In a recent post on my Aunt's blog she wrote about all of her grandparents, sharing a word she associated with each of them. I thought this was a wonderful idea, so instead of posting a lengthy reply on her blog, I am writing my response here.
First of all, before I begin, it is important for you to know two things: 1) My chosen words will most likely be associated with my favorite memory of them.... 2) I have a lot of grandparents.
Grandpa Sooter: Bread. Every time that I have visited my grandpa, he immediately took me to the store to buy two things -- sweet sticky cereal, such as cookie crisps (which were not allowed at home) and bread to feed the seagulls with. If I went and spent a week with him, it was highly possible that we went every other day to go feed the seagulls. We would take our loaf of bread, drive down to the beach and spend the day running from the waves, building sandcastles, lecturing him about where to or not to throw his cigar butts, and throwing bits of junky bread to hungry, greedy, and overly obnoxious seagulls. I always tried to feed the little runt of a seagull, maybe the one that had an injured foot or seemed to be missing a feather, and he always made an effort to toss a piece of bread to the top-dog of the flock (which always was a very proud and beautiful bird). It was always my favorite day spent with him...
Grandma Dorothy: Beautiful. Now my grandma is possibly the fairest of them all, without a doubt, but what I am referring to is the perfume Beautiful, by Estee Lauder. Where I am working now, there is a woman that comes in every Monday and Friday (to take part in Wii bowling) who wears this same perfume. Every time I speak to her, I tear up and sigh with longing to hop on a plane to California to see my beautiful grandma. The reason I associate this to her is not just because its the perfume she has always worn, but because every time that I have gone to visit her I have returned with something doused in that smell. If I remember correctly, the last time I was with my grandma, I returned home with a gorgeously fluffy and ridiculously soft bathrobe... I still have it and I can still smell her perfume. It's this perfume that always starts the memories of total laughter, playing the game Trouble at the dining room table, and counting pennies. These are the best memories a girl could have. I could write a book with them.
Grandpa Carlos: Refrigerator. This is the funniest memory that I have of any of my grandparents.... I remember going up to Grandma Bertha in the late afternoon and asking for a snack or a cookie from one of the six sitting around the kitchen. As a good grandma should, she always shooed me out of the kitchen all the while "tsk"ing and "hmph"ing saying that I was going to ruin my dinner if I ate something now.... So I would go out to Grandpa Carlos' shop. Sitting a little bit away from the house was the ultimate man cave, complete with radio, tools, wood, dirt, and a refrigerator. From what I can remember, Grandma never set foot in his shed. She didn't care about tools and typically left him to fix such and stuff and create this and that in his beloved tool shed. Anyways, I would go out to his shed, tell him that I was hungry... What do you think he did? He opened up his refrigerator and let me pick out a snack. You would be shocked and amazed (some even horrified) at the display of eats he had. He had everything from cupcakes and cookies to Popsicles, ice cream and fudge. He had pudding and jello, soda and juice, Gatorade and yogurt. Everything a hungry (and disobedient) child could desire. So I would hop over grab a soda pop and maybe a Popsicle, and head over to my chair next to him. I would eat my Popsicle, and sigh in satisfaction when it didn't matter that I dripped my grape Popsicle on the wood-shavings covered floor. It was a child's dream place, and I'd give anything to go back to that.
Grandma Bertha: Now this one is hard.... I think of Grandma Bertha and I think of love, warmth, letters, hugs, cooking, and so much more. I honestly don't think that I can pick just one word, so let's go with two. Spiders and Homework. It makes me shake my head and chuckle out loud as I sit here getting ready to tell you of my mischievous behavior as a kid at my grandma's house. We all know that I really enjoy a good practical joke... and, unfortunately for Grandma, it all started at her house. Every morning while she was making Mexican chorizo and eggs in a skillet I would sneak into her room and place a plastic spider under the messed up covers on her bed. And everyone morning, she would go in to make her bed, find the gummy fake spider, and start yelling. She would find me peering around the door frame, squealing with laughter, and start chiding me half in English and half in Spanish. She would point her finger at me, and say "Do you want your Grandma to die of a heart attack? Do you want that blood on your hands??" and proceed to tell me how badly I had scared her. Now.... I don't know if I really did scare her or not, but it certainly was rewarding to have her scream like that. Which is why I continued to put spiders in her bed every day I spent with her, until my parents and I moved from California to Tennessee.
The second word, homework, will be a short story. Basically, when I would bring all of my homework (remember, I was home schooled) to my Grandma's house on the days that my Mom would work, I would take my homework sheets and stuff them under furniture. Spelling worksheets, social studies.... they all went under the kitchen hutch or her bedroom dresser. They were never found until after we moved to Tennessee. How convenient for me!
Grandpa Harold: Unfortunately, I don't have very many memories of my Grandpa Harold... although I have been taught and told so many wonderful things about him from my mom. I know that he was sweet, kind, gentle and an absolutely wonderful father, husband and grandpa. If I had to pick a word(s) to describe him, or to associate to him it would have to be something along the lines of Easter Egg. I remember one Easter, me and all the other cousins lounging in the living room while the moms, aunts and grandma were in the kitchen. I remember that Grandpa pulled me over to him, sat me on his knee and whispered to me the location of the prize Easter egg. This specific Easter egg had a $10 bill in it... and I distinctly remember my cousin Benjamin being adamant that he would be the first to find the golden egg. Obviously he wasn't, and I was.
Grandma Connie: Generosity, to the extreme. Again, I don't have many memories of my mother's side of the family... so I don't have as many memories of her mother and father as I do my other grandparents. Grandma Connie died soon after we had moved from California, and I have a hard time recalling too many memories of her. But I do know that I loved her, loved spending time in her house filled with rabbit decorations, and loved going "out on the town" with her. I remember her being sweet and loving, always hugging me and kissing me on the forehead... and I remember her always giving her time, her things (which little girls love, especially old perfume bottles), and taking me shopping for a special treat. Trips out with Grandma were always sweet, and made me feel like a grown-up. We would always go to a very special little local cafe, and browse around some local boutiques. She was even the one to buy me my first and only barbie doll.... and the first to start loving a driveway lined with flowers.