Visiting my grandparents was a hidden treasure

Sep. 08, 2013 @ 05:15 AM

Two soft spoken words I had never heard before caught me off guard some years ago. Today on Grandparents Day, I can  hear those sweet words coming from the back of the van where my great-nephews were sitting.

"Granma Jean," Joshua called out to me about nine years ago as we were traveling in his parent's van. 

I had just informed Joshua and his brothers we were stopping for breakfast before heading up to Tweetsie. 

Joshua who was probably 2 years old was the first to respond to the breakfast call.  "Gramma Jean, I want a sausage biscuit." 

In sheer delight I asked his mother,  "What did he call me?"

I'd never been identified in such a fashion as that and it is one of  those unforgettable moments.

One of life's greatest joys has been claiming my great-nephews and great-niece as my grands.

They send me grandma cards, leave me grandma phone messages and give the best hugs ever.

I was privileged to have known both sets of my grandparents and two of my great-grandmas.

Going to their houses was special and certainly not just another every day trip.

Although they only lived five or so miles away from us, and they lived less than a mile from one another, visiting them was usually only on weekends.

Grandpa Crawford had milk cows and the grandkids who happened to be there on a Saturday morning had the experience of delivering the glass bottles of milk to customers.

I can remember sitting in his front seat of the car and Grandpa would set the milk on the porch and tap on the door and we'd drive away.

I can still see Grandma churn butter as artistically as I've seen a potter make a bowl.

She made jelly, jam, little thin apple pies and she put up fruits and vegetables for winter.

We played hide and seek in the barn loft and rolled barrels in the pasture.

We dug clay from the creek and attempted numerous times to run through acres of kudzu with our cousins from Reno.

We went  to our grandparents' house for Christmas, summer cook-outs and most Sundays.

"Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go," had real meaning for our family.

I can still see Grandma Willie (Gordon) sitting in her rocking chair at her house.I remember the Sunday afternoon snacks — cold biscuits filled with white sugar.

The biscuits were left over from breakfast and were placed beside a bowl of white sugar with a community spoon.

I remember grandma and grandpa's bulldogs, Queen and Madge, and I can see the chickens running all over the back yard.

Grandma swept her yard with a broom.  

Although my grandparents didn't change their routines when we visited — as grandparents do today — we just fell into whatever was going on at the time, work or play.

Grandpa Crawford was a  Baptist preacher and his study was at his house. I usually tiptoed in there, feeling it was hallowed ground, nearly scary. 

Their house was big and rambling and full of love.

On this Grandparents Day, I'm thankful I had loving grandparents.

 I'm especially glad my parents knew it was important to take my sisters and I to see them. 

I wouldn't have known them otherwise and I would have missed some of the greatest blessings of life.