Thursday, May 5, 2016

Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House

Today's post is a little different.  It's time I took pen to paper to jot down a bit of history for my children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews on my father's side of the family.  We'll call them the 'Dees'.

As children my brother and I spent most weekends at my dad's parents - Grandma and grandpa Dee's.   Keep in mind that our dad passed when I was two and my brother was nearly five. Our weekends were filled with family, great home made foods and fun.  We were allowed to be children while we played in the huge yard made up of three city lots.

The house was a huge Victorian set close to the road but surrounded with a chain link fence.  All around the chain link fence our grandfather grew gardens of beautiful flowers and food.  At the back of the yard was a huge patio with picnic tables.  Enough room to sit the whole family.  I can remember fourteen people at any given time sitting back there.  The patio was surrounded by every fruit tree imaginable to man.  (Or so I thought!)  There were cherries,  apricots, and I can't remember what else.  But there were lots of them.

The cherry tree brushed up against the garage.  My brother and I use to climb the ladder that was left against the garage to sit on the roof and pick cherries, one by one, to stuff in our mouths.  This one day there was a peck of cherries sitting on the sidewalk close to the house.  They sure looked rather appetizing.  My brother (who became an engineer when he grew up) knew we couldn't be seen eating from the basket. He devised a pulley system that carried the basket to the second floor porch so we could munch in private.  We ate nearly the entire peck of cherries!  No tummy ache and no discipline from the adults.  We later found out why we didn't get into trouble.  We spend the next few days fighting for the bathroom!

My memories are few of that period of time other than going to grandma's house was the best.  I remember my cousin and I played for hours in the yard.  I bet my brother was relieved to have some time to himself.  He always stayed with me to protect me, even when he played football.  I figured out later in life why his team always won.   They used me as the running quarterback and no one would dare tackle me!  My brother was a very wise boy.

There was a 'family' of ducks that were stuck in the grass.  I only remember my cousin and I had fun with those ducks.  I just can't remember how we had fun.  The memory is a good one though.

Other than the food grandma prepared every weekend, the wine barrels in the basement and the wringer washer, my memory has failed me.  We did go there for Christmas and my uncle would sit me in front of the mirror in the living room and told me to pick a card from the deck.  He always guessed which card I chose.  My brother finally told me when I was an adult that the mirror was there.  I figured out the rest on my own.

Maybe I spoke too soon.  When our cousins were with us my grandfather would bring out a huge box of candy bars to pass out to us.  We made them last and you could hear a pin drop in the room while we were slowly devouring them.

My best friends at that time were my cousin, Nardine and my brother Robert Louis.  My brother has passed, but my cousin and I still are spiritually connected.  There are some things in life that even death can't change.   The biggest thing is love.


  1. Oh what a lovely post. I love the story of you and your brother eating the cherries. I love cherries and home grown would be delicious. When I was a child I would sneak into my Nana's ting vege garden and eat carrots, beans and peas. They were delicious. Sad to hear your dad passed away when you were 2. My dad died when I was 10. Hugs to you and have a lovely weekend. X

    1. I can still taste those cherries!

    2. It was just a C. It's one of the reasons I enjoy your garden pictures so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the post,

  2. "Over the river and through the woods..." was one of the songs we had learnt in school
    (English lessons) and I can still recall the first part of the melody.
    Your memories of your grandparents´ home are moving and precious. Such a large place with
    garden, trees and all things that children love. It is a sort of wonderland that stays in your mind.