I was doing some pictures tonight putting them in folders and some of them had my grandmothers in them. Today is Tuesday and at my house that means sleepover night with 2 of my granddaughters. We play house, we bake, we do crafts, paint, build things, go swimming..just lots of stuff. I remembered my grandmothers and the relationship I had with them.
Both of them were obviously french and my paternal grandmother or Memere as we called them both, refused to speak English. If someone called her on the phone that spoke English she would just say "call Roland (my dad)". She was all of 4 foot 11 if that but that never stopped her from raising 13 children. I remember one Christmas family dinner at the farm house, she took a chair and took it to the counter in the kitchen, climbed on it then stood on the counter top to get a platter that was on the top shelf. My dad saw her and grabbed her by the waist to get her off telling her with all the men there (who are pretty much all over 6 feet) she only had to ask someone to get it for her but she just whacked him on the head with the platter and said she might be short but this was still her kitchen and to put her down. :) She was a firecracker.
My maternal grandmother had a date with my sister Adele and I one year every Wednesday at 2:15. For some reason that year we both had a spare at school for our last class and instead of being in the library we played hooky and would go to our grandparents. It was a ritual. She would have laid out the table with the good china, would have baked something just coming out of the oven and my grandfather would make this pot of tea seem like an event!! He would pour us the tea like a grand master at the finest 5 star restaurant. We had linen napkins and fancy dishes, little spoons to stir our sugar in and tiny forks to eat the dessert. We talked about school, our parents, boys, listened to them giving us advice. We always felt like it was our little secret that they kept from our parents although I am sure Mom knew but to this day I never asked.
Every summer the 4 oldest in my family would go to our grandparents for an entire week. My sister and I would go to one farm, and my 2 brothers would go to the other farm. then on Sunday we would come into town for church and switch farms for another week. It was relaxing, no fighting, didn't have to share the house with a bunch of siblings although when we went to our paternal grandparents, because there was such an age difference between my dad and the younger ones, there were still some living on the farm. but they loved it as they usually were able to pretend "THEIR" chores were TOO old for us KIDS to be able to do and of course we would say no they aren't and go do them as they would think ahhh reverse psychology lol. Of course it only worked till Memere found out :)
Little did I know those years with my grandmothers would make such an impact on my life, the way I spend time with my grandchildren or try too. Today I am 52 and have a lot of grandchildren and I hope that when they grow up to have grandchildren of their own, they will have great memories and be able to pass down the traditions of sleep overs and tea time with their best china.
I miss my grandmothers very much and I truly hope that this reunion I am planning for my paternal grandparents this summer will be a tribute to her to thank her for making me the person I am today.