Saturday, October 24, 2009

Memory Lane

Last night Megan asked me if I knew my mother's parents when I was little. I didn't have the fortune of knowing my grandmother, as she died long before I was born, but I do have many fond memories of my grandpa John, and weekends spent at his house.

So I began to tell Megan about my grandpa. I told her what his house looked like (strikingly similar in layout to my parent's current house). I told her about the box in the basement next to the TV that always had peanut m&m's or chocolate stars, and how we'd try to sneak them without anyone hearing. I told her about eating dinner on Friday nights at the mom and pop root beer stand at the corner, where we'd always have corn dogs (and root beer, of course). I told her that my grandpa's refrigerator always had 20 kinds of soda, and that we would eat Alphabits for breakfast with half and half poured over it, and braunswauger sandwiches on white bread for lunch. But best of all, I told her, were the mornings my grandpa made pancakes, sausage and bacon for everyone, with Karo syrup.

As I talked her eyes lit up, and she said, "It sounds like so much fun!" I told her it was fun, just like it's fun for her to visit her grandparents. On reflection, I realized I made it sound like all we did at grandpa's was eat. Tonight I'll have to tell her about riding our hot wheels in the driveway, playing with old toys we'd find in the closet, the bright green antique dentist chair in the corner of the basement, the salon style doors leading to the back room that made it feel like a secret hideout, the time we stood out on the patio in our bare feet on Christmas Day because it was 50 degrees, the collection of antique dolls in my mom's old bedroom that we used to play with, playing piano while my grandpa dozed in the armchair, and how he'd always snap awake when I was done and say, "Very good!"

I actually can't play piano or make pancakes (like I did this morning, but not at the same time) without thinking of my grandpa. I wonder what our kids will remember about visiting their grandparents?


Nonna said...

Dad and I are trying to remember which root beer stand you are talking about. We only remember going to Elmer's on Friday nights.

I would love to know what the kids remember about being here. Maybe we need to make more memories.

Gina Marie said...

Mom, it was that A&W place on the corner right when you turn into town. It was run by that older couple (Bummerts? Bumsteads?). It's now a gas station.

Nonna said...

I had forgotten that that was still there when you kids were little and it was the Bummerts. Thanks for the memory jolt. I remember when Susan was dating a guy and his younger brother and I bribed them to take us there. I don't think mom and dad knew they were dating yet.