"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Childhood Memories

I was putting the box fan away for the year in the room that holds all our crap, (Yes, we have a ROOM for all that.  When you live with a pack rat you need a room...er, several rooms.) when I spotted this picture.

My Grandpa having a good time behind the bar.  Makes you wonder what the conversation was about. 

I'm mean, I knew them as Grandma and Grandpa, but they lived a life before I came along.  Just like you and me, they hung out with friends, told goofy jokes, bitched about their jobs and put one foot in front of the other.  Check out the cigar in his hand.  I remember he always had a stump of a cigar in his mouth and then he switched to chew.  That tobacco smelled SO good when it was in it's package.  "Redman" I think it was.  It had a package of an Indian on it.  I would grab it and and sniff it like it was rubber cement.  (Do they even make rubber cement anymore?)

Ooo, lookie!  Here's another!  Sounds like a fish story to me.  Grandpa used to own a marina on Lake Ontario.  I searched the Internet and found a picture of Henchens Marina.  (Did Grandpa used to own this Mom?  It looks like what I remember.  Or maybe we just hung out there alot after he sold his.)

Regardless, I would love to go in and stick my hand in the minnow tank there and feel the minnows swimming buy.  I'd always get yelled at to leave them alone too.  Tons of blue gills off the pier edge for the intrepid kid and her fishing pole with a bobber attached.

Grandma and Grandpa had a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath house that faced the lake.  I sometimes would get to spend all summer up there with them.  I loved those summers.  I'd work in the garden and take long hikes up the hill.  Grandma would let me tag along with her when she and her lady friends went golfing.  We'd go grocery shopping and she'd stop by a local chicken farm and pick up eggs.  It was a commercial place, stinky.  Every day we'd go pick up the mail in this tiny little post office with the old fashioned post office boxes.  Every Tuesday Grandma would get her hair "done" at the salon.  I never went with her for those visits.

Back at the house, Grandma and Grandpa would have "Happy Hour" every day at 4 o'clock.  They'd have a cocktail and we would sit at the kitchen table in front of the big plate glass window that looked out on the lake.  Grandpa would snack on some celery and radishes that he would dip in a bit of salt.  Grandma never sat down in the kitchen, she was always cooking.  She made her own bread which I never liked being raised on Wonder bread. 

Yep, those were good times.  I liked it best if I was up there by myself but sometimes I had to share Grandma and Grandpa with my baby brother and my sisters.

Can you imagine?  Yeah that's me...the tall one on the right.  Whats with those stripes?


  1. tami - I always viewed my parents / grandparents as just adults. It never occurred to me that they had lives of their own - they were my parents LOL

    Wonder what my mum (who died when I was 15) would think of her grown-up daughter, granddaughter and grandson. Would love to have an adult conversation with her.

    For everyone out there who still has their parents, especially their mothers, wont you please call her and tell her you love her. There's a terrible emptiness inside when you can no longer do that...

    But, I, too, have looked at old family photo's and wondered what was happening in their lives at that moment so long ago LOL

  2. Great post! I love looking back on things. I remember being amazed when my mom took me back to Germany to see where she grew up and she told me all the neat things she did. My mom--skiing???? Going on "secret" weekends with her boyfriend????? OMG. And I looked at her in a whole new way after that. She's been gone for 10 years now, but I have the greatest memories of her stories of when she was young. Thanks for a great look back.

  3. OMGosh, you are SO adorable! What great memories! So glad that you could relive happy times! Sounds like a great childhood.

    That header is GORGEOUS!

  4. I had tears in my eyes when I first saw this blog. The conversation was probably about fishing, what else. Dad looked so young. I wonder what year it was. I don't remember him switching to chewing tobacco. The third picture is in front of our marina before their living quarters were added on. On the far right is my Uncle Buster (Zeke) who co-owned the hotel. Next to him in the back is Uncle George. He ran the marina for Dad after he was discharged after WW2 was over. I'm not sure who the other two are. The one next to Dad may have been George Henchen who owned Henchen's marina which is the green building in the 4th picture. Grandpa hung out there all the time after he retired and moved to the other house. And NO you didn't stay up there all summer. It just seemed like it. The longest you kids stayed there was the month of June when we were moving back from Texas. Thanks for the memories.

  5. Hey, don't knock the stripes! They were so IN!

    Don't you wish you could go back? These are wonderful memories and now I want to go there too. You could even sit and have that happy hour drink with them now...