Grandkids give us a lift


Entertaining grandkids is nothing like it was when I was a youngster. My grandmother could keep me busy for hours by letting me string buttons with a needle and thread. I play hide and seek with my grandkids and tell them not to look for me. 

Nanaw kept a huge white bucket with a lid. This bucket was a never ending source of sugar cookies, which could be eaten at will. No one ever told me that I couldn't have one. Currently, I use part of my pension to pay for Smucker's Goober, which is grape jelly and peanut butter stripes swirled in a jar, for the grandkids' snack. The quadruple in price is probably for the floral design found on the top when the lid is removed. It's like cappuccino foam pictures or like the stamp of a shamrock on a Guinness in an Irish pub. Separate jars of store-brand peanut butter and grape jelly combined for a sandwich are simply not acceptable in these times.  

One thing hasn't changed---the thrill of telephones. With the receiver on my grandmother's rotary phone in the down position, I loved to twirl the dial to the right and hypnotically watch it click all the way back, over and over again. I'd quietly lift the receiver and listen on the party line to her neighbor describe the pus that oozed from her husband's incision or share the news that hardly-married-a-month So-and-So was in a family way. When I CAN find my iPhone, the battery is always low because one of the grandkids has been playing "Doodle Jump" or "Toki Tori" until the juice is nearly gone.    

We much preferred the claw foot bathtub to the washtub because it held more cousins at my grandmother's house. Somehow through the years, though, the stopper got lost. The chubbiest of all the cousins was elected to sit on the drain. That would be me. Who knew lye soap could lather? We didn't have tub jets back then; we had to . . . uh, create our own bubbles. One thing hasn't changed---prolonged bath time is still a dead cinch for wrinkled fingers.  

Rainy days at my grandmother's house meant playing dolls with wooden spools of thread, cracking pecans underneath the treadle machine pedal, sliding down the banister, and racing marbles on the linoleum kitchen floor. Grandkids today require a massive inventory of DVDs, the ever-ready ability to shift at a moment's notice from a Yamaha Raptor ATV to an Arctic Cat Prowler UTV, and remote controls for every whim.  

Although my grandmother never learned to drive, she was the kind of grandmother who would have taken us to shop at Academy. But she would have hidden her face in her gingham apron if she had seen my grandson Brock shopping last Tuesday for a maroon sports bra for his twin sister.

It's all about support.

  Huntington Beach News

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