Just Life

ten on tuesday. remembering the good times.

…this week Carole has us looking back at our childhood. writing about the things we miss. Here’s my list:

Grandma, me, Grandpa | August, 1976

1. my grandparents. I could’ve made a whole list about just this. my dad’s parents lived in southern Alabama and my mom’s lived in northern California. We never lived close to either of them, so it was always a trip to visit. and a very special trip if I got to stay by myself. There is nothing like being the center of attention at your grandparents’ house! In the summer of 1976, I flew to California by myself and spent several weeks with Grandma and Grandpa. They took me to San Francisco, and Napa Valley. We saw an opera and had picnics. Grandma helped me with my sewing (guess I wasn’t much of a knitter then, but she could’ve helped me with that too).

me and Granddaddy | August, 1977

The following summer, I stayed with my other grandparents in Alabama. They tried (unsuccessfully) to teach me to play bridge. Grandmother taught me to tat (again, not sure why we weren’t knitting!) and Granddaddy let me drive his car (on a very deserted country road).

Grandmother and me | August, 1977 (that dress I’m wearing, I think I sewed it the previous summer)

I kept up a close relationship with all my grandparents into adulthood. We wrote letters, made an occasional phone call and visited. Katie was the first great-grandchild on both sides of the family and I think it’s pretty special that she got to meet all four of my grandparents (I’m not sure she remembers much beyond all the photos!) Sara also got to meet Grandma (she was called GG by then) and Granddaddy (who was called Grandpa Blinn by then).

2. summer vacation. I’m sure there must’ve been parts that weren’t fun, but all I remember is a seemingly endless stream of warm sunny days. riding my bike to the pool. or to a friends house. popsicles. cookouts. you get the idea.

3. looking forward to new albums (the kind you played on a turntable) from the likes of Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Chicago.

4. The Carol Burnett Show.

5. playing. My family took three-week long camping trips the summers we lived in Wyoming (1971 – 1976) and my brother and sister and I usually had only ourselves for playmates. We made up wild games, full of imagination and fun (and likely a bit of competition!)

6. Little House on the Prairie. the books. the TV series. I loved all of it. (I’m sure the Wyoming connection had something to do with this!)

7. Nancy Drew. I “discovered” her in the school library when I was in the 4th grade. The Clue of the Dancing Puppet. I proceeded to devour the entire series (and I remember my mom would re-read them…took her about 45 minutes to finish one. me, it took a few days!)

8. ice cream. I remember having several scoops for dessert most nights. we always had a few flavors in the freezer. mint chocolate chip stands out as a special favorite.

9. my mom’s vegetable garden. She grew tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and I’m sure a lot of other things. We enjoyed fresh vegetables during the summer and home-canned sauce during the winter. sadly, I have no talents in this area….

10. sledding. those Wyoming years again. sledding was a big thing. and after that, we moved to New Jersey and there was a park across the street from our house with big hills. even through college I loved bundling up and flying down the hill. (I wonder if I’d like it so much now?)

So – there you have it, a little trip down memory lane. remembering the good times.

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16 Comments

  • Carole Julius

    It's a wonderful trip down memory lane. I used to love spending time with my grandparents. My grandma always smelled like cookies and she taught me to bake bread and I thought she was the most amazing person in the whole world.

  • KnitNana

    I loved Nancy Drew, too. Was hooked by *The Secret of the Old Clock* and I still have all of those. What a wonderful list you have full of memories.

  • Patty

    Having special grandparents has got to be the best gift a kid can get. My Nana was such a wonderful baker. And sledding…it is still fun Mary! Come to MA and I'll take you! 🙂

  • Debbie

    This is a great list! Nancy Drew & Grandparents were the best! I loved spending time with my grandparents. My grandmothers taught me to knit & crochet, along with sewing, gardening and cooking…they were amazing, strong & wise women.

  • Teri

    Ah, yes. The Carole Burnett show. I used to love it when Tim Conway would get the cast laughing so hard during a scene, they couldn't control themselves. Watching them try to "save" it was a delight. You just knew they were having the time of their lives. And some of the names from the audience…I still remember "Theresa Renteria" and "Priscilla Celery".

  • Kym

    Ummmmmmm. Mary. I lived in Wyoming for my junior high and high school years. Can you believe that? GREAT list, by the way! And the photos are wonderful. XOXO

  • mere2007

    Wow! great comments! thanks everyone!! I have to say, when I started the list, most of my thoughts were of braces and awkward hair and clothing (sorry, but the 70's? terrible!!) … and then I remembered about those visits with my grandparents. and Nancy Drew. and it came together.

  • Honoré

    Thanks for sharing this S-U-P-E-R list; what fun…and the photos provide the piece de resistance. Aren't trips down memory lane just the greatest?!
    Cheers~