Before I ever started school, I would accompany my Mom and my Gramma to the grocery store to stock up on food and essentials. My Mom would throw me in the backseat (not literally) and we would drive up the road to pick my Gramma up. She would climb into the front seat, dig through her purse, and hand me a half a piece of Trident gum. There may be some debate on when to give a child gum, but that was a highlight for me. We would then drive to town to go to the only grocery store.
This time of the year includes so many great things. For many of us, it involves traveling to spend time with family. As in my case, it’s going back to my parents’ house where I grew up. Thankfully this year, I was able to do so again. I didn’t think it was going to happen for various reasons, but alas, my Daddy came to the rescue. There are the obvious perks to it, seeing family, the warm, fuzzy feeling from being able to spend Christmas with loved ones, and having that time to unwind in a different setting than where I actually live. It also brings out the curiosity in me to scour the basement and closets for lost items and forgotten treasures. It might be better than going to an antique store to peruse.
Some people dread decorating for Christmas, buying or retrieving the Christmas tree from the garage or basement, digging through boxes to find ornaments, and having to string the lights to look the best on the tree. These things seem like quite a bit of work and may induce exasperated sighs, but I absolutely love all of it.
Since I moved to my own place over four years ago, the itch to decorate starts early in the holiday season. I, unlike others, do wait until December actually arrives though. My own home, to decorate how I please, with ornaments and festiveness of my choosing. I didn’t think it could get any better until the year I was given my Grandparents’ old ornaments.
Photographs not only hold images of our past and experiences, but keep memories and feelings fresh and help channel our reminiscence of those times. They are just paper and ink but are valued above most other things. Many times when people are rushed to escape from a crisis photographs are often grabbed first.
Contemporary cameras are all about pixels, multiple zoom, and auto-focus, promising crisp, clear pictures with the full color spectrum and detailing unmatched. This is all great and you can take some spectacular photographs, but what about those old cameras that gave us photographs with a little more character?
I can’t gauge this, seeing as I haven’t even been alive for that amount of years, but my Dad said this exact thing to me yesterday, “Forty years has gone by so fast.”
My parents’ 40th wedding anniversary is today. Yes, they’ve been married for that long. Continuously. To each other. I know, strange, right? They must be mutants or some of the kookiest people alive, because it seems so rare for people to actually stay married.
I’m not saying the times when people stayed together because divorce was a no-no, or people just stayed together because that’s what they did, should be brought back, but it’s more about the “throwaway” and “me me me” culture we live in now. Everyone wants instant results and no one wants to put the effort or work into . . . well, anything. For all of our technology, gadgets, quick fixes, and “hiring someone to do anything for us” society, the one area none of this really applies is to human emotions, relationships, and those deeper connections with another person. There is no “Successful Marriage” app for your phone (actually, there probably is, there’s an app for everything) that will make a marriage easy.
Growing up, my Gramma was always making things, not only cooking and baking, but she was an artist at embroidery. She set to work making each of her eight grandchildren keepsakes they could eventually use for their own homes when they became adults. She embroidered tea-towels and a tablecloth. My sister’s, brother’s, and mine sat in my Mom’s hope chest while we were growing up. When I finally moved to my own little house with my very own kitchen, I broke out the mementos my grandmother had worked so lovingly on. And also a small hat shaped pincushion my great aunt Marie (other side of the family) had crocheted.
I use the pincushion. But let’s be honest, I don’t sew and I’m pretty useless when it comes to even trying to fix a small whole, but I still bought needles just so I could stick them in this little hat pincushion. Mint green (as I’ve mentioned before as a favorite color of mine) was my favorite color growing up, along with peach. So those are the colors she made mine. She was a fun lady who was always a treat to visit. She never forgot a birthday, confirmation, etc. I’m thankful for this small gift from her I’m able to still use.