My maternal grandparents lived 700 miles away from us in Virginia (we lived in New York) so we didn’t see them very often, once a year at most. My maternal grandfather died when I was 7 so I don’t remember much about him except that his leg had been amputated because of diabetes. My maternal grandmother was a rather formidable woman. She didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor but she was a nice lady. I wish I had known her better. She passed away when I was 16.
I was very close to my paternal grandparents who lived about 3 miles from our house. We saw them nearly every week. When I was little I spend overnights with my grandparents and loved it. My grandmother made my favorite foods–soft cooked eggs and toast with real butter (we had oleo had home). We bought peas and cherries and peaches from the vegetable man, a man who came around with a horse-drawn cart with vegetables on one side of the cart and fruits on the other. Grandma let me shell the peas and eat the cherries. We had the peaches over ice cream. When I was a small girl we took the bus downtown to the five and dime to get an ice cream soda (chocolate for me) and I was always very neat and never spilled my ice cream on me. When I was in high school, I spent every Wednesday evening at my grandparents house for dinner. We would have dinner and I did my homework and chatted with my grandparents and my uncle would drive me home or my father would pick me up. I dearly wanted her to be able to attend my wedding but she died 3 months before the wedding.
My grandfather would often walk through the woods to our house to visit us and then my mother would take him home. We would go for walks in the woods with my grandfather to look for wild berries and pinecones. He was a great storyteller. He loved out dog and would often pet her and say, “oh, if only you could talk.” My brother, my father, and grandfather would go fishing and hunting together. Our dog would get so excited when my uncle’s car pulled into the driveway because she knew my grandfather was coming. After he died when I was 20, she would still look for him when my uncle brought my grandmother to visit.
My paternal grandparents meant the world to me. I miss them to this day. They made me feel special. They were special to me.