Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Once



Beef is the meat of choice when our family gets together for dinner. Sliced very thin and seasoned perfectly, it just about melts in your mouth. Pair it up with some whipped smashed potatoes (whipped unbelievably light and fluffy by Sissy) and steamed carrots and you've got yourself a winning meal.

No vegetarians in our family.

Honestly, we should have been cattle ranchers.
No idea what E is doing in the background. She must be trying to make a point (or two) about something or other. Whatever it was, K found it funny.

I love when these girls get together. I love the giggles. And the smiles.

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Haiku:

happy, laughing girls
nestled tightly together
bonds of love are strong
I wonder what she's thinking.
After dinner, we sat around the table and talked with Nan, asking her all kinds of questions about her childhood.

She told us her father was a fireman. But not the rescue type - he was a boiler man, tending the fires at the mill down the street from where they lived. Her mother stayed home, caring for Nan and her other siblings. There were eight of them. 

Nan only knew one of her grandparents - her maternal grandfather. He lived on a farm and she remembers going to visit him once.

Once.

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We asked her about that. 

"Only once?" we questioned her, having a hard time believing she only saw her grandfather once.

"You didn't see your parents much once you left home. Or your family," she told us. "There were no cars. And we didn't have a carriage and horse. We had to walk. I remember walking to my grandfather's once."

"Well, when did the rest of you see each other?" we asked.

"On holidays. You might see some of your siblings or parents on holidays," she said matter-of-factly. "But mostly you had your holidays with your own."
I'm still trying to grasp that. I grew up seeing this woman a lot. Spending a lot of time with her. Weekends, holidays, vacations. Whenever we could, we spent time together. Hugging and kissing and snuggling on the couch. 

Her influence on my life? Immeasurable.

I would be a different person if I only saw her once. I learned love from this woman. I learned selfless giving from her. I learned how to play bingo and cards and Pokeno. I learned how to make Thanksgiving dinner. I learned just how delicious a root beer float tastes on a hot summer night. I learned how to crochet, how to say all kinds of childhood rhymes, and how to make the best holiday punch ever. And I learned how to laugh from her.

See her only once? I can't fathom that.

One is a lonely number, indeed.

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