Looking forward to being a grandma

I can’t remember a time when my grandparents weren’t a part of my life. We lived in the country, right next door to each other, and my brother and I were constant visitors if we could help it.
We slept over at their house most Friday nights, waking up early Saturday mornings to help Grandpa with farm chores. My Grandma, meanwhile, cooked the best crispy, brown-edged, fried eggs in the world for breakfast, and the ultimate elbow macaroni and tomatoes for lunch.
Not for lack of trying can I duplicate these in my kitchen.
I loved to watch my Grandpa pour corn syrup for his toast onto a little plate and then cut off the supply running from its container clean off with a butter knife.
He also would pour his hot tea from a teacup over into the saucer beneath it, pick it up, and drink it that way.
I’d watch the way he stood every morning at the kitchen sink, looking into a small mirror left sitting on the window ledge where he’d comb what hair he had left with a oval-shaped, soft-bristled brush and then adjust the silver arm bands on his work shirt before he headed outside.
All of this marveled me.
At night after supper, Jay and I and our grandparents would sit in their living room and watch the weekly TV shows of “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” and “Petticoat Junction”—we loved it all.
Us kids were made part of everything—planting potatoes in the spring or walking on the cattle drive, harvesting hay bales in late summer, and shucking peas in the early fall.
We lived their lives.
Every winter, Grandpa would hitch up the hay wagon and take us on sleigh rides with our friends, and always found the time to build us a great sliding hill that would surge us out onto the frozen creek bed on our “flying saucers.”
I also was lucky enough to have another grandfather who lived in Napanee, Ont. and our visits together were grand. He was, after all, my father’s dad and that in itself was magical.
I was drawn to his character and smile and soft-manner. He was a World War I veteran who, once upon a time, some 45 years ago, wrote a letter to a baby girl expounding on the world and all its wonders.
I still have it—envelope and all.
Grandpa’s old house, built on shores of the Napanee River, was, to a child of 11 and 12 years old, made of mystery and intrigue, and had an attic full of treasures from a storybook. He encouraged my curiosity and imagination, and made me feel important.
Today, both of my grandfathers have passed away, leaving their imprint on my heart and soul. I can’t imagine what my childhood would have been like without them.
My Grandma, a strong woman with roots of faith, lives the way I hope I do when I’m 91—independently and with intention. Her warm countenance fills me up, still.
It was with these great memories and people in mind that I approached the cusp of “grandparenthood” last weekend when, at 12:18 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 (after much anticipation in my neck of the woods), Daughter #1 gave birth to a baby boy—my Grandson #1, Adam William Parks.
When the nurses and his father wheeled him out for all of us family to see for the first time, I was “In like Flynn.”
He is an extension of my life. And thanks to the love and guidance of my grandparents, Florence and Joe Drennan, and John Murdock Caldwell, who were important in the life a child, I am going to be an awesome grandmother.

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