This morning I donned an apron made by my Great Grandma H to make my Great Grandma Ks’ molasses cookie recipe that I remember my Grandma D making.
The cookies were in a jar in Grandma Ds’ kitchen on the long counter to the right of the door as you came in. Hers were big and round. I chose to make mine into Gingerbread men.
Grandma Ds’ kitchen was always warm and open to anyone. I loved going there. I miss going there.
This time of year always finds me wandering among my memories. We said Good Bye to Grandma a year ago this month and my dad, her son, would have turned 62 this year, tomorrow.
So amongst all the gaiety and fun of the season, I spend time, as many do, with memories of those we no longer hold close with our arms.
I remember Grandma H and the many Christmases we went there for brunch before heading to Grandma Ms for more Christmas. I remember the couple of years they convinced my dad to dress up as Santa Claus and come to my Grandma Hs’. I have no idea how they talked him into that, or how they got all that white make up out of his beard in time to get to Grandma Ms. I also remember wondering why every year there seemed to be a reason he had to run home to tend our wood stove fires and miss the visit from Santa.
I remember gathering at Grandma Ds for family Christmas a few days after the actual holiday. They had a finished basement with a family room in it. There were so many people, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. How I loved the years we got money to pick our own gifts. Talk about feeling grown up! Or the year I got the DELUXE Wheel of Fortune Game I had been desiring. That was Christmas JACKPOT.
Christmas at home was a little complicated. We didn’t have much money. My mom did a great job of yard saling (still does) for gifts, so I never felt want, but my dad felt bad he couldn’t buy us a bunch. It put him in a rather unpleasant mood. I wish he had understood it didn’t matter how much I was given, anything mattered.
Like the year he got me a Crystal Barbie, what girl didn’t swoon for her sparkly dress and purple eye shadow? Or the amazing year he forgave my debt for my car engine. Now that was a gift a girl can never forget. To him, it was a failure because he didn’t shop for me, to me, it was the weight of the world off my shoulders. And then there was one of the last gifts he ever bought me, a beautiful lamp. He had gotten me one years before that I cherished, but it got broken in my move to college. I was elated the day I unwrapped the new one. It sits, to this day, next to my bed. The WHOLE family knows not to touch that baby. I don’t need it in order to keep my dad close, but I dread anything happening to it.
These are just a few of the memories I live among during the holidays. I hold them close. I hold my loved ones closer, and pray those in eternity are watching down on us and sharing memories too.
Happy Birthday Daddy. Merry Christmas Grandmas and Grandpas.