I hope that when you are reading this I am visiting or about to visit Imogene in Indiana.
She’s the only Grandma I’ve ever known as my mom’s mother passed away when I was just six months old.
I’ve been lucky enough to be the keeper of some very special family photos.
Side note: Volunteer to make an album and relatives might give you some precious pictures.
My mom grew up on this farm and I grew up as a city kid who was lucky enough to visit the farm.
Imogene sent me a thick envelope of pictures in 1995 and I love what she wrote and I included it on the album page. Grab a magnifying glass, it’s worth reading!
My cousin Dayna captured the essence of us city kids visiting the farm by writing this story for the family reunion album I created almost 15 years ago.
For a little girl who lived in the city, the farm might as well have been Disney World. There were so many things to explore and never enough time. From the gravel road you turned into the driveway which had a bridge over the pond. Never mind that there was probably only inches of water beneath it, I always held my breath as we went over it because there were no sides to this bridge and you just never knew how good a driver your Dad was! Up the hill stood the farmhouse and many, many other buildings just waiting to be explored. There were skinny sidewalks that surrounded the house and sometimes led to nowhere. There were so many doors and porches on that house it was amazing. Of course, one sidewalk led down to the outhouse which was, to a city kid, unbelievable. The darkness, smell and bugs in the corner were just enough to make you wish you were back home! Then there was that huge big tank in the yard which you never fully understood what it was used for. It was best for telling your little brother or sister that if they hit it too hard, it just might explode the whole farm! What a great place this farm was for me. I can remember every little detail about it as if I were just there yesterday. It’s all in my heart and memory forever.
My Grandad passed away the year I married PhilBillPaul. We continued to have family reunions on Labor Day weekend at my Uncle Jack’s farm for more than 25 years.
Now it was my turn to bring my city kids to the farm. City kids getting to see pigs is a big deal.
But the bigger deal has always been spending time with extended family. The stories. The pictures. The memories.
Here is one of my favorite quotes I included on the album page that was my Grandad’s last Labor Day reunion…
Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
All those reunions were the big things. I always knew that. I still know that.
My mom is the second youngest of seven children who are all still alive.
(I won’t mention names but ages range from 81 to 59…can you hear my slow whistle? It’s impressive, we know!)
13 years and one month flew by and we didn’t miss the irony when she was the first to lose her spouse, my dad, at the age of 60.
Meanwhile, the years continue to pass by and time doesn’t stand still.
I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. I hope this will be a soft whisper and a gentle reminder.
Last year as I made my way back home from The Black Hole, I stopped in to spend the afternoon with Imogene. We went shopping and out to eat and before I left I snapped this picture of her standing by my car with my camera phone. At age 91, my bright blue VW Bug matches her personality.
Imogene is funny and spunky and I have always loved spending time with her. To get to spend one-on-one time with her is a sheer delight for me.
Of course, the time I get to spend with her is rare since we moved from Indiana when I was in the 3rd grade and I’ve never lived there again.
Kids and life have a way of getting in the way of visiting.
I’m making the time to visit this week. It is a privilege that I don’t take lightly.
Notice I said I’m making time. It’s not in the budget. It’s not on the schedule. The teenagers will probably think of new reasons for me to take Valium while I’m away. Maybe I should leave some Valium for PhilBillPaul…
But I’m going because I can’t stop time and on my list of priorities, this one is right at the top of my list.
Hopefully I’ll get to see Uncle Jack, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Jane, Sally, Dayna and anyone else interested in seeing me while I’m there. As you can imagine, there are a whole lot of relatives in Indiana. But I’m starting with the oldest and most favorite first. 🙂
Dysfunction still abounds but…
There’s a magical tie to the land of our home, which the heart cannot break, though the footsteps may roam.
And I’m bringing my good camera this time.
Life Lesson (LL): Life is short. Make time, take pictures and don’t forget to write down the stories.
Share a Life Lesson (SALL): Share a favorite story about your grandparents…your memory might help someone create a family memory for their family!