Saturday, November 04, 2006

No Paris Breakfasts, but.......

"Paris Breakfasts" is the blog of the day today. I thought, well crap. I've never had breakfast in Paris KY, let along THE Paris. But every life is different. What may seem mundane to some brings joy to others. Two major holidays are fast upon us and my mind is taking me back through several decades, remembering.

I'm old enough now to look back on the past with fondness. The mind is an amazing instrument. Some memories hide behind doors, just waiting to be accesssed so they can dance through my thoughts again. Five generations have been carefully stored behind those doors.

Great grandparents were an important part of my life as a child. Nearly every Sunday after church, Grandma and Grandpa Ford, Mom, and her four urchins piled into the car and headed for Frankfort, Kansas to visit Grandpa's parents. A mob of great aunts and uncles and second cousins ate, played, gabbed, argued politics, and pranked each other for several hours. In the middle of all this activity, Great Grandma sat quietly observing while Great Grandpa joked and teased the children. They've been gone for more than fifty years but they still live, tucked away in my memory banks. Once they were young, dreaming of what life would be when their kids came along, now they're a part of my history.

My maternal grandparents were almost like parents to me. I grew from infancy to adulthood with them nearby, correcting or encouraging in tandem with my mother. I am who I am as a person today, in part, because of their influence. They lived in a very small house, but every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas is memorable because of them. When their four children and fifteen grandchildren packed themselves into that tiny space, bedlam reigned. All it took to bring instant silence to the place was Grandma or Grandpa saying one word or pointing one index finger at the gang. I miss those days of family togetherness, and the food at Grandma's house was at least as good as anything in Paris, France. That's what I imagine anyway.

Mother, grandparents, several aunts and uncles, and two cousins have gone to glory. That's sad and I miss them, but they still live in the passages of my mind. Mostly I allow them to be young and vibrant, laughing and telling stories about their youth. Or sometimes I envision them playing cutthroat games of pinochle after dinner. Families used to do such things before football games on television or other exotic pursuits took precedence. Can you imagine it? And I'm old enough to remember those times, if only in memories.


Bette Taylor said...

Some lovely memories, Laurel.

Don Yockey said...

I always envied families I knew like yours...Except for my grandmother everyone argued, fought, bickered etc. My grandmother tried to make up for all "that" by making cookies for each of us coming to visit....she had little and was not a gourmet cook, so the cookies were often broken, crumbled and so forth, but they were that best in the world because they were made by someone so very special..dy

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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