Writing this blog has really helped me to reminisce about times when I was much younger and the things we used to do when I was a kid. It is now 12 degrees outside and with a warm fire in the family room, it is a good time to write about that now.
I was very lucky that when I was growing up, I got to be with both grandparents on my mom’s side, and my grandmother on my dad’s side. My paternal grandpap passed away before I was born and from the stories I have heard about him, I would have liked him alot. I hear my dad was just like him, and my dad and I grew very close.
I am going to write today more about my grandpap and grandma on my mom’s side, Encil and Margaret. Both passed away when I was in college or later, so I really did get to know them – not as much as I would have liked now though. How I would love to be able to sit down with them and ask questions and hear stories, but I will be able to do that sometime – but I won’t be blogging about it then! 🙂 Grandma and Grandpap were both West Virginia natives who moved to Western MD after they married. My earliest memories of them include going to their home where they did not have the modern conveniences, but it was a wonderful home. My grandma did a lot of cooking on a wood fired kitchen stove and even when she got the “modern” stove would still do a lot of cooking on that wood stove. Oh, what I would give right now for some of that fried chicken she would make. She always knew my favorites, and somehow they would be there when I showed up. I know many of you will turn your nose up at this one, but many times she would send grandpap out to get a young groundhog so she could fix it up for me because she knew I would clean it up! Food just tasted great coming from that wood stove!
Grandpap was a farmer and hunter and he passed that along to his kids and grandkids. When we get together now (and not often enough) with the aunts, uncles, and cousins, the majority of the conversation is around hunting and outdoor activities. Grandpap would take me hunting on occasion, or let me go out on my own when I was older, but you know, if I looked around close enough, he wasn’t far away! I will never forget the first time he let me go by myself hunting in his woods and I was looking for squirrels. It wasn’t long before I heard a turkey clucking in the woods. I was careful, walked softly and kept my eyes out for that turkey. What a trophy that would be when I got back to grandpap! I kept getting closer and closer to where I thought it might be, not knowing that I walked past my grandpap the turkey whistler while stalking that trophy bird! What an observant hunter I turned out to be (and my wife says I still am!) It wasn’t long until he whistled to me so I could see him, and he was standing there with those smiling eyes and a peppermint lozenge for his hunting grandson. He was having a great time! He was an old time farmer too. He would use horses for a long time and I can remember him raking hay and then forking that hay onto a wagon and then on to a pile. Later he did have an old tractor and I guess he probably bailed hay, but I still remember the piles he forked. My uncle would take me fishing in the farm pond and we would take walks on the property and learn a lot. I can still clearly remember grandpap taking his leisurely stroll (most times) to the outhouse, and that outhouse was a big deal to us kids as well when we were there. There was indoor plumbing as long as I can remember, but that outhouse didn’t disappear for a long time.
Grandma and grandpap were not well off as far as money goes. I know they had to sell off pieces of the farm to make ends meet (even though I didn’t realize it at the time) but they were rich in the love and care for their families. They were never outgoing in displays of that love – even though it probably happened – I don’t remember ever hugging them, but there was never any doubt about that love. They were great people who instilled great ethics, love, and faith in God in their family, and oh HOW I do miss them! Can’t wait to see them again!
Until next time