Lately I have been thinking about my childhood a lot. Memories of different things and wishing that when my grandparents were still alive I could ask them…”what was your life like when you were younger”?
Sometimes it’s so hard to ask those questions to people because the daily grind of the here and the now consume your thoughts and the past is soon forgotten…
I thought it would be interesting to write down some of my childhood memories every now and then. I can’t remember how old I was in many of them, it’s all based off of “I was this tall”…kinda or something like that…
I remember when I was younger, summers at my grandparents cabin. The long (45 min was long back then…) drive to grandmas house.
You drive up Highway 2, past Newport, turn right after the railroad tracks, go down a long gravel road (gotta drive slow so you don’t stir up the dust), then turn right to an olive green two story cabin that sits on the edge of the Pend Oreille (pond-o-ray) river. We’d run into the house and give my grandparents a hug and claim our rooms (although I didn’t get to sleep officially in a room till most of the cousins and siblings were married).
Either we’d run down to the river and go swimming and catching tadpoles until dinner was ready, or we were downstairs playing the Atari. Occasionally I’d go find my grandpa in his shop and being all curious about a knick knack he was fiddling with or watching him water his garden.
My grandma made the BEST food ever! (Too bad I can’t eat it now…stupid gluten…) we would fry up zucchini from my grandpas garden that was the size of your arm…that was soooo yummy! (Why is the zucchini in the store so small? Really?!?)
Then after dinner and cleanup we’d all get around the table and play the card game “Hmmmmmm” (I think it’s a form of rummy?)
My grandpa was THEE WORST to sit next to for that game! He had NO mercy even to the youngest member of the family…me! He’d hold on to the card you needed even if it was to no use to him and a big point card (you want the lowest score possible).
My skill was after I had my cards down on the table but still cards in my hand I’d use my last “buy” and take the two penalty cards that came with it and go flat and everyone after their many warnings “do you really want to do that” would end up wanting to banish me from the table as they hold a fistful of cards! (Around 17 was the max).
Then when we were all past our bedtime, the kids were sent to bed as the parents stayed up to talk. (It’s pretty hard to sleep when people are talking in the room next door and you’re listening for your name to pop up somewhere…)
Some of the things we would do at my grandmas house was we would take a walk up the dirt road to the main road, touch the main road, then go back, which was about a mile.
One time I remember tromping in the mud next to my grandparents section of beach and picking off section by section the swamp grass (don’t know what it was called) because it was sooo neat the perfect zig zag pattern each section had holding it together. Amongst the mud and swamp grass were tons of tree frogs! My sister and I would go chasing them all over! One day I ran across a bullfrog!!! “WHAT IS THAT”?!? It’s a little different touching a big ol’ fat bullfrog compared to a tiny tree frog…
Sometimes my cousins and siblings would swim or inner tube to the island (without permission). Of course the day I go over there everyone gets in trouble and we couldn’t go there anymore. (Maybe because the swift current and undertow?!?!?!?)
There seemed to be many times where whenever I joined in to mischief that everyone got in trouble…I think that was the innocents of youth speaking…ha! I soon learned that I wasn’t very well liked by my cousins (I already knew I wasn’t liked by my siblings!)
Ironically it wasn’t until my brother turned Mormon and my sister had messed up her life that I finally became “cool”. Maybe that was around 14?
Sometimes I wish I could just go back to the cabin and see my grandma humming away as she cleaned in her kitchen and give my grandpa another bear hug as I would be standing on his feet (all 40 lbs of me) and he shuffled me along as he walked…