My Grandma/Grandpa had the unusual habit of…

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Grandma/Grandpa had the unusual habit of…

I can only think of one unusual thing any of my grandparents used to do—and I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it was unusual enough to earn its own Sunday Memory entry.

Every time I entered the room, every time he saw me, my Grandpa would raise his right hand above his head as if he was holding something and would ask me, “What am I?” The answer to the question, of course, was the Statue of Liberty. Every once in awhile, though, he would raise his left arm. Then, when he asked the question, I would answer, “the Statue of Liberty,” and he would shake his head, reminding me that she holds the torch in her right hand.

He was the Statue of Liberty. But why was he the Statue of Liberty? I can only speculate, really. No one in the family seems to know why he did it, and to my knowledge, Grandpa never did this to anyone else. It was unusual, but it was our “thing.” For some reason, it seemed important to him that I know about the Statue of Liberty.

Mom suggested recently that the Lady is an icon to my grandparents’ generation. He was a 1st Sergeant in the United States Army during the Second World War, and although I don’t remember any specific moments or conversations, I remember him (and Grandma) being very patriotic. Liberty, freedom, America meant something to him.

Maybe it was a symbol of that freedom he loved so dearly. Maybe he just enjoyed connecting with me about something so universal (Heaven knows we had little enough in common back then). I really don’t know. Whatever the reason, I’m thankful. I love having a memory of my Grandpa that belongs to me.

Unusual. It’s those unusual habits, those quirks, those mysterious details of our family members’ lives that endear them to us. Hold onto those memories.

All my love,

Aunt Sarah

I remember life before…

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I remember life before… (ie: computers)

I remember life before a lot of things—cell phones, CDs, Kindle, airbags. The world around us is constantly shifting, constantly evolving into something new, something easier, something hipper, something faster. I would gladly trade the modern conveniences of life if I could spend just a few more years, or even a few more days, or even a few more hours, back in my childhood. That is what I remember most—life before my grandparents died.

My Grandma Schmitzer’s house was huge. Or so it seemed to me! I remember so many random things about her home, like her colored paring knives and the AVON Bubble Bath she always had on hand.  She always had cookies in the freezer for us (as well as Dreamsicles), and she kept her cereal in plastic containers. I also bet that at least five of my siblings and I (maybe all seven of us) could accurately describe to you how she stored her toilet paper. I’m not sure why—but we thought it was something special. Maybe it was the simple fact of her being Grandma. Everything she did was special to us.

Grandma Schmitzer didn’t have a lot of money, it seemed. Somehow, though, she always managed to send us a $5 check and a card for our birthdays. If there was one thing we could count on as kids, it was Grandma’s birthday check! I wish now that I had saved one of the checks for my scrapbook. It was, I’m sure, a big sacrifice for her to send money.

As for my Grandma and Grandpa Moore, I don’t recall the old farm as the older kids might. I hope you’ll hear about it once or twice in your lifetime! I’ve heard tales of Ritz crackers and Tang. But I don’t remember any of it. I remember Grandpa’s Magic Spoon, and his red-white-and-blue suspenders, and his jokes with the waitress every time we went out to eat. And I remember Grandma’s angels (so many angels!), her fluffy towels, her journals (yes, I think she may be the one person in the world who had more journals than me), and her beautiful thick hair.

They always had those chocolate marshmallow cookies in the cupboard. And whenever they came to visit, they would stop at Orchard Market and bring us lots of fresh produce. Grandpa always brought cabbage so mom would make a roast with cabbage—he loved cabbage, but Grandma didn’t, so they never ate it at home.

Why do I tell you all of this?

It’s a treasure to know your grandparents. You are lucky—no, you are blessed—to have them! Life is changing around us day by day, but there is something very sacred about the unchangingness of grandparents. I remember life before they passed away. I hope each of you will take the time to know and really love your grandparents while they are still with us. I doubt you will find any greater memories in life than those spent with your grandparents.

All my love,

Aunt Sarah