Sunday, December 1, 2013
Create an Echo
When I was growing up in St. Johns I was blessed to live two blocks away from my grandparents house. I remember spending a lot of time over at their home. I loved it there. As a matter of fact I loved it so much I started figuring and finding new quicker routes to their house, shaving off as much travel time as possible! I found the fastest foot route was taking a short cut through Carl Herrings yard to an easement road behind Earl Patterson's house that headed north. I would then follow that path to Jay Platt's house cutting right through his yard and arriving to the south side of my Grandparents lot. I promise there was not one "No Trespassing" sign! I laugh to myself now to think of Mr. Herring and Mr. Platt peering out their windows at me and my brother just marching across their properties like we owned them! Getting caught was a risk we were willing to take to cut off this extra 30 seconds of walking; it seemed so paramount at the time. When we would step foot on their lawn we would run for the back door and most times as we opened the door we breathed in the aroma of fresh baked bread. I loved this as a young boy, I always knew there would be a jar of freshly made grape jelly. I still remember my Grandmother cutting a slice of thick homemade bread and watching the steam release from the center. She always smeared a healthy serving of butter on it that would disappear as quickly as it was spread from the heat. When the butter had melted a spoonful of homemade grape jam finished off the master piece. What a treat this was for all of her grandchildren. I thoroughly enjoyed going to her house to play pool with my other cousins or go to the city park next to her home to play wiffle ball. I also have fond memories of being taken care of when I was ill. My Papa would bring a special TV to the end of the couch with a hot bowl of soup to eat which always made things "all better." The peace and comfort I felt there was very desirable, it was in a sense like going to heaven. I credit my Grandmother and Grandfather with teaching me how to work. I vividly recall the scorching sun beating down on me as i picked up bucket after bucket of rocks out of their garden. I also remember using a push mower to mow their football field of a front lawn, which seemed to take hours. They would always take take us for a coke afterwards out to the drugstore in the back by the pharmacy. Times have changed since then for sure. I was also blessed to have my other set of grandparents in SJ just another block away. I loved eating my Grandma Nielsen's scrambled eggs. They were the best! I learned as I watched her prepare them, and today prepare them the same way for my own kids. She always had a candy dish in the upper cupboards filled with cinnamon and butterscotch discs that we could earn for helping gather the eggs at the barn or other chores. I still remember the old plum tree that was near their garden and picking and eating plums on my way to gather the eggs. I still haven't eaten a plum that GOOD! I loved playing on the homemade swings out in front of their house where we would spin in circles till we were sick. It is amazing how much your memory has stored when you actually take time to ponder. The role of Grandparents in our society is so important, especially in our day. With the cost of living going up and more couples having to work to support a household, Good Grandparents are needed more than ever. They have lived enough life to be full of wisdom and knowledge and kids are often times more likely to take their advice over their own parents. I am so grateful for the help my Grandparents gave to me. I still have one left here in town, Grandma Nielsen, who i believe is the oldest person in town at 97 years old! Grandparents are truly a blessing in our family circles. It is the phase of life that we have the ability to make lasting impacts on our posterity. I invite all to remember your own Grandparents and try to be like them. Even if you weren't blessed with Grandparents close by or perhaps their lives were cut short, always remember you still have the power to be a caring, loving Grandparent to your grand kids. As you take the time to share your lives with these kids they will listen and remember the many lessons taught and love shared, and it will create an echo throughout your posterity forever! An echo of love, peace and joy! Grandparents are wonderful gifts of God!