Many of my childhood memories involve spending time at my grandparents’ house a few hours away. I don’t remember a lot of visits when I was little; more when I was maybe 12 and older. What to do at Grandma’s house? I was too old for a basket of toys, but too young to join in with the adults.
Magazines & Letters
I remember reading magazines there. A LOT of magazines. To this day, when I see a Reader’s Digest, I think of my grandma’s house. I became intimately familiar with Joe’s spleen, lungs, and more. I read a lot of real-life adventures. And I always hoped that the mini book at the back would be a good one. There were often a big pile of Good Housekeepings too — I loved the advice columns. Oh, to be an adult facing such issues as what to do when your sister didn’t invite your young kids to her wedding!
Another pastime was to read letters from my mom to my grandma. Back in those days, letters back and forth were the main means of communication, and my grandma always kept the letters in a letter-holder in her dining room. I loved grabbing a few and reading them. There was something spy-like about reading the mundane bits of my family’s life in secret! I read many thing I knew, and a few I shouldn’t have seen (but not surprisingly, still remember).
You’ll notice that most of my doings involved reading — probably not a surprise. I have always gravitated toward the written word.
I also liked to look through my grandparents’ photo albums. These were frequently the kind where you arrange photos on a page and then settled a clear sheet over them. Now those albums have been revealed as being awful for preserving photos, sadly. One thing I remember thinking as I paged through these albums was how odd it seemed that old people took so many photos of flowers. Seriously? You went on a trip and took pictures of the plants? This seemed so boring. Yet lately I have found myself grabbing my camera to take photos of garden plants and flowers. The circle of life, I guess.
Do you remember time at your grandma’s house when you were a child? What did you do there?