When I think of the times I spent on the eastern shore with my grandparents, I have a plethora of amazing memories. They run the gambit from getting up early in the morning to take the little aluminum boat out on Colbourne's Creek with a fishing rod and a can of Vienna sausages to standing in the woodshop by Grandpop's side for hours at a time watching as he crafted and then painted little wooden birds. From taking bike rides on the dusty dirt roads looking for woolly bears so we could predict how harsh the winter would be based on whether they were black or brown in the summertime to picking blueberries, "grapes" (which I now know were actually scuppernongs), and almost any vegetable I could name right off the plant in the back garden of my grandparents' house. I remember sitting at the kitchen table snapping the ends off of green beans into a large metal bowl. I remember begging to get to sleep out on the "breezeway" on the orange cushions. Why? I don't know...because it was hot as Hades out there and it smelled like sulfur. I remember growing older and graduating from a pedal-powered metal tractor to a two-wheeled bike to a moped to our tan Aerostar van as I learned to drive on those deserted dirt roads.
I could go on for days.
I am so thankful for each one of the memories I made during those trips to the shore. It was our special time with Grandpop and Grandmom. Now that Grandmom is my last remaining grandparent, I feel even more compelled to remember and treasure the times we've had together.
What's cool, though, is that now that I'm a mother myself, I get to witness the memories being made by my own kids with my parents. (And my in-laws as well.) It just so happens that we're slightly more than halfway through a week-and-a-half long visit with my parents who trekked the 13-some hours from Maryland down to central Georgia (although it hardly ever takes us longer than 11.5 or 12 - "What's that in the back? You've got to pee? Well here's a cup. Aim carefully!" Yeah. We're mean parents. We stop for nothing. Except coffee. For me.)
Because of my overly active imagination, I sit and observe my kids with my parents and wonder which of the moments they will add to their respective memory banks. I have a lot of categories in my memory.
Things that make me laugh. (The sight of my grandfather in a Donald Duck costume. I seriously wish my legs looked that good in yellow tights.)
Things that give me the warm-fuzzies. (My grandfather's strong bear hugs.)
Things I have tried to block from memory, only to think of them at the most random times causing me to give dirty looks to an innocent passersby. (Seeing my cousin stomp a frog to death with his shoe on my grandparents' patio.)
Things that make me salivate with hunger. (My grandmother's no-bake cookies.)
Things that make me shake in my boots...if I were ever to wear boots. (The prospect of getting in the pen with my grandparents' two large dogs.)
Things that bring tears to my eyes. (The thought of my grandfather on his death bed, pointing up, ready to go home.)
I suspect that one day my kids will have a memory bank full of these things from both my parents' trips down here and from their trips to Maryland. I hope that most of them fall into the warm fuzzies category. If I had to guess, right now, I would say that their already-banked memories include:
~ Trips to Target for popcorn
~ Trips to McDonalds for McDoubles
~ "Your mommy/daddy said don't do that" as the #1 form of discipline
~ Extra TV time
~ The wall o' tiles that is no longer...
~ Hanging out in the basement of my parents' house
~ All-meat meals
~ Painting the girls' fingernails and toenails
~ Reading books with Grandpop for hours on end
~ Feeding the fish with stale Italian bread
And God willing that is just the beginning...
Now I'm on a mission. To impart to my kids how precious these days are. (And to take as many pictures as possible.)
Because, going back to my favorite Darius Rucker song, It Won't Be Like This for Long.
A BREAK IN THE ACTION
5 months ago