Do You Have Happy Memories of a Place Associated with Your Grandparents?

A few days ago, over on the Facebook Page, I asked the question, “What childhood places were most important to you?” I answered, “For me, the Plaza library in Kansas City. It has been renovated, and while it’s gorgeous and new, I wish I could still visit the library the way it was.”

More than a hundred people posted a response to this question, and I was struck by how frequently people mentioned a happy memory connected to a place associated with their grandparents.

Some themes:
— the contrast between their usual home and their grandparents’ home – spending time on a farm, say, or visiting a very different city
— being in the kitchen of their grandparents’ house
— special activities they did when they visited their grandparents, like sewing or fishing

One person made a very interesting point. She grew up in a military family that moved a lot, so her grandparents’ house was important as the one place that stayed familiar; she observed that as people become more transient, this might become true for more people.

This subject is timely for me, because my older daughter just got back from a week’s stay with my parents in Kansas City. My younger daughter went for her visit last month. Then we’ll all go back for another week in August. Their other set of grandparents lives right around the corner from our apartment, so it’s easy to plan times for visiting them. I’m so happy that they can have these visits, because I think relationships with grandparents are so important – and even the grandparents’ place.

Both my parents are from the same little Nebraska town, North Platte, and we would visit every summer. I could ride my bike from one grandparent house to the other. I remember so well the things we’d do, what we’d eat, the way each room smelled. And Fort Cody! I remember every aisle of that touristy emporium. (I just wondered: do they have a website? And here it is.)

In addition to getting to spend time with my beloved grandparents, one thing I love about those trips to North Platte is that it gave me another hometown – another place where I really knew the streets, the stores, the parks, the history, the best places to get ice cream. I’m very happy that my daughters will have this feeling about Kansas City, because as much as I love New York City and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, it’s a very weird hometown. I remember Calvin Trillin (a fellow Kansas Citian transplanted to New York) writing that it took him a long time to realize that his children weren’t from Kansas City. I knew exactly what he meant.

How about you? Do you have any particular happy memories related to your grandparents? And the places associated with them?

* I really enjoyed checking out Simple Mom — “Live simply, stay sane. Life hacks for home managers.”

* There’s been a lot of interest in the one-page discussion guide for book groups. Because so many people mentioned that they’re reading The Happiness Project with their church group, or in a spirituality book group, and the like, I wrote another one-page discussion guide that focuses on the spiritual aspect. If you’d like either discussion guide (or both!), email me at grubin at gretchenrubin dot com.

  • LivewithFlair

    I have no memories of grandparents or special places with them. Now that I’m a mom, I’m certain I want my children to have what I did not have. Since I have no memories, I’ll share one of my husband’s. He laughs about going to his grandmother’s house to watch Dallas and eat ice cream together. He still remembers how that felt. http://livewithflair.blogspot.com/

  • http://twitter.com/heidi_r Heidi Reimer-Epp

    Yes, I have many many happy memories of my grandparents. And I see my parents now creating similarly special memories with my kids. It’s a gift of immeasurable value.

  • http://twitter.com/heidi_r Heidi Reimer-Epp

    Yes, I have many many happy memories of being with my grandparents. And I see my parents now creating special memories with my kids. It’s a gift of immeasurable value.

  • http://twitter.com/katiengibson Katie Noah Gibson

    My grandparents both lived on farms when I was little, so it was quite a happy contrast from our suburban everyday. I have LOTS of memories from both places – which, yes, include being in the kitchen, exploring in the woods, helping in the garden, reading, cooking, eating, playing games and just generally being together. Great post, Gretchen.

  • http://www.shopdownlite.com down comforter

    My grandparents live on a farm and I go visit them in the summer. It such a fun place to go, all the corn fields, the lakes and the bushes were like my childhood heaven. I would come home all dirty, and my grandma would always say i can not grow up like a lady..but it was so much fun! I miss those days very much

  • Annie P

    For me, it’s my Grandma’s house. It’s in the San Joaquin Valley on a farm. She and her first husband brought it down from the mountains. Then later, years after he died, she and her second husband added on. It was a joy to grow up having dinners in a kitchen that was once my Uncle’s bedroom, and play with dolls that were in my Mom’s old room, and I would also admire in the “sewing room” where I slept – all her many symbols.

  • Mike Crosby

    I didn’t get to comment on a place where one was most happy, so here goes…

    I too loved my grandparents house. They lived in New Hampshire and Maine, I presently live in CA. (But I’m wearing my Lake Winnipesaukee t-shirt as I type this post;>)

    A few years ago, my wife and I stayed in NH on a lake and the place smelled musty like my grandparents house. I got up later that night and wept, knowing I can’t never go back.

    Oh the memories.

  • Dennard

    Loved this post, Gretchen.

    I spent vacations and holidays in a little town in Georgia which never has had more than 500 people. There is now a Facebook page whose members are mostly people who grew up going to see their grandparents in this small farming town.

    Check it out … http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=227069320738&ref=ts

    Your blog “hots home” with me so often.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Many

  • Sunny

    I grew up with my grandparents being the next house down the street. That was special but each summer I would go camping with them at a friend’s house about half an hour away. When the friends passed away, they gave the property to my family and now my grandparents live there. It’s almost like the two houses have merged into one continuous memory!

  • SarahHP

    My family always used to rent a little cottage in the Lake District a beautiful national park in the north of England. We used to meet up with my grandmother there and various other relatives. I went every year until my grandmother passed away when I was around 15, at which time the family tradition ended. If I need to calm my mind I recall the details of the rooms in my head (down to the distinct wall paper to the pale green china). on a whim I googled the cottage when I was at work recently and as soon as I saw it the memories came flooding back – all very intertwined with memories of my grandmother. I sat sobbing in my office. I’ve decided to book a holiday there next summer to take my little girl and husband back to my childhood summer destination. Hopefully we can build some new memories.

  • http://luziesnotes.wordpress.com/ luzie

    My grandparents have a lake house in a small village an hour north of the big, busy city that I grew up in. My cousins and I spent literally every summer break and many weekends during the year there, climbing trees, swimming and splashing in the lake, picking cherries and all sorts of berries, tasting fresh honey, roaming freely. My grandparents spoiled us rotten. Now, as they have aged, a lot has changed at the lake house. But the magic is still there. I just spent six days of my six week summer break at the lake house, just me and my grandparents. I discovered that the adult version of lake house magic is very similar to the magic from my childhood days.

  • http://mtinnercircle.com Kathy Nicholls

    Like your FB commenter, I grew up in a military household. My grandparents home was the one consistent, steady place for me. I always had a very close bond with them, as they took care of me while my mom worked from the time I was six weeks old. When she remarried into the military, my grandparents home became the place we went when we “went home.” From holiday dinners, the old stove in the living room (for heat), to playing simple games in their yard, it WAS my childhood. It is my grandmother’s china that I always associate with holiday dinners, and it is her china that now sits in my dining room, in the same china hutch that use always used for it. Thanks for a reminder of some really great memories.

  • http://twitter.com/eatingacookie Laurie

    My grandparents are the cornerstone of our entire family. As far as I can remember, Saturday evenings have always been spent in my grandparents’ house; everyone bonding over dinner.

    I have a lot of happy memories with my grandparents (I find myself grateful that I still have both my paternal and maternal grandparents), but I suppose one that stands out most at the moment is how I was such a Grandpa’s Little Girl. I was the constant recipient of the cans he’d put his loose change in. “To fund your plane ride to New York,” he’d explain when I got a bit older. I would also never forget the time he was with me when I got scared out of my wits in a haunted house (I had to leave through the entrance). He fought a plastic skeleton for me and I’ll never forget that.

  • http://michelechastain.blogspot.com Michele Chastain

    GREAT question and I was literally just on the phone with my G-ma talking about my favorite memories with her and my G-pa!
    We always had cook-outs in my G-ma’s backyard, and she’d set up ring toss, and have hula hoops, and her and G-pa would be cranking 2 ice cream makers, one with peach homemade ice-cream, and the other with banana!
    Also, every Thanksgiving dinner at their home was delicious, and to this day, I think my G-ma is the best cook ever…and my G-pa, who died when I was 16, used to say the LONGEST prayers before supper, so we’d all tease that our food was cold when he was finished! :) My Grandparents provided my most secure and comforting times.

  • http://twitter.com/addoway Fredrick Nijm

    My most important childhood place memorable to me was my grandparents home. My grandmother used to make these little sandwiches at the same time each day for us. We used to build up a huge appetite playing in the yard with my grandfather. Doing what? Well if it wasn’t fixing the sprinklers or picking figs from the trees, we were catching rabbits. Well we never ever caught the rabbits, but it was fun putting celery under a box trap with a string attached and just sit there all day behind the screen door waiting to pull it. I would have to say 90% of my memorable moments as a child were with my grandparents.

    Thanks for bringing up this topic…it has me reminiscing on the past. ;)

  • Michele

    This will probably NEVER be a response you’d expect, but…

    My maternal grandfather died before my birth, and my paternal grandfather died when I was 5 or 6. I was never particularly close to my maternal grandmother (and she moved away when I was very young), but my paternal grandmother lived with us for over a decade.

    She was a simple woman, from the “old country” (Armenia), spoke very little English…but there was no question that just being around her made me feel so loved. She didn’t need many words; she communicated it through hugs and laughter. We just hung around the house together (she didn’t drive, and I was too young to drive), although we would walk down to the corner store, and she’d buy me a brown paper bag full of penny candy (when it really WAS a penny!)

    She died on Feb. 22, 1976. Exactly 26 years later–on Feb. 22, 2002–my mother died. They are buried across the street from each other in the same cemetery. So while being in a cemetery is not a visit to a happy place, when I go back home, knowing that I am in a place where the two most important women in my life now rest gives me real peace and comfort. As a 5o-ish adult woman who has now raised her own two daughters, there’s something to be said for that.

  • Deb

    The thing about grand parents is – they aren’t raising us. There was a certain freedom at my grandparents house. They loved me unconditionally, they never admonished or criticized me, they just let me be me. I was certain of my welcome, and consequently, I was completely happy there.

    • gretchenrubin

      Yes, there’s that old joke, “If I’d known what fun it is to have
      grandchildren, I would have had them first.” It’s great for both
      grandparents and grandchildren to have that kind of relationship.

  • Abby

    Peaches and cream for breakfast at the cottage. Phesant feathers. Fishing. Playing hide and seek at grandpa’s factory… Many happy memories!

    I asked my son this question and he said bacon (I don’t cook it but grandma does), ice cream for breakfast (what?!), swimming in papa’s pool, and sailing.

  • Djohnson63

    So I was born in Lexington Nebraska…. both sets of grandparents lived there…loved to go visit. Now I live in Manhattan Kansas… you however live in my favorite city…..

  • hsthomas

    WATERMELON! For some reason, we didn’t eat watermelon at home. But when I visited Granny and Grandad, they always had watermelon for me. I remember playing in my grandparents’ yard with my cousins, and the scent of mimosa blossoms. Yes, MANY happy memories of visiting my grandparents.

  • Pamela

    My grandma on my dad’s side was widowed in her late 50’s so came to live with us. We built a house with a ‘granny suite’ and I just LOVED going downstairs to visit Grandma. In fact, to differentiate between my two grandmas, we called her “Grandma Downstairs”!! So even her name referred to a favourite childhood place. We watched TV together, played cards, she taught me to knit (still one of my fave things to do), we took walks into town together, planted flowers we dug up from the side of the road (periwinkles and daylilies), weeded her garden, and ate her ginger snap cookies! I wish I could have just one day with her again, to talk with her, woman to woman, and ask her all the questions I never thought to ask as a child.

    • Pamela

      I loved going to my maternal grandparents’ house, too. They were Italian, so eating Sunday dinner there was a dream come true for any kid! Grandma was a great cook. And Grandpa was a sweetheart. Alwys had time to play with us kids. My brother & I loved playing in their basement, which was so neat and tidy–and nice and cool in the NJ summers!

  • Pamela

    And thanks for the link to Simple Mom blog. Through it I found Simple Bites and discovered I knew the author as a child! What fun. Connecting on Facebook now…

    • gretchenrubin

      I love making those connections!

  • Sol

    My grandmother loved to spoil us; we lived within bike riding distance, and one of our summer camps was right next to her house. We would bike there, go to the camp, then afterward, she’d have lunch ready for us daily. She was always interested in us, and talked to us as if we were were adults. My grandfather liked to play games and tell jokes. They still make each other smile. I moved back to my hometown after about a decade away, and about a year ago started regular movie dates with my grandparents. Now I get to smile every time I think about logging into Netflix and figuring out which movie to bring to them next.

  • Kim

    Gretchen,
    You so hit home with the Calvin Trillin comment about not being from Kansas City. It just hit me that my kids are not from Omaha. Oh no!! Your explanation of your North Platte visits put me right back to summers in Iowa on my cousins farm and visits to my dads cabin in Schyuler, Nebraska. Thanks for making me smile:)

  • Ann

    My grandparents all died when I was fairly young and lived in South Carolina while we were in Chicago. We visited every summer. My fondest memory was lying in the dark and having my grandmother sing “You Are My Sunshine” to my cousin and me. I also remember the lovely smell of cantaloupes ripening on the back porch of my other grandmother’s house.

    Good memories. Thank you, Gretchen.

    • Bee

      Thank you, Ann, for bring a happy tear to my eye because my grandmother sang the same song to me and to my brother, generally while being bounced on her knee when she sat down for a moment between finishing the lunch dishes and starting preparations for supper.

      I also remember coming in from sledding or playing in deep snow of upstate NY with frozen fingers and she would warm our hands while keeping us away from the stove (she was always fearful of us being burnt or scalded or ignited by the cooker). Standing shivering behind her, she had us tuck our hands under her arms, which she held against her sides while still managing to stir the pots on the burners and setting our woolen mittens on a rack in the oven to dry. The smell of wet wool was usually soon replaced by that of baking cookies.

  • Melanie

    Based on your posts, sometimes I wonder if I am living a parallel life to you Gretchen! I too am from KC and I too have wonderful memories of that library (from the open windows, and even that odd yet soothing modern plexiglass column/fountain.)

    I have also come to realize that my daughter is from Boston, not from KC. It was an unsettling feeling at first knowing that she is actually not from my beloved midwest. This reality hit me when my daughter was 2, singing about the Red Sox during “Take me out the ballgame”. (Since I do not follow baseball, that was also an insight into the fact that she was an entirely separate person!)

    I now believe that what I think of as “midwestern values” (frugality, simplicity, humility) reside within me, not the location of my birth. I thoroughly enjoy taking my daughter with me to KC to show her “where mommy grew up”, taking her to the Nelson, to Kaleidoscope, Winstead’s, Loose Park, etc. I too have many wonderful memories of these places and my grandparents were a large force is shaping these memories.

    I hope that having both the east coast and the midwest as home bases will help give my child a wide, mind-broadening perspective on this huge country. I know that to many, the midwest is a place that you fly over. And even though I love the east coast, somehow KC will always be “home”.

  • http://twitter.com/rufemi Felicia Mitchell

    My parents married late, and I got to know one grandmother, just briefly, and my memory is of her sitting on my bed reading the Brothers Grimm after she took a train to visit us one summer. She was sweet, but we never got to know each other that well. I got to know my other grandmother (who died decades before I was born) from my mother’s stories. I have very happy memories associated with my Grandmother Ruth. I know her life story, even some of its mysteries, and am so thankful that my mother gave her to me: a role model I never met but am so like in so many ways. What is a happy memory (a second-hand memory)? Well, I have a scrapbook she put together of all the happy times she had with her oldest daughter, Gordon, who died at 12. I like to think of her putting this scrapbook together so long ago, in the Twenties, including even a candy wrapper alongside notes passed in class and photographs of Halloween dress-up smiles. Not to be morbid, but growing up with stories of my grandmother made me introduce my brother John (who died young) to my son. He knows his Uncle John, and he has some of his stuff, from his sleeping bag to his favorite 70’s shirt.

  • http://www.eoptimist.org Maggie

    I love reading your post and hearing about your memories from Kansas City! I grew up there as well and have fond memories of spending days at the Plaza and Brookside with my grandmother. I spend many afternoons at the Plaza library when I was little followed by lunch at Andres Cafe. I’m still living in the mid west and when I visit home (KC), I love to go back to those special places even without my grandmother.

  • Twenck

    Pagosa Springs, Colorado. I have been going there for over 30 years. Most summers from when I was 5 thru my teenages years. I love it! My grandparents have since passed away but their house has been maintained for the family and now I get to take my children (2 & 4yo). I love to do all the things that I remember doing plus creating new traditions with my family

  • http://www.postcardsfromapeacefuldivorce.com Molly Monet

    I read this post this morning while I was working on a piece about my family trip to California and the memories that my kids have formed of their grandparents. What synchronicity! I love it and thanks for the continual inspiration.

    There is nothing like the love of a grandparent and the wonderful memories that their homes bring.
    http://www.postcardsfromapeacefuldivorce.com/455/fifty-percent-californian/

  • Begum

    My grandmother means everything to me. She is the most valuable and the most precious person ever..
    I am a kid of working parents who was raised by her grandmother So when ever I remember my chilhood memories , they are full of her and the things we have done together..
    While I was going to elementary school, the school bus was going through a valley of daisies.. All I can remember was looking at them behind the window and to admire so bad..
    One day after school, I came home and told my grandmother about the daises.. Although she can barely walk because of the rheumatism, she took me to that valley..We picked up a lot a lot of daisies then come back home, prepared the dinner for my parents and decorated all table with those beautiful daises…My parents were amazed so do I.
    Now I am an educated chef.. But I couldn’t be able to prepare or see that gorgeous table even for once…

    • gretchenrubin

      What a lovely memory of your grandmother.

  • pennyfarthing

    This is very timely for me; I spent last Friday helping my father to clear out my grandparents’ home of many years, as they are now both in a residential home. My family moved a lot when I was a child, and my grandparents’ house was a constant. It was near the sea, which was exciting for me and my siblings, and my grandmother cooked lovely, comforting meals. Her cakes, particularly her millionaire’s shortbread, were very memorable. She also loved childrens’ books and introduced us to many interesting ones.

  • http://www.thebluebookcase.blogspot.com Connie

    This post is certainly timely! Just yesterday, I took my husband with my grandpa up to his old ranch that his grandfather owned and homesteaded, where my grandfather was born and raised. Whenever we came to visit Grandpa, he always took us to the ranch and had us ride horses and fish for minnows. That was the camping site for family reunions. He worked that ranch by himself after he was retired, until it got to the point where he could no longer run it, and he was forced to sell it. That land was such a big part of him, though, and he still hasn’t really gotten over it. Yesterday we went and visited it so my husband could see it (the new owner is very friendly about that), and my Grandpa, you could tell, was just at home. I felt like I had had so many great memories there with Grandpa that all came back with that familiar smell of sagebrush, but I realized that my few memories were nothing compared to the memories my grandpa had there his entire life, and you could see it in his eyes. It was a really special day for us.

  • Rachel

    My grandparents – Memere and Pepere – had a rambling, held-together-by-love cottage facing a large pond. All the grandkids were welcome to spend as long as we wanted (it seemed that way, anyway) during the summer.
    The cracks in the wall and holes in the screens let in the mosquitos, and all night long you could hear your cousins throughout the house either saying, “Oh, man!” or slapping themselves, OR simply that high whine in your ear.
    We also heard our parents and aunts and uncles screeching with laughter as they played cards below us at the kitchen table on the screened porch, or the theme from “Bonanza” or our grandparents praying the rosary. They were kind, patient and affectionate always, and the sense of their unconditional love gave
    us such joy.
    I have their photo on my dresser today, 30 years after they’ve gone, and never fail to smile and say hello.
    The memories are sweet and rich and pour in by the hundreds.

  • http://www.conversationarts.com Vincent Ng- Conversation Arts

    My grandmother passed away when I was sixteen. And one of memories I have of her was taking the bus to Chinatown in Vancouver. At the time Chinatown was filled with people, loud yelling of how cheap vegetables were, and the smell of roast duck.

    It didn’t occur to me years later how important it was for her to be there with me. My parents divorced and she was the one steady female figure that stayed with me since the day I was born.

    I miss taking her on walks, and going to Chinatown and even driving to there when I was legally allowed to drive. Even to this day every time I shop down there, it reminds me of her and all the time.

    The bus rides and the meals she cooked afterwards from all the groceries.

  • Joless

    My Grandparents – both sets – lived in the most perfect English village you can imagine. It has a village green, duck pond etc. They lived at either end of the village so I have lots of memories of walking from one house to another. I stayed more with my mother’s parents and my Grandad always took me to see my father’s parents when I stayed as he thought it was important.

    They would also always take me to the WI market on a Thursday morning where they would meet all their friends and we would have tea (lemonade for me) and cake and they would chat. It was so safe and friendly.

  • http://twitter.com/AhimsaMama Kelly Coyle DiNorcia

    Yes! I grew up with my grandparents literally living next door, so they were a constant presence in my life. They took us with them on vacations, took us hiking every weekend, and we had meals with them several times each week. My parents were divorced, so like the military child, my grandparents’ home was my one constant, my safe haven. I am so grateful for them and for the relationship I had with them as a child (and as an adult, my grandmother is still with us – and living in that same house).

  • http://www.facebook.com Kathaddy

    I grew up on what remained of my grandparents farm in Tallmadge, Ohio. The farmhouse had been in the family for more than 200 years. We grew our own vegetables and fruit, canned and froze them ang made jellies and jams. I have fond memories of shelling peas, stringing beans alongside my Grandma. And walking through the apple orchard with my Grandpa who taught me how to tell a mushroom from a toadstool.

    I would return to that simpler life in a heartbeat if I could also have my grandparents back.

  • Calwinter

    This was so inspiring for me as a grandma! It’s my current passion to leave delicious, fun, secure, loving memories in the minds of my “grandjoys” for a long time to come. Thank you all for your stories!

  • Tommy

    We also moved around quite a lot when I was young. Born in Minnesota, my father took my mom, my 3 year-old sister, and I up the Al-Can highway in 1969. My grandparents remained in Minnesota, at the home they had built in the ’50’s. My dad was present when the concrete steps were poured back then, and his name and the date are still there. Both sets of my grandparents were equally important to me and loved by me, but my mom’s father passed away in the early ’70’s of a brain tumor, so though I do rememer him, he doesn’t feature prominently in my memories. That grandman held on to the old place for many years and we were very close- she made the trip up to Alaska and visited, as did her kids, my aunts and uncles, who turned out to be very important- and continue to be- throughout my life. I  guess your post struck a chord with me as we are going to a very rare family reunion near where my (RIP) grandparents lived and passed away. Mom’s mother and my grandpa (who was mainly a logger after he fought in WWII along with my uncle. We have had family members in every war since the American Revolution until Vietnam, which my father wasn’t able to participate in because of medical reasons. Their place was only a few miles from my dad’s father and mother’s home. In the early years, up until I was 5 or so, I spent an almost equal amount of time at both grandparent’s homes. Yes, the kitchen and fishing memories are there, along with being sprayed by a skunk and finding an old piece of plywood with a nest of (harmless but terrifying) garter snakes under it- there were literally hundreds there, and I’ve disliked snakes since then. That was at my mom’s mother’s place, which also served as a popular (they don’t call it the land of 10,000 Lakes for nothing!) fishing resort, so between spending time with grandma slaving in the kitchen and watching TV, I recall exploring the lake, the cabins, and the endless, gorgeous woods surrounding the resort. I could ride my bike between the two places easily, though granny’s road remained unpaved for many years it was great exercise and thinking time. Grandma finally sold the place almost 2 decades after grandpa passed on, she moved to a trailer near the only store for many miles, I have some great memories of spending time with her as a young adult, and thankfully, before they passed away, she and my dad’s folks all got to meet my baby son, who’s 22 now! My most vivid memories,  however, are from when my by-then-divorced and remarried father moved us back to MN and built a house within a half-mile of his father’s old but well-kept home. I spent much of my time with my grandfather (and grandma- who had her mind set on my playing the organ- she was the church organist and played a mean piano, as well as along with my other grandma’s skills in the kitchen.) who had a mind-blowingly extensive collection of antique cars and thousands of other items, he was a mechanic and tool-and-die expert, and had a shop I will never forget the smell of. When the shop became too full for storage, he built another huge building filled with antiques and the like, the guestbook he provided filled so quickly I’m sure he went through several of them. He left a goodly portion of the cars and antiques to the Smithsonian, but (another really long story best left for another day) my father put both of his parents in a very nasty nursing home, and grandpa passed soon after grandma did. I will never forget the walks we took, making maple syrup and pickling fish- the smell of his boathouse was unforgettable too- a comfortable, OLD smell that was part of his essence. We’d work in his huge garden together, he taught me what he could (I am not a mechanic, I am a published writer) about cars and most importantly, gave me a healthy spiritual base with his gigantic library (he was a Baptist/Christian, but also a very well-read theologian, which helped me balance my inner being and Faith in God, growing up until age 16 with my non-believing father) Gramp’s of was packed to the brim with important, life-changing books, and he, along with my mother (whom I reunited with briefly 1977, then, after she helped me graduate high school financially, I finally got to know as an adult- she is constantly adding to our family tree on her side of the family, and along with my interest in reading, she encouraged my love of music. Without her and Grandpa, I wouldn’t be writing this!) are two of my biggest inspirations, mom really worked hard to put together this upcoming family reunion, and I thank her and Grandpa for instilling my love and appreciation for history and the past. She’s also my son’s only living grandparent who keeps in touch with him- they are very close and for that I am eternally grateful. That old saying is certainly true- “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” I don’t know about the doomed part, though- you certainly sparked some great memories for me today! Thanks for providing a space to share my memories of my grandparents- you, also, are a wise and wonderful inspiration and an important part of what will someday consider priceless memories. Much appreciated! The pic is kind of funky but those are the type of cars Gramps collected & restored.

  • Virginia

    I see it’s been 4 years since this blog post, but I am just now reading it and have to comment. My grandma died when I was 20 (my parents were older when they had me) and I still think about her several times a month 32 years later! I go through her house in my mind and remember everything I can about each room and the things in them. I remember each part of her yard and the activities we did there. I started doing this many years ago so I would always be able to remember because this house and yard were so important to me growing up. We visited my grandma often because she was only an hour away and when I was old enough, I would stay with her for a couple of weeks in the summer. All of my best memories are about time spent with my grandma. She was the one person who I felt loved me unconditionally. I’m tearing up writing this when I think about her and I still miss her so much. Thanks for sharing about your happy memories – I guess I didn’t realize how universal these memories are. Now I’m making memories with my 2 year-old grandson!

  • Maggie

    there seems to be malware coming from theartofsimple.net, maybe the site has been hacked?