With memorial day just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to have a spot where people could post their favorite memories of a departed loved one.
I will be the first.
My Grandpa, John M., was my fishing buddy, so this time of year especially brings great memories back, because fishing opener for us is the third week-end in May. My Grandma, Anna M., was a no-nonsense woman born at the beginning of the 1900’s. She baked, cooked, cleaned, and played a very mean game of 500. So my favorite memory is the week I spent with my grand-parents when I was maybe 15, (yes, this is a very old memory!).
One morning grandma taught me how to make her wonderful bread dough. From it we would make bread, dinner rolls, and cinnamon rolls. I was a pretty sharp cook by then, and had determined that I wanted to write down her recipe before it was lost to the family, she used NO MEASURING cups or spoons, just an odd drinking cup. So I was guesstimating as she worked and told me what she was doing and why. I wrote down everything and still use that recipe to this day.
They lived on North Center Lake in Lindstrom, MN. Grandpa took me to town, which is a charming Swedish town in North Central MN to buy bait. We bought a tub of meal worms which I thought was MUCH better than going and digging up night-crawlers in his worm farm out back. He said we were going to get some pan-fish, which by then I understood to be sunnies and crappies. I had been raised on fish-fry.Way way back my grandparents owned a resort so we were there every week-end in the summer until I turned 9. I had spent a lot of time scaling and gutting sunnies, and also ate a lot of dry bread to dis-lodge those sharp little bones that I was always accidentally swallowing.
But I digress. Back to my teens.
We were out for a couple of hours, just hauling them in, chatting or not, just companionable-like. We shared views on everything, and I was quite surprised at how much we agreed about, and on the things we didn’t agree on, I was surprised to learn how strongly I felt about my opposing view!
When we got back, grandma had lunch on the table, simple fare left over from dinner the night before. We ate and then I helped grandma clean up, and then they both took their afternoon nap. I worked on a baby afghan I was crocheting while they slept, grandma taught me how to crochet when I was maybe six years old.
When grandpa woke up from his nap, he said it was time to clean the fish. We took them out of the water and counted. 91. Ugh!!!! But, grandpa had a new trick that he showed me. Instead of scaling and gutting, he had started fileting the fish. Within a couple hours, we had all of those pan fish fileted and packed in card-board milk cartons for freezing.
When I think about my grandparents and all that they were able to teach me in just one week of living with them, I fully regret not sending my own kids to spend some time with them. The values, ethics, and plain old living that they imparted will be with me always.
Because of that, I like to go and visit with them a bit at the mausoleum where they lay, and bring a little gift of flowers to symbolize my respect for them.
Please post a favorite memory of yours to share, and don’t forget to bring flowers in honor of your lost loved one.
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