My Grandparents

Another Christmas, another year – it all takes me to thoughts of family, snow, cold weather, and turkey.  I thought of another topic for today’s post, but this holiday got the best of me.  Even still, I realized, no one will be on line reading anything, right?  Everyone is spending time with family they haven’t seen for a year, and welcoming the loyal friends who stop by with gifts and warm wishes.  And, here’s hoping you are blessed enough to have all of those things.

Again, when I think of this particular holiday the first person, other than my mom who comes to mind is – my grandmother.  What an influence on my life.  Actually, both grandparents made a huge impact, as many do.  I bring them up because tomorrow, December 26th, is their wedding anniversary.  They would have been married something like 85 years; there ages 107 and 103, respectively, but, no one lives that long.  I just managed to bring my mother’s bible in the house from the garage where it’s been since I moved some of her things here six years ago.  I certainly thought she had that date listed there, as she had everything else noted.  To my surprise, she did not.  Therefore, I had to dust the cobwebs from my brain, and go in search of a memory.  The picture below is the two of them on their wedding day – December 26, 1928 – she eighteen, and my grandfather twenty-two, and from this union came three girls and two boys.

Use This one

Bubble lightsMy memory takes me traipsing in to the woods for that perfect tree. She with the ax in one hand, and mine in her other. Of course, sometimes she’d break out the aluminum tree, remember those? But, the real one had those wonderful bubble lights, paired with huge ones – the kind that are only used outside now. What a wonderful time.  Being a very crafty person, she made star-shaped pieces of cheesecloth where she’d cut holes in the center, starch, and then, paste red, green and cobalt blue stars all over them. She’d slide them onto candles, and when set aflame the colors from the sticky stars would reflect over everything.  I think they were my favorite. Actually, it is kind of hard to choose, because I’d also get a little loopy with those bubble lights.  As a small child, I had no idea how they bubbled – I only envisioned it as magical. And, the decorations didn’t end in the living room. She would surely always know when she had out-done herself, because every car that came down that street, once they reached her house, you could hear it slow to take in the sights.

By New Year’s Eve, Granddad would take over and fill a shoebox with Christmas candy. I have never been a hard candy person, but this satisfied him. He’d add an apple, orange, and assorted nuts, which I’d eat sparingly, as to have enough left to watch the football game and Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day – all while sharing the sofa with him. Not to watch the game specifically, but just being near him made me happy.  When you recall the things you did as a child, doesn’t it all sound silly?  Anyway, as you can tell this has been a salutation to those grandparents. Even if they are not here to celebrate any longer – I continue to honor the time I spent with them. Because they made me who I am today. Happy anniversary to you both, and I still miss you.Christmas Candy

Imagination-A Wonderful Gift

Is That My Mother?

Earlier in the week a friend posted this quote on Facebook.  “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” Oscar Wilde.  She got a number of responses from people who really liked the quote, including myself.  As the words began to soak in, it set my mind racing, which prompted this particular post.  Inspiration then, happened to be the very next thing that came to mind.  Since I’m not a scientist, I don’t know how many different types of brains there are, but I do know of two categories; analytical and creative.  Now, my husband studied engineering, beginning with something called a Smoley’s Table that they used way back when, before the calculator, to work out Trigonometry and Geometry problems.  Today, he still thinks in terms of figures or let me just say, systematically.  If he has to come to a decision another way, he is not interested;  he reminds me of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.  (That should leave you scratching your head as to how he even came up with a line that would interest any woman or should I be worried about myself)?

Now for myself, I am just the opposite, I run on the right side of my brain; you know, the creative side.  You all would know that because of how?  All of this writing.  Okay, as the pondering continued, I thought of how these characteristics developed, which took me directly to my mother.  As much as I loved the woman, she used to tell me all the time, “You think to big.”  Let me clarify that; we push our children toward independence, and the minute they grab hold we’re not happy with them there.  She did urge me to be all that I could, but regardless of that fact, she liked everything plain.  I never understood this, since her mother, “thought big.”  I don’t know how the creative end of my gray cells got turned on, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen because of the paternal side of the family.

We’re probably all born with whatever talent we have, although no one knows, including ourselves that we have any ability the minute we enter the world.  I have a cousin who has an unbelievable talent for sketching.  I trust he had this gift handed down again, from the maternal side of the family, since a brother of my grandmother had the same genius.  I know people who sing, paint, design clothes; a couple of photographers, and of course many published authors.  Thinking about my creativity and the maternal side of my family, I have to be pretty thankful for those grandparents, and I am.  I wrote a story about them called, “Grandparents – The Sweetest Word,” which sits in my pile of unpublished works.  One day I’ll see it in that book of short stories I planned as novel number four.

Let me get to the point.  I wanted to start the wheels turning and get you thinking about when you knew you had a gift? What is that gift, and most importantly, did you understand on your own that you had the ability?  Did you have someone like a grandparent or an uncle maybe, push you – inspire you, helping you realize your potential?  Now looking back, you realize that craft, whatever it may be, is as comfortable as that old pair of sneakers or that favorite robe.  I must say imagination is a wonderful gift from our Creator, and like Oscar Wilde said, without it we live in mediocrity.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com