Friday, July 30, 2010

Family Memories

Grandparent's home in the background
Family history. Those two words put together never excited me. In fact, I would run in the opposite direction when my family began to play the "Mennonite game". That game may have a different name depending where you are from but around here, it means long conversations of who is related to whom.

Yesterday I did something I've been wanting to do for a very long time. I stopped at the home/farm where my Grandma and Grandpa lived until the last few years of their lives. The home has had 3 owners since my Grandparents auction. Each owner has made improvements to the old brick home. I'm sure if I ever went inside, I would not recognize the rooms.

The current owner is having a garage sale. So I seized the opportunity to talk with the owner and ask permission for my Dancer Daughter (a.k.a. budding photographer) and I to stop in sometime and take pictures of the pond and weeping willow tree I helped my Grandpa plant (which they agreed...yay!!). While I was there, they started asking questions about the house and farm when my grandparents lived there.

Memories came flooding back. You see, growing up we only lived a half of a mile (at the most) from my Grandparents. It was like a second home to me. It was familiar. It was safe. It spilled over with love. I spent many hours helping my Grandma with housework or the garden. I remember watching her make cinnamon rolls. I remember hours spend under the dining room table playing (for some reason underneath that old table was just so much fun!) and the hiding place for all the yummy goodies. Watching my Grandpa use his power tools in the barn (he was a carpenter) and the summer kitchen converted into a woodworking area. And I use to mow their lawn and earned some cash. The many, many times aunts, uncles and cousins would visit. So many memories. If I wrote them all here, the post would turn into 5 pages!!

And of course there are the memories that aren't so great. Like the time my Grandpa had a stroke and my mom, Grandma and I as a very small child brought him home from the hospital. He still had an IV and I was pretty scared of him. Or when Grandma started to go "blind" when she was older and had to use a magnifying glass just to read the church bulletin. And I'll never forget getting the phone call early one Sunday morning telling us our uncle who was visiting had died during the night in the house. Or the mixed emotions when they decided to auction off the farm and house because they were getting older and couldn't handle the upkeep much longer. Not all memories are pleasant. But isn't that what life is about? The bad naturally comes with the good.

Family memories. I think I like those two words. Those two words make me happy.

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