I went with Grandma to help her help Aunt Roseann with her garage sale. Roseann is really my “cousin twice removed.” (Grandma looked it up for me, but it really is easier to just call her “aunt” so we won’t get technical!). I found this cool plastic hammer that worked really well at pounding everything. I now have this great music box that I love listening to and watching as the kitties slide across as they “play” the piano. All in all, we had a great time! Roseann is very special to me. Grandma says, “you can’t replace blood. It courses through our veins and no matter how much time goes by, you’ll always be connected.
Fojo Bean’s Dan has done it again. The man just understands coffee! He talks way over my head, but it’s fascinating to listen to. I’m just a humble (former) barista, with a tastebud for great coffee. Seriously. Here’s an example: I ran out of coffee in the wee hours of a morning (how can this be, the adoring fans think, doesn’t she calculate if she needs coffee? Why yes she does! But she walks away from the mirror and forgets, too easily.). So I pull out a frozen bag of A&P’s Eight O’Clock coffee. Now there was a time when I couldn’t live without my Eight O’Clock coffee, so I think this was a good choice, based on past experience. It was like putting your old favorite shoes on from your childhood and “gee they don’t fit anymore! I don’t know why!” Basically, the same experience.
Another experience to follow thought here. Comfort food. Last night I was not feeling well. Refinishing fumes (that desk I am finally refinishing)? That hot dog I ate for supper? Or the pepperoni roll I had for lunch? Gee, all of the above??? (So much for self discipline.) Back to the food of the day. Milk toast. Yes, milk toast has it’s function. Whenever I don’t feel good, I make my grandmother’s recipe for milk toast. Milk toast is toasted bread (preferably grocery store white), a wee bit of butter skimmed across the top and a dash of salt. Then you take a saucepot and just pour in enough milk to cover the bottom to the curl in the side of the pot and bring it to a simmer. Pour and cut and serve. This remedy makes me not only feel better, but also brings me closer to my grandmother and her comfort.
One more random early morning thought. Did you know I never realized, in the simplicity of my magical upbringing, that soup could be homemade, did not have to come from Campbells? While I am sure we had some home made soups, I always associated soup with Campbell’s. And it wasn’t worth it if it wasn’t tomato or chicken noodle. When I was 19 I was introduced to Progresso (didn’t know it was ever there, this is what I mean by shallow, I thought it was a new company). The laugh was on me!
This is the second morning of “the headache.” I have been thinking it’s the weather, but I’m more inclined to think it’s my inner weather. As I prepare for my week ahead, I keep thinking about all the things that “need” to get done. And this morning when I got up I thought, “Really? Does this really need to get done at a fast pace?” Of course, the answer is NO! All of this is inside pressure from outside influences. Agendas and goals need to be put on the list, but trying to hurry through them doesn’t do me any good at all. It makes me forgetful instead.
So, as I prepare for my show at The Artist’s Palatte on Friday, I need to prepare myself as well, be who I am. Ta-da!
Nothing beats being a grandparent. We love our children, but our grandchildren are so much more, and no one can attest to that outside of the grandparent.
I am a grandmother of 3 so far and they are absolutely fascinating individuals.
Milo is almost 4 now A boy of boys and he has a fascinating imagination. His daddy has a great imagination and always was such a joy, running through the house being all sorts of superheros: there goes Superman and lo, the costume would change to Batman. I have photos of him admiring the cowboy in the mirror. When he got to high school, I remember one day him dressing (for Halloween) as Clark Kent, black glasses and everything. Every now and then he’d part the buttons on his white dress shirt and reveal Superman underneath the disguise. (Go, Dan!) Milo takes right after him. Dan is a good father, he reads to his children daily and feeds their imagination.
Brooke is 2 and 1/2 now and it is such a joy to watch her grow daily. Every time I go to visit her she immediately takes over with, “Come see my room Grandma.” Always has something amazing to show me in her domain! Yesterday she and her Mommy stopped by The Blue Lamp, where I was working, and she spent time sifting sand in the little tray Kim has just for that purpose. The Blue Lamp is filled with baubles and other delights for all. She cried, heartbroken, when her Mommy left for a few minutes just to grab lunch for us.
Then there is little Blakesley. Girl after my own heart. Just 1, it is a joy to watch her as she develops her individuality. The youngest (and a plight being the youngest, we pay attention, but the other personalities take over), she watches everything, but brave enough to try things on her own, like squashing the spider her brother shrieks at. Her eyes tell stories, and they absorb everything. I dreamt about her the other night. In my dream, she was the age she is, but was much more advanced, talking with me and we were doing many wonderful things together. I know this means a very special relationship will exist. Each is a special relationship, and even now I can tell that we share something special. We are both quiet people. She has this trait, like me, like her father.
I am disappointed that I am not as dear as Mommy, but that’s a trait that every child has. No one is as dear as Mommy and Daddy, and that point is very clear, no matter who you are, or how much this child means to a grandparent. A lesson well learned, and one rightly so. It is a special parental right, to be loved. It is one to be taken seriously. Kids may grow and grow away from their parents, but that love and desire to be acceptable and pleasing to their parents never dies. Grandparents are added on, but it’s not the same. This is a lesson to know and remember, no matter how old the child is.
But grandparents are very special, too. I remember my own grandparents. My loyalties divided between my two grandmothers. The one died when I was about 6 or 7. She was a tender, petite woman, her body riddled with arthritis, stooped over by her early 60’s (if not earlier). She had false teeth, but they never fit right, therefore she never wore them. I remember she had all kinds of African violets on her table in the dining room.
My other grandmother I had more interaction with, she lived to see me grown and have children of my own. Grandma Doty had a farm (EI EI O). It was not a working farm, it was long retired. We lived there until I was about 2, and moved to town. My parents both worked, so she was my babysitter until I was about 6 and we moved to a small home, leaving Grandma Doty to get her own place, a small apartment with many wonderful memories for Terri and me. I dreamt about this place a couple of months ago. There was a 1969 calendar on the wall (she always had a spot on her living room wall for the most current cloth towel calendar). I’m not sure of the significance, except that my youngest sister was born in 1969. Anyway, Grandma Doty doted on her grandchildren, but age caught up with her and by her 70s, she started slipping, having to go into a nursing home at age 75, where she remained for the next 13 years. But that is not my point here, my point is my memories of her. And her love. And that’s what I want to bring out here. We love our grandchildren, they are the most precious things to us, jewels in our crowns as we age. And as my memories go, I grew away from her. I remember my mom wanted me to move in with Grandma in 1975, to help keep an eye on her, but also allowing me to live away from home, but affordably. I chose to get my own apartment. A young woman of 19, I wanted my freedom, and living with Grandma wasn’t going to provide that. I regret that decision, I could have learned from her. But at 19, I did not think that (O foolish woman). Every child goes through this, we grow away from them, and it’s only in our memory that we live with the regret. It’s natural, and the way life is. But also, it comes back. Not to haunt us, but to cherish their memory. That memory may be slighted, because in death, we only remember the good sweet memories that made them special.
And that also brings me to my “last but not least” grandpuppy, Dante. I don’t know what it is about that little dog that endears me so to him. I took care of him while my daughter went on vacation randomly, and living quite far away and with her busy lifestyle, would have him for several months at a time. I took him to Kansas to be with her last summer. Oh we had a grand time, driving out there. He slept most of the way, sitting in his special seat, leashed to the seat belt. He helped me drive through the cities (St Louis he was particularly attentive). We visited cousin Roseann in Cincinnati, but he was raring to go the next morning, “on with the journey!” so off we went. We shared McDonalds and had a grand time. He is a Kansas City dog now, and loves every minute. He is strongly bonded to my daughter, they have a great relationship.
It’s just plain old hot and muggy here in the northeast. Air conditioners whirring away. If you don’t have a pool, pond or lake to splash in, you lay low indoors.
My own set up is an air conditioner on wheels that vents to the window. I finally put it on a low occasional table (sloshing of course and spilling) because I tired of rolling it over to the porch daily (sometimes twice). Last year it was new and I didn’t have to empty it for a few days, but this year it’s not holding it’s own. Which is a shame. (And yes, I’ve studied the directions, the only help they give is that if you have emptied the extra tank, call Customer Service…). Upstairs I rely on contractor’s ingenuity and open every single window, the downstairs front door (leaving the screen locked, of course!) and putting on two fans. And the Lord of the Universe sets the breeze in motion, cooling down the entire house (then watch Kathi close everything, absolutely everything, windows, shades, venetian blinds every morning). At 4 p.m., it starts all over again. But at least it’s bearable. And soon the nights will start cooling off again (I do consider it cool when it’s in the 70s, but better when it dips lower). And summer is half over. Let us not wish our lives away. Live in the moment.
Attached photo is Schroon Lake NY public beach, July 4th.