“What is lovely never dies, but passes into other loveliness”
I sit sometimes and think about my first memory. It always comes to me. I am around 2. We were outside on a summer day. Side door to the garage. Old lawn chair with an Orange Crush underneath it. I remember the black dog too. Chopper. Then I don’t remember anything. I still have a few faint scars under my right eye as proof. I think Chopper was gone after that.
I remember having a knit sweaters and getting to pick out the colours and pattern. You would let us do that for almost every grade.
Fruit Loops in the mornings, bread, salami and gouda for lunch or we could choose mouse turds if you had them. Margarine. I think it was called Blue Bonnet.
We always got cookies. That was a given.
New school picture? Had to run it over to grandma’s house.
Running away? It was to grandma’s house.
Wanted a cookie? Guess where I was going?
I remember trying to beat Nintendo, in Uncle Mike’s room. We ate all of his snacks, and then some. Pretty sure we left peanut shells all over his bed.
Later I remember WWF stickers on Uncle Mike’s furniture. Then his bedroom was in the basement.
Speaking of the basement, there was always lots of cool stuff down there. Ponies, He-man. I am pretty sure we wrecked the pool table.
WWF must have been entertaining. Because I remember watching it there a lot.
Pigeons were always in the silos unless someone paid to come shoot them for meat. No one ever told me we were eating a pigeon. *If this has changed, I don’t want to know.
Peacocks were running all over the place. That was cool.
I remember going over there once, no one was home. I wrote a letter with markers. “Grandma, I was here. If you get this, call me right away”. I took a few cookies too.
I remember going to the place where we made rosaries with our cousins and other older women. And we got holy water. I wish I could remember where this was.
And of course I remember the Pow Wows at Kettle and Stoney Point, followed by the Grand Bend flea market which seemed way cooler back then.
And I remember being so tired at Gerry and Irene’s. You played cards and spoke in Dutch while we fell asleep on the couches.
As you got older, I remember helping you with painting and wallpaper. You said to me that you weren’t young anymore and couldn’t go up and down the ladder like you used too. I didn’t mind. I liked helping you.
After, I moved to London I didn’t see you as much as I should have. After your stroke, I came over to play cards with you and you wanted to show me your pictures as a little girl in Holland.
In 2005 when you got sicker I went away on a vacation down south. I wish I hadn’t. Even though I got to see you before you died. I still wish I had spent more time with you. Perhaps this is always the way.
Miss you grandma. xx