After Grandparents’ Day I turned my thoughts to my own grandparents who have long gone.

I was only 14 when my Grandpa died and my Grandma joined him five years later. I am so grateful that I have wonderful memories of my times with them. Grandma always wore a house dress complete with a bib type apron over it and my Grandpa, a farmer, was usually in work clothes with his pants held up with suspenders.
When I was 12 and 13 years old, I would go to their place to help Grandma with the house work and other chores that required attention. Grandma loved knick-knacks and it seemed they were everywhere especially her miniature bone china flower collection with their dainty, intricate, dust collecting petals. You know the type. What a pain to clean. I vowed then and there that I would never have a lot of trinkets that would require dusting and to this very day I have kept that promise to myself. Items I buy have to pass the “little to no” cleaning test.
Other chores included watering (with cold tea) her potted geraniums which were sitting on every window sill in the kitchen and pantry. Whether it was dusting, mopping floors, gathering vegetables from the garden, washing eggs, or picking red currents or gooseberries everything stopped at 4 o’clock because that was when you had a cup of tea or a glass of milk and a cookie. Grandma called it “piecing” which means “snacking”. I loved this time, not just for the break from jobs but for the conversation with Grandma. It was just me and her, our time.
Another fond memory I have is of Grandpa sitting in his chair in front of his tiny, snowy picture television set. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, only one channel was available – CKNX Wingham. The Indian-head test pattern (Wouldn’t we get into trouble today for using that symbol) went off at 2:00 pm and the broadcasting began. Naturally in those days, a woman’s place was in the home, so afternoon shows were aimed at making her a better wife and mother. Cooking and sewing programs were all that was offered for that time slot. Grandpa was at the age when an afternoon break was necessary so he was relaxing in front of his magic box. On this particular occasion, two cooks were making some type of dessert and one said, to the other, “Now, we will add the nuts”. My Grandpa, who was bored out of his mind, said in disgust, “I think the nuts are making it”. I will never forget how I laughed at his fed-up but witty retort. Strange what one remembers.
We are told that it is not healthy to dwell in the past, but it is good for the soul to make the occasional visit there. We need to remember the people and the events that influenced and shaped our lives. After all, that is what memories are – thoughts, feelings and experiences of times gone by.