Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lemon drops

Grandmother : The elderly woman with the grand daughterOur 3 grandchildren and Flip are visiting us for about a week, and it is lovely to have them here. It has made me reminiscent of my Grandma Julia, with her small, rounded, black leather bag, with the handles you held in you hand, not over your shoulder! She was much older than I, and along with the handbag, she had strong lace-up black leather shoes. She usually wore mid-calf light-weight patterned dresses, and with her once blond hair, now totally snow white, it was cut short and trimmed to her face. On special occasions she would put on her little black hat, in which she would insert through her hair a hat-pin. I used to love watching her do that, wondering how she never stuck it into her head....

On special Sundays she would come to our house for the normal chicken or beef Sunday roast. We usually ate this at about 1:00 pm, after Dad had gone to pick her up and bring her to our house for the day.

Eventually when we had all eaten enough, and the adults had rested enough, and Joyce and I had finished washing and drying the dishes enough, Dad would say:

"Who's up for a family drive?"

I loved family drives, they meant that we would drive around town, to have a look at things, stop perhaps at one of my favourite parks, and maybe later on, even get an ice-cream!

It's strange, but I don't remember Joyce coming on these family excursions that often. In my memory, I had Grandma all to myself, and would eventually end on laying on the car-seat in the back seat, with my head on Grandma's lap, when I had seen enough of town.  I now was just waiting for my ice cream treat, from the local Dairy Queen!

I spent a lot of time then, talking to Grandma, who was a bit deaf, and I would have to yell a bit more than normal, but that was OK--I didn't mind.  I liked talking to her, a lot.  Maybe it was because she never ignored me, or talked over me, or thought I was 'just a child!'.  So I talked even more, without her interrupting me, while Mum and Dad sat in the front seat, listening to the local radio station and commenting on what changes had taken place in town, since the last drive... when I think about it now, Grandma probably couldn't hear or understand what I would say, and during the process, would open her small, rounded, black leather hand-bag, and search for another one of my favourite treats.

Brach's Lemon Drops - 9 ozShe would find the sugar coated lemon drop in her Brach's plastic
'candy' bag, and would drop a lemon drop in my mouth, for me to
suck on. I still can taste them today, a bit tart, but with a nice sugar
coating! (Now that I think about it all, she probably did that to stop
me from talking, but I bet it didn't work...once I was on a roll, it
was just - 'Look out!')
We would drive down towards the Mississippi river area, but just off on the side of the road, not far from the City's Burlington Hawkeye newspaper and practically across the road from a large food commercial grocery store, was my favourite Dairy Queen.  A small white building which had glass serving windows that delivered ice cream treats of any description--including my favourite - chocolate frosted in a cone!

But bu the time I got back into the car, I would be squirming and trying to get the ice-cream off my shorts and shirt, as I rubbed away with my hands at the mess, and then re-rubbing them again onto a cleaner area on my clothes.  Grandma sometimes would open her black hand bag again, and pull out an embroidered, lace-edged handkerchief, and would attempt to get the goo off my face.  Her handkerchiefs always had a faint fragrance of lavender and something else - something light scented and sweet.

We would eventually arrive to Grandma's house where we would help her out of the car, and Dad would help her get settled into her home.  I usually came with also, so that I could play with my favourite tortoise shell based turtle ornament, and the very small porcelain thimble that could fit the finger of a fairy!  When Grandma was all settled and probably breathing a sigh of relief to be escaping me, I would give her a big squeeze hug, trying hard not to hurt her too much, and a kiss on her cheek, and look forward to seeing her next time! 

My Grandma was a special person to me, and I was determined that I would soon be teaching her to sing and dance -- but that's another story!

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