This has been on my mind often this last year. It’s always there and I have thought about it many times through my life but more this year than past years. I’m not sure why. Maybe because this year has been full of changes physically.
I know a lot of kids, teens especially go through a period of time it’s not cool or interesting to listen to the stories of the older generations. Whether it be parents, grandparents, Aunts/Uncles. I never had that feeling. I loved listening to their stories of how life was for them growing up. How the world has changed in their life time. We can learn a lot of life lessons listening to places life has taken them. Yes things are very different but many situations they may have faced can still be applied. It gave me a sense of feeling closer to them and getting to know them. Who they were when they were young.
My Granny was a fireball! I can’t think of a better way to describe her. If you knew her you would understand. Active beyond belief. Crazy sense of humor. Maybe even a bit twisted and mean at times. By mean in no way am I saying she was a mean woman. She would give anyone and I mean anyone what ever she had to help them. She liked to play jokes and tease. I can remember if I was quiet her way of getting me to open up and have fun ( stop being a stick in the mud as she called it) was to pull my toes. Yes sometimes this irritated me then but now I look back and laugh. She had all kinds of old games she played with us. Games she grew up playing as a kid. I’ve never met anyone that has ever heard of these games besides my family so I’m pretty sure it was something she made up with her family to pass time. One of them she called Sack of Taters. She would throw us over back and carry us and then plop us down like we were a heavy sack of taters. I’m sure she had some rhyme that went along with this game as she had many but I can’t remember this one. She jumped rope with us and told us stories of getting a whipping from her momma for jumping off the barn into the hay with her baby brother.
My Grandpa shared many stories with us as well about what it was like growing up. Working on the farm. Leaving home at a young age to find work and take some of the burden off his family during the depression. Stories of his time at War. He didn’t share the bad side of the war. He didn’t like to talk about that. He told us stories of some of the crazy things he and some of the guys did. He told us how he met my Grandmother, how beautiful she was and how he said to himself the first time he saw her.” I’m going to marry her”. Their love story was like a movie. He shipped out and they wrote letters and were married when he got home. I used to picture in my head what those moments must have been like. I believed true love really existed because of them.
Through the stories they told little bits of information and life lessons were learned. These stories and saying have stayed with me all my life. I was sure my Grandpa was one of if not the most intelligent man to live. He read all the time and if he didn’t know something out came the encyclopedia to find out. ( My dad is the same way) Actually I guess I am too :). He used to say. I may not know a lot but I know a little about everything. He also said learn as much as you can and be willing to learn the rest of your life. Things change and there is always something new to learn. When you stop being willing to learn and change that’s when you will have problems. I’ll never forget that. I have carried that with me and applied it to life.
I miss both of them every day but the memories and lessons they taught will live within me forever.
In memory of Syble McSpadden and Don Spaulding