The Young and the Young at Heart
by Joy Lancaster
President George Herbert Walker Bush was recently interviewed in Kennebunkport, Maine, by his own granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, a reporter for The Today Show. He remembered fishing trips and picnics as a boy – as well as important events of his adult years. Love of family was evident throughout the video report – at times through tears for both grandfather and granddaughter. Jenna shared her heart in these closing remarks: “Today on his 88th [birthday], I feel abundant love and gratitude. Grateful that I got this chance to spend an hour with him, and grateful that I’ve had 30 wonderful years with him.” I asked some of my own friends to share stories of special times they remember with their grandparents. As we grow older, these memories become even more meaningful. Here are some of their fond memories: • Hershey’s chocolate syrup in a can and RC cola in the Frigidaire • Getting chased out of the barn with a switch. “We had found out Grandpa had a still in the back room!”
• Sitting on a metal glider, eating homemade ice cream – hand cranked • Getting up with Grandma and Grandpa for a “party” after parents had gone to bed • Going fishing with Grandpa – but mostly just sitting in the boat, watching him • Fresh eggs with apple sausage – and riding Grandpa’s faithful horse, Betty • Having no indoor plumbing • Walking to the country store, with change in my pocket, to pick out penny candy • Homemade feasts with collard greens • Grandma burning almost everything she cooked (although, she did always save the grease in a can to use it again) . . . “Now, I wonder: maybe that’s it – everything just tasted burnt!” • Playing lawn darts (outlawed in the 1970’s – considered “deadly missiles”) • Riding all the way to Alabama in a car with no air conditioningR,“and my little brother standing on the front seat most of the way, his arm around Dad’s neck.” • Building boats out of plywood and then sailing them in the drainage ditch.
• Watching Red Skelton with Grandma. “When he signed off with ‘Good night and God bless!’ she always answered him.” • Seeing Grandpa kneeling, saying his prayers in Swedish. “His house always smelled dusty and musty, but he had the coolest stuff!” • Helping pick strawberries, and eating the biggest and sweetest ones along the way. • Sitting on the front porch, eating watermelon and spitting out the seeds; and afterward, just sitting – singing hymns with Grandma and listening to stories of long ago. “Those stories have kept my family history alive.”
What deposits are you making into your grandchildren’s memory banks? They will store them there and share those memories with their own children some day. Remember: Tomorrow’s memories are made today!
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38 • July 2015
Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper
Published on Jul 1, 2015
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