A Time of Thanks

Dusting never came natural to me. Mom tried teaching me the finer nuances of the activity, but I wasn’t a very adept student and continue to have difficulty with the skill to this day.

My paternal grandmother never liked dusting, either. I think my dusting aversion was acquired genetically, or at least that’s what I told my mother. I can remember writing out my name with a smiley face in the dust on Grandma Hattie’s end tables a number of times when I went up to Caroga Lake to visit her. The funny thing, though, I really didn’t care one way or another about her dusty furniture. I just remembered the blue enamel turkey roaster that she kept loaded with popcorn on her kitchen cupboard, and how you never went hungry in between meal times at Grandma’s house because you always had access to popcorn and butterscotch candies. A candy, mind you, that I learned to hate after choking on a piece, one afternoon when I was 7 years old. Guess I laughed and swallowed at the same time and got the stupid thing lodged in my throat. It stayed there for most of the day, despite numerous glasses of water and attempts to force it down by having me eat bread. To this day, I avoid butterscotch candies like the plague and find my throat contracting every time I see them on the store shelf.

Grandma Hattie wasn’t a wealthy woman, by any stretch of the imagination. She lived in a tiny home with one bedroom and a bathroom that was later converted into a bedroom to accommodate my older cousin, Kip. And when Kip grew up and moved out, we kids slept in it for sleep-overs and felt pretty darn special.

Yep. Had a cozy bed and warm, comfy blankets strewn all over the lumpy mattress, and I felt like a princess in that room with a toilet in it. Sounds a little weird to have a bedroom in a bathroom, but I haven’t really moved up in society all that much, lately. My bathroom is still a stone’s throw away from my bed. Only now-a-days, it’s called a master suite with an adjoining bathroom. And my old body is grateful for a bed that isn’t lumpy these days, but I miss the quiet and the calmness I felt in Grandma’s country home on those winter, Adirondack nights; nights when the snow quietly accumulated, and my sleep was momentarily interrupted by the clanging of the tire chains on the town’s snow plows, as they whizzed-by, scraping it from the packed roadway.

My Grandmother never dressed in the latest fashions, and certainly didn’t have the money to spend on things other than the bare essentials, but she certainly made me and my siblings feel loved and wanted. Every summer, she’d load up her old, beat-up baby buggy with the youngest of the brood, pack our lunches and make sure we each had a beach towel and a swim suit and off to the lake we’d head – big kids holding onto the hands of the little kids and some of us littler kids holding onto the side bars of the baby carriage – brothers, sisters, cousins, alike. And off we went with Grandma for an afternoon of swimming; an afternoon of being a kid.

I remember the smell of the freshly tarred road that we walked on and the laughter and teasing and how patient Grandma was as we peppered her with questions:

“Why’s the road stink so, Grandma?” I’d ask as we walked and our sneakers stuck to the road. “It’s sticky and stinks; not like our roads at home,” I continued. “Why are country roads stinky and rocky and city roads smooth?”

“It makes my feet hot, Grandma,” my cousin chimed in. “Can’t wait ‘till we get swimming, Grandma,” he’d add on. “Are we almost there, Grandma?”

She’d smile and nod and acknowledge each one of us, and down to the lake we’d waddle, baby carriage, kids and all. And today when our local freeways are jammed and the news is overwhelming, I think back on those moments and think back to those times; when the roadways were stinky and my sneakers were hot, and I smile with the warm memories of a less hectic time and remember my Grandmother and am thankful she cared.

Those were good days; days of innocence – days few in number – but days remembered and treasured.

May this season of thanks be one that is joyful, and may you be blessed with the memories of days past when your sneakers were sticky and your grandma was kind, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.


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I'm a retired special ed teacher, born in upstate NY, who spent most of my adult life in the SF/Bay Area and moved to the Olympic Peninsula of WA in June of 2017. At the encouragement of family and friends, who followed my silliness on my FB page, I started this blog a few years ago. I try to keep my topics as humorous as possible (because I believe "LIFE" is pretty serious these days), but will, on occasion write about more solemn subjects. I sincerely appreciate all who take the time and effort to read and make comments and am truly humbled when people actually "like" what I write. I do not participate in the "Wordpress awards" because I feel "awarded" when individuals actually read me and comment, but sincerely appreciate all of you who have considered me "award worthy" and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hugs, Lucie

18 thoughts on “A Time of Thanks”

  1. Hey Lucie
    Grandmas and Mums play huge roles in our lives… like you ol’ mate I give thanks to every little thing I remember about both my Mum and Grandma. I unfortunately didn’t get to meet my Dad,s mum, she passed away before I was born, but I have listened to plenty of beautiful stories about her, I wish I had shared some moments with her.
    Mum used to pop me on a bus during school holidays, I loved it, I was off to explore with Ma ( my mother’s mum ), she was Ma to everyone. We barely spent time indoors, we even ate by the campfire at night, damper and butter, home made stew, then storybook time. During the days we visited all Ma’s neighbours and by the time we arrived home, we had baskets filled with home baked cakes, scones, rockcakes, savoury toasts…I am salivating just remembering those childhood days. Pretty cluey my ol’ Ma, she had that visiting down pat, Crikey we collected enough food to feed an army.
    Cosy bedroom, Story time, Camp fires, Big ol’ wood ovens, Beautiful big Clydesdale, a work horse but I could ride him too, cuddles with Ma, Tears when it was time to go home….
    Your Grandma Hattie sounds like a bonza person, I love her like your Ma too. Aunt Beulah is spot on, you write REAL stories about life that takes us back to our own memories or along for the ride with your glorious memories….I just love it so much Lucie!!!!!!!! Thanks to our budiful Grandmothers and Mother’s, they live in our hearts now and forever.
    Thanks to you Lucie you have honoured them all with this wonderful story
    Luvs ya mate, we don’t have thanksgiving day in Oz, we should though, me thinks!!
    Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving
    Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Thanksgiving was all the more special when I heard the news that your surgery was a success! Sending love and hugs and healing prayers you dear, dear courageous woman. Luvs ya, little buddy! You “keep on swimming” and I’ll keep on praying… ❤ 😉


  2. I like your grandmother as much as I like your mother, Lucie I think you honor both women with the honest, humorous, appreciative way you write about them.I have a delightful visual of you, your grandmother, the baby buggy, and children of all ages trooping to the water. Priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a sweet story, and a great grandma. I’m amazed that she was able to handle so many of you on her own. And I shudder to think how much time she’d have to spend making popcorn to keep that container filled for you all. Sorry about the butterscotch. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was a kind, loving woman…..very patient. She reminded me of Mother Goose with all of us kids in tow! But boy did we have a great time with her. Those were days when you listened to what your Grannie told you to do and DID it! We all held hands on the way there and followed her instructions while we were at the lake…otherwise we had to sit on the beach until we could listen and follow instructions…weird thing was..we did just that – followed her instructions. Have a great holiday with the family!!! Hugs! 😉


  4. Ahhh… stinky sticky roads. The street I lived on was that way. Once a year, the township would tar them and add gravel. I learned to walk barefoot on those roads, even during the hot August days. Little kids from my era had calloused feet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barefoot?! BAREFOOT?! Ouch!!! 😉

      Was thinking of u today, Buddy….I’m havin’ a time with my C-PAP mask….. 😦 Not doing well…..anyway, hope you have a reasonably good holiday, kiddo! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The joys of writing your name in the dust! Never did that, exactly, but one day I discovered the coating of soot on the bathroom wall, where the heat duct blew out under the washbowl. I carefully wrote my name in the grime – and then had to scrub the wall down for my sins! You’d have thought I’d have been clever enough to write my sister’s name instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, hun???? But the guilt of such an act would have overwhelmed you…..best you took the repercussions of “your sin” yourself and leave your innocent sister alone… 😉


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