Friday, October 12, 2012

Memories of my Grandparents

Yesterday, I was sitting in the car driving to work letting my mind wander.  I had memories pop in, randomly.  It never ceases to amaze me how you can be staring at the back of someone’s hoop-dee and all of a sudden your brain takes you to another place.

Recently, my memories have been centered around my grandparents, Gigi and Gipop.  I saw them taking me to the Junior Museum in Tallahassee.  I “watched myself” preaching in the little chapel there, Gigi taking photos of me and laughing her head off.  Then we had a picnic of fried chicken, good Southern food, with Gigi and Gipop afterwards. 
Gipop and Me on my wedding day

I thought about going to Publix, which I thought was the coolest grocery store, because we didn’t have one in Montgomery.  Gipop let us pick out whatever ice cream flavor we wanted. I usually picked Neapolitan, because I thought it was cool to sample all three flavors! 

Back at their house, Gigi would make a salad with lettuce, a banana cut in half slathered with mayonnaise and nuts on top.  I remember thinking it was the strangest salad, but I always loved the way it tasted.  To this day, I think about that salad and it reminds me nostalgically of those long summer days with my grandparents. 

So many good memories.  Gigi and Gipop had a box of Legos to play with, and I would sit on the floor for hours making creations while they watched the “boring news,” McNeill Lehrer hour on PBS.  Their television was only ever on for news.  The rest of the time, we sat on the couch and read, or talked.  I’m convinced that my grandparents instilled a love of reading into me at an early age.  Their house was filled with books ready to take you on whatever adventure lay behind the pages. 

Gipop told ghost stories from his youth in South Carolina, and I used to lay my head on his big belly and he’d say, “I kind of like you, gal!”  I still say that to my kids today, but because they never had the gift of knowing Gipop they simply don’t understand the tenderness behind the saying.

We used to go to Wakulla Springs, and we’d take a glass bottom boat tour through the swampy Florida marsh.  There would be huge alligators on the banks, and you could see fish and alligators swimming underneath the boat.  Afterwards, we’d eat either a picnic or in the café, then we’d swim in the “lake” which seemed dangerously close to the sunbathing gators on the other bank.  I never remember being scared of them though!  In the café, there was a huge alligator named Joe who had been killed at the Springs and stuffed.  He was shot dead by a poacher in 1966, even though he had never bothered anyone. 
Back at Gigi’s and Gipop's we’d spend nights playing Scrabble.  I always cheated, by using the little Scrabble dictionary, because otherwise I could never beat my grandmother, who had an immense vocabulary stored in her head. My oldest sister sometimes would beat her, and I always felt jealous, because I could never win!
Gipop always liked it cold.  Ice cold.  He drove me home from Tallahassee, or maybe just halfway, one time. I sat in the back, and I froze the whole time, but I never said anything.  When I transferred to my Dad’s car, I asked if he could put on the heat.  He laughed, and he told my grandfather that I’d been so cold the whole ride! 

I miss them, and I know how privileged I was to have them in my life.  These memories almost make me feel as if they are still here with me. 


  1. So sweet Lauren, I treasure the memories I had with my grandparents too an wish they'd had the opportunity to meet Dylan. Grandparents are definitely a blessing in our lives. :)

  2. Thank you so much for writing this Lauren. There's so much I would love to say right now, but I'll have to try another time. I can clearly see the film strip of memories playing through my mind and soul, but unfortunately I'm unable to focus on the computer screen through all the happy/sad tears streaming down my face. But I can't thank you enough for posting this blog because, to take your words as my own " I miss them, and I know how privileged I was to have them in my life.  These memories almost make me feel as if they are still here with me. " 


Submit ExpressSubmit Express - SEO Services