It’s funny how you see or hear something, and it takes you back to something you hadn’t thought about in years. Today my son Tyler was getting ready to go fishing at the river. It’s hot, and the sun is bright. I packed him some snacks in my lunch box and made sure he had a drink. I asked him if he had sunglasses, and he asked me if he could wear a pair of my Blenders. I’m obsessed with Blenders. They are amazing sunglasses. I’ve had over a dozen pairs over the past few years. Christmas gifts, and when they go on sale, I’ll buy a pair or two. I love all the different colors and styles, plus they don’t cost a fortune like Oakleys or Ray Bans. He asked me to wear my lemon or aqua pair, and I told him I didn’t care as long as he took care of them.
“I know you wouldn’t let me wear your new ones you got for Christmas,” he said as he picked them up off the bar and looked at them.
“Yea, I prefer not,” I replied.
After he left, I sat on the couch to write my column and saw my glasses on the bar. I forgot to put them back in my sunglass box by the front door after I dropped Ty off at his friends to go fishing. I then looked over on my black stand in the dining room. There were my other pair of glasses, just like it. (Chris ordered me two for Christmas, but they sent the same two pairs! I saved one, but for some reason, they were out of the box.) I must have thought they were the pair I had been wearing, but no clue why they were there.
So, as I was sitting there seeing these two pairs of identical sunglasses, it hit me about a game I used to play as a little girl. It was one of my favorites because I was pretty darn good at it. The game Memory. Man, did I love that game!! I hadn’t thought about that game in so long. My Grammy, Margaret Perry, played that with me all the time. We would lay each card down on her table and make a big square. As we pulled the matches, we would put the cards together more but really focus on where each card went. That’s the thing about the game memory; you have to remember where you found the match before you flip over the wrong card.
Grammy and I played so many games together, weekend after weekend. I still have her old Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders board. I have the pack of cards and case that we played rummy with. She taught me how to play at a young age, and this game was our favorite! I swear they still smell like her and Pap’s house.
The sweet yellow house that sits right over the Maynard Street bridge in Southside to the left, two houses in. That side bay window where we would put up her Precious Moments Christmas Village together. The yard where I would lay in Grammy’s clothes basket at a few years old while she hung out laundry. The streets where she would walk me down to the Family Dollar and buy me candy and fake nails for our weekend together.
The park up the road where we used to go play at. It’s not the same anymore, but it still takes me back when I drive by. The lions club bench near that park, where my pop would go take care of the flowers because he was a part of the Southside Lions Club. I can still hear him.
“Margret, I’ll be back. I am going to head down the road for a bit and take care of some things. You two behave yourselves,” he would say.
Pop always knew Grammy and I had too much fun when we were together. We would just laugh and laugh about the silliest things! Oh, my word, when he would come home in the middle of the summer from doing Lions Club things and walking in the house, I can still see his face. He would walk through the back door of the kitchen, the blinds were all closed, and Christmas music was playing. There was Grammy and me at the kitchen table with snacks on the table, hot chocolate, and into a game of rummy with Christmas music playing. He thought we were crazy, but we loved pretending it was Christmas time. He never made us turn it off, but always told us, “You girls know it’s only July, right?”
We knew but didn’t care.
To this day, I can’t play rummy. I just can’t bring myself to play with anyone else but her. Right before she passed away, my last words to her were about our rummy games. How I somehow always managed to beat her, and that someday, again soon, we would play together again, and she would probably whoop me. She nodded her head with a smile as I sat there laughing and crying at the same time. I kissed her cheek and told her how much I loved her. That was the last time I had with my Grammy.
It took me seeing two pairs of identical sunglasses to bring up the memory of the game MEMORY, which led to all these other amazing memories I had with my grandparents. We may not have them on earth anymore, but they will forever be in my heart and memory.
I could go on and on about them and all our wonderful times together. I know so many of you knew my grandparents. Not only Dwain & Margaret Perry but Floyd and Lois Liddick. A few of you have said you tear up reading about them. They were amazing people! With summer practically here, it sure gives me memories of Gram and Pap Liddick. I’ll share some of that next week.
I am so thankful I can share these special moments in my life with you, with those who knew them, and even those who didn’t. Grandparents are one of God’s greatest gifts; he gave me the best.
• 2 cups crushed strawberries (Buy or pick 1 qt. fully ripe strawberries. Picked are best, but whatever you prefer.)
• 4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
• 3/4 cup water
• 1 pkg. SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
Rinse 5 (1-cup) plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. Discard stems. Crush strawberries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time. Measure exactly 2 cups of prepared fruit into a large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
**It’s important to measure everything exactly or it won’t set. **
Mix water and pectin in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring for 1 min. Add to the fruit mixture; stir 3 min or until most of the sugar is dissolved.
(A few sugar crystals may remain.)
I freeze mine and enjoy it all winter long. My kids are obsessed with this jelly!