Friday, October 9, 2015

30 Days of Memories: Day 15

My great-grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. I can't imagine being married that long, and when we did the math, Jay and I realized we will be well into our 90s if we ever make that mark.

I have lots of fond memories of growing up with Great-Grandma Wheeler. I was not at all her favorite - that would be Nebalee - but she was the one who picked me up from school when I was in kindergarten and played paper dolls with me. To this day, I can't figure out how she could take a sheet of paper and end up with a string of dolls. We pressed flowers between sheets of waxed paper and she always had a bunch of newspaper paper for me to draw on. On Sundays, after church, we'd swing through McDonald's and I could get a Happy Meal. Great-Grandpa would always have a Filet o' Fish sandwich and he lived for the Shamrock Shakes in March.

My memories of Great-Grandpa aren't as sharp as mine with Grandma, probably because he was off working at the cement plant when I was little. He had an amazing garden that was fully half an acre and I clearly remember getting in trouble for flushing the toilet one day when he was watering the garden. I was little, how was I supposed to know that it would kill the water pressure? From that time on, I was afraid to use their bathroom. I don't recall him being a hard man, but that one time getting in trouble certainly stuck with me.

He loved to go fishing at a nearby lake, and we'd always stop at the fish hatchery on the way. While he spent his time fishing, I would troll the water's edge for snails. There were so many! And I loved to pick them all up off the rocks. Once in a while, I'd be allowed to take a snail friend home with me in a plastic container of water with a rock or two in it.

Most of my memories of Great-Grandpa are from young adulthood when Parkinson's disease was ravishing his body. It was awful to see such a strong man slowly deteriorate. Great-Grandma and Grandma Nita helped care for him until the day he died. Shortly thereafter, Great-Grandma was diagnosed with colon cancer, so Grandma Nita took on the caretaker role again and cared for Great-Grandma until her death.

Their house and acreage has been sold and I about cried when the people who bought the house immediately ripped out their beautiful, HUGE picture window and put in a tiny "efficient" one. When I was younger, I was pretty certain their house was haunted, but I'd give just about anything to have their house (picture window intact) back.

1 comment:

Allenspark Lodge said...

When your great grandpa was in the hospital for about the last time, I went into his room to visit and asked him if he was chasing the nurses around. He was palsied enough he couldn't talk, But he did laugh long and hard...