Friday, March 27, 2020

#21 Life questions

My! I do get rambly and jump around with all the memories.  That is not likely to change--hehe!  I hope Ian and Liam might enjoy reading these one day.  ;) 

21. Did your grandparents live close by?  If so, describe how they were involved in your life.  If they lived far away share some of the memories of visiting them or of them traveling to visit you.

My dad's parents moved to Colorado when I was little.  We used to go visit them over Christmas.  I remember Grandpa's cuckoo clock.  They had a brick house with a big brick porch, fenced in backyard on a corner lot that was very private with lots of bushes around it, an apartment in the basement with a kitchen but nobody lived there, they had sidewalks and there was a park a couple blocks away I could walk to.  One Christmas there was when I got my Tiny Tears doll and Dad would tease me and appropriately sing "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth".  Us kids mostly were off staying out of sight and hearing at their house, so I don't remember a lot about Grandma and Grandpa.  My dad looked a lot like Grandpa.  Grandma was the typical barrel shaped older woman in a housedress and apron and she was the boss of the house.

My dad's younger brother and his family lived in Denver.  (Likely why they moved there for quite a few years because he was Grandma's favorite.)  When we would drive there to visit (from Minnesota) that was the only time we got to see our cousins Jimmy and Bobby (both gone now).  Therefore, we kids spent a lot of time together.  Jimmy was a little older than I was and Bobby was my age (but I always thought he was younger because of how he acted--LOL!).

Jimmy was the good son and Bobby was the bad one.  Jimmy died very young (mountain climbing accident maybe?) and Bobby retired from the Navy and worked on a ferry after that before he died of cancer.  Bobby and I always had a bit of a bond...well, for our family--LOL!  He even came to visit me when Dagan was a baby and he came to Grandma's 100th birthday where we gabbed about old times and laughed a lot...even though we were only around each other on Christmases until Grandma and Grandpa moved back to Minnesota...I think around the time I had reached junior high, but I'm not positive.

I remember when I was ten and had my appendix out before we left for Christmas in Denver that I had to be careful, no roughhousing--but I didn't feel like it anyways.  Was a long scar down my entire stomach because it had been emergency surgery.  I remember the stitches itching so badly--and then going to a strange doctor in Denver.  It hurt really bad and bled when he pulled the stitches out one by one by one.  Made me get tears and make noises--I didn't cry!  The doctor was really nice and apologized for hurting me...but I told him he couldn't help it.  I remember he told Mom and Dad that they should have had the stitches out at least a week ago.  Mom said she just forgot with the holidays and all.  

Once in a while you see your parents through someone else's eyes.

When Grandma and Grandpa Johnson moved back to Minnesota we had all our Thanksgivings nd Christmases there...driving to Cokato and back the same day.  Was another brick house with an enclosed porch (love houses with enclosed porches to this day) that had a metal  glider rocker loveseat.  I bought a glider rocker metal chair for my porch I had in my last apartment...just because I remember hours and hours reading in the glider on their porch in Cokato.  

My Mom's parents...well, Grandpa died when I was five, as I previously talked about and Grandma lived with my one aunt and uncle--mom's younger sister.  We saw Grandma Ring often because they lived in a nearby suburb of Minneapolis.  Grandma babysat us kids, too, sometimes...but--truth--mostly Mom had her over for her freedom and to iron.  Remember when almost everything you wore needed to be ironed?  Well, when the old purple couches in the basement were both piled high with clean clothes...Grandma might suddenly come over for a visit for a couple of days.  Mom would disappear all day to shop or visit or whatever.

I asked Grandma if it didn't bother her that Mom expected her to come babysit and do all the ironing like that.  "Oh no.  I love to iron."  Grandma would be downstairs humming and ironing for hours and hours...while us kids ran wild all over the neighborhood.  She didn't actually watch us anymore than Mom did--LOL!

[Note: When I was about 10 or 11 years old I asked Grandma to teach me how to iron so I could pull out my own clean clothes and iron them myself.  I felt guilty having Grandma iron my clothes for me...whether she liked to iron or not.]

Grandma loved babies and Dagan was her first great grandchild.  I had sent her a little red sweetheart rose in a small vase from Dagan for Valentines Day when he was 3 1/2 months old.  He ended up in the hospital five days later--and they told us he was dying and there was nothing they could do for him...that long story.  The little rose at home in the vase was forgotten.  The water had dried up, the rose and leaves had fallen off--but one day after coming home from visiting us at Children's Hospital my aunt discovered new leaves were sprouting out from that stem leaning in the tiny, tall, white vase!  My aunt didn't tell me about this for years because they wondered if it was a sign that maybe Dagan would live after all.  It really freaked out my aunt.  She called around to nurseries and the University of Minnesota's horticulture department trying to find out if it was normal for a cut stem with no water that had lost its flower and leaves to send out new leaves.  No, they said--can't happen.  (A couple places thought she was playing a prank.)  

Obviously, you know that Dagan lived.  A while after he came home with me and was doing okay...those new leaves dried up and fell off.  Then they were too scared to tell me about it because they wondered if that was a sign, too--or maybe she shouldn't have tried to water it--LOL!  But Dagan's been patched up and kick-started several times...and he's still here...long after Grandma and my aunt and uncle are all gone.  If any spirit of someone who's passed watches over Dagan it would be Grandma Ring.  She, herself, was lost without children to watch over...even if she did it poorly you knew she genuinely loved you.

The End.


  1. My comment to get your interesting comments. :)

  2. What sweet memories. You reminded me once of having stitches not taken out in time and how much it hurt when they were finally removed. Completely forgot about that. I never knew my grandparents much, except for my mother's mother, who lived with us for awhile. She was a snoop and read my diary! :-)

  3. Wonderful stories! I especially love the story about the rose. My maternal Grandmother was very special to me. Because we moved around a lot when I was a child her home was the only steady home I ever knew. I used to spend a week or two with her in the summer. I will always have special memories of her. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  4. Love the story about the rose. Wonderful!

  5. Wonderful story about the rose. That is just amazing that it starting sprouting new leaves!

  6. Yes, quite the amazing story about the rose and so glad Dagan has survived long past the rose's demise.

  7. Lovely story that made me smile

  8. When I lived in Illinois, all the old farm women talked about how much they liked to iron. They said they had peace and quiet and could dream while they ironed. So when Carol arrived, with high hopes I asked her if she likes to iron. Nope! She's like me: only irons when she absolutely must. That's a cool story about the rose.


  9. You have beautiful memories :) Thanks for sharing these special days :)

  10. A wonderful story, wow!!! ♥♥♥

  11. It’s a very good idea to write down family histories. Your grandchildren will love to read they have children themselves. (OK, I know this is a looooong way off)


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