't know how many pictures we have of us holding a picture waiting for it to develop. He taught us how to play poker. We'd sit around the dining table and play. Granddaddy always sat in the opposite chair than he usually did though. We found out later that you could see the cards of the person in his usual chair in the china cabinet glass. Still he taught us how to play poker, not cheat. Granny was a special woman. A big woman but she never felt big to me. She had the most beautiful auburn hair and we've yet to have a redhead show up in the grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a seamstress. She could sew anything. I still have a quilt she made probably back in the 60's. It's just a crazy quilt but knowing my Granny made it and recognizing the scraps in it make it very dear to me. It's very worn out and I wish I had the money to have it repaired but I don't see that happening anytime soon. She made all of my school clothes when I was growing up and could make her own patterns. If she were alive today and a whole lot younger she'd rule Project Runway and more than likely have her own line of clothing. She was a fantastic southern cook too. We always got a treat of a Dr Pepper when we'd go to their house but now I know the real treat were the memories I have. My Mom's parents are Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa was a 3rd grade dropout and had to go to work at 8 to help out the family. He learned how to make brooms. I used to love to watch him make brooms. He passed on this talent to his sons and one of them and his children still make brooms and mops to this day. My Grandma was class valedictorian and she married my Grandpa right after she graduated. There were never two more polar opposites than them. He was as dark as she was fair. She could read but he couldn't. She taught him how to sign his name. Grandma was always working when we were kids. My Grandpa had throat cancer when I was around 10 so Grandma had to become the breadwinner. I can't remember his voice but I had a dream with him in it a few months ago and I heard it in the dream and woke up crying. Grandpa overcame his throat cancer and repaired lawnmowers and small engines for money when they were older. My Grandma went back to school at 55 to become an LVN so they'd be able to make it better. She worked for a local state school and secretly I really think she loved taking care of the kids there. Grown or not, they were still kids to her. They called her Granny and she loved it. I could go on and on about all 4 of them. Each unique to the Grandparent title. I just hope my children do have some great memories of their own grandparents.

Catching Up

Christmas was nice. We saw my Dad on the Sunday before and had a pretty good visit with him. Nicky didn't go and neither did Chris but Jessie went with me along with my Mom, sisters and baby Phillip. Dad kept trying to make Jessie Phillip's sister instead of his cousin and of course he can't remember the baby is his littlest grandchild. He's physically improving but mentally he is getting worse. He hasn't totally forgotten me yet but he can't put a name to my face anymore. At least he knows I'm a daughter and not an in law. I think its because my sister Cheryl and I do favor enough and even though I'm bigger than she is I think that confuses him. Also I don't get to get up there as often as I'd like to. It's hard with Chris on the road and then also having to drive 30 miles one way plays on me physically too. I usually only get to Waco on Mondays and Fridays when I'm taking Chris to or picking him up from work. It's just too expensive and hard on my body to drive there more than that. Anyway, Christmas was nice. Weird but nice. We got together with my family at my sister Kelly's new house on Christmas eve. We had a good time and my Mom only cried when she first got there. I don't know how she does it. She's always been strong but its got to be so hard for her to for a better word grieve my Dad whenever she goes home after seeing him. We left Christmas morning and went and saw Chris's Mom. We had a great visit with her. BIL and his family did not show up to see us until Monday after and we left that afternoon so we didn't get a good visit at all with them. Their new baby is so sweet. He's easy going too and is going to be more advanced than big sister was. He's already turning over and I bet he'll be crawling in no time. His sister is turning out to be so smart and pretty. I can see a resemblence between Jessie and her. There's 8 years difference between them in age though so it'll be awhile before its more noticeable I think. We came home the Monday after Christmas day and didn't do much for the rest of Chris's vacation. We were supposed to take a ride out to Hico and Dublin, Texas one of the days but I was swollen really bad from all the riding we'd been doing and I just didn't feel up to a day trip. Hico is where Billy the Kid ended his days according to local folklore. We were going to go to the museum they have there and then eat at the Koffee Kup restaurant that's famous for its pies. In Dublin we were going to go to the last place in Texas that makes Dr Pepper with imperial pure cane sugar still. I can't believe now that is what we used to drink when I was a kid and that all soft drinks had sugar in them. They are so much sweeter than todays drinks. Hopefully we'll get to do this day trip when the kids are out of school for Spring break. We survived the arctic freeze that came through the country last week. All we had was extremely cold temperatures. This is one time I didn't mind not getting any of the snow or ice that came with that storm for places north of us.