Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mrs. Byles & Extended Family

So for the last little while I've been spending a few afternoons a week with Mrs. Byles, an aunt of a friend who will be 94 next month. I stay for about two hours and we cook meals that she can freeze in individual portions to eat over the next several months. She sits on her walker in her kitchen while I stand at the stove stirring and chopping... we make quite a pair. She tells me stories of places she's been, and food she likes to make, and people she's known in her life.
And I enjoy my time with her. Not just because it helps put a little spending $ in my pocket while being here in Canada, but it makes me think of my grandparents and great Aunts that were in fact additional grandmothers in my life. And I miss them so. I wish I would have spent more time listening to their stories, spent more time sitting with them, spent more time knowing who they were before it was too late. As I lovingly pointed out to my Uncle Normie the other night - he's the oldest now (as Mom frequently likes to remind him that he's her OLDER brother).
And I spent some of last weekend with my cousins and their sweet little ones... And I was reminded of all the crazy times we spent together over the years while growing up... in Grandma's backyard garden, in the sand pile, making up dance routines, getting rug burns from sliding down Grandma & Grandpa's stairs, weekends at the trailer, swimming in the pool for hours, watching the army boys cruise the strip in Grand Bend, the trailer trip to Florida... They were like my extra sisters we spent so much time together.
Did you grow up spending Sunday afternoons with your families? I'm so glad that I did! It's hard at times being so far away from family, and not being more a part of eachothers lives. But I am comforted in that whenever I'm back and I get to see them all, I'm still "Judes" whenever I walk through their door and we still have good times together.
So, here's to long distance family, and the continuation of good memories... Cheers!!


Janette said...

Judy, tears are running down my eyes as I read this. So great! You have to start documenting these stories for your future children and your grandchildren. How cool would it be to read "a day in the life" from Grandma Nora or Aunt Gladys? We think that the lives we live are so ordinary and plain but it's the ordinary that becomes extraordinary to those we love. I'll send you some links to some scrapbook sites...this is the way the scrapbook industry is going. Rather than scrapping every photo you take with your camera, the idea is to write the story and then find or take a photo that represents the story. Such a cool idea! And this blog post is definitely a scrapbook page!
Love you tones!

Lerra said...



Jen said...

I wish we had spent more of our visit reliving some of those memories. Remember when we went to horse-back riding camp together? I was the dork that didn't own rubber boots, so my mom made me wear WINTER boots, even though it was the middle of July!lol.
I love that so many of my childhood memories include the "whole" family; as the holidays draw near, somehow it just isn't the same without the excitement of sharing new toys and assembing all of the cool stuff we were lucky to recieve. And, ah, the pounds of butter scuplted into mini christmas trees, complete with cherry decorations. Do family memories get any better than that?
Miss ya,