Celebrating Our Grandparents: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

Honoring Our Grandparents

If you have the honor or privilege to have Grandparents still with you or to have know your Grandparents, today is a special celebration for you.

In honor of National Grandparents Day, some of the employees here at SimplyHome took a few minutes to reflect on memories we have- some good, some funny, and some not so good. Regardless, Grandparents are the root of where we came from. The old saying "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," usually has some validity to it. I hope you enjoy reading our stories. We sure enjoyed reminiscing in the office today when trying to decide which story to share.

Drue Ray, SimplyHome Vice President

Some of my best childhood memories are fishing with my grandfathers. My “Granddan” lived one block from the Gulf of Mexico. When I was five, I was deemed old enough to join in. An early summer dawn, was the perfect time to “rake” in the bait, sand fleas, and surf fish for migrating Pompano. As he gathered the fishing gear, I put on my red canvas sneakers for the short walk towards the beach. We would cross the “front beach road” and the sand dunes just in time to witness that instant when the sun brings color back to the beach. After Granddan raked enough sand fleas to bait the hooks, he waded out to the sandbar to cast and returned to the beach to set the rods into their sand caddies, (a length of plastic or rubber pipe attached to steel spike, that is plunged deep into the sand, to keep the rods and reels upright). Then, my education began. I learned all about catching sand fleas; how to stand very still in the “melty” sand, that area of the beach just past where waves break and the sand is the darkest, and to watch the sand for clusters of V shapes with tiny bubbles coming from the base of the V.  Clusters of V’s and bubbles meant a sand flea colony and a chance to use the flea rake. I was trusted with the all important flea rake AND with flea harvesting. At five, I learned I had skills, purpose and that I belonged with him in the realm of “fisher people”.

My “Papa” fished in the local lakes close to his home in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Our fishing trips were all about my experiments on how to best “thread’ a wiggler onto a hook, his lessons on how to determine water depth so as to set the half red/half white “bobber” at just the right place on the line for the worm-baited hook to dangle, enticingly, and his stories. I don’t remember ever catching a fish, although I know I did, and I remember only bits and pieces of his stories, mostly about family lore and history. But, I do remember how it felt to be on the bank or in a little boat with him. And his hands, how mesmerizing his long, talented, almost liquid, fingers were as they worked hooks and worms, moved through the tackle box or steered the boat. But mostly, I remember his voice.  To me, my Papa was a quiet man, his presence conveyed wonder and joy, but, compared to the rest of the family, he seemed so quiet. So, when he talked to me, I knew that, at that moment, I was the most important person in his world.

Kristen Suttles- SimplyHome Marketing Specialist

One of the best memories I have of my Grandparents is when I was about 5 years old and they lived in Florida. I would go to visit them every summer and my Grandmother (Mimi) would always have the best activities planned. If we didn't have something planned, she came up with something.

I remember one summer day in particular, sitting around the house with nothing planned for that day.  Mimi suddenly jumped up and ran to her bedroom. She came out carrying my Grandfather's large tin coffee can that he used to collect his quarters in. She flopped down on the carpets and told me we were going to count out as much money as we could and then we were going to hop in the car and drive to Disney World!!! I knew she wasn't joking, because when she says something, she means it. We collected as much money as we could, and off we went.

We had no plans or reservations or cares in the world. We spent the whole day at Disney, having the time of our lives. When it got dark, we drove until we could find a hotel with a vacancy. It took us a while, but we didn't care. Once we did, we giggled ourselves to sleep. The next morning we headed back and even had the car break down on us. Yet again, we laughed hysterically while we waited until it was fixed. It is amazing how a bunch of quarters can create such great memories. We still talk about that day often. I am lucky to still have my Grandparents with me to make many more memories in the years to come!

Kingsley Kaminer, SimplyHome Customer Service Representative

My Grandma Ruby was quite a pistol.  Born in 1903, she grew up in a German community in rural southern Indiana.  She only finished the 8th grade, having to go to work early, and when she was 18 she married my Grandpa whose first wife (Ruby's best friend) died in the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918.  She raised their 4 year old son as her own, and in rapid succession had 4 girls of her own, my Mom being the youngest.  She and Grandpa had a real partnership, often working together farming and owning a restaurant, and I have a great picture of her from the 1930's standing in front of the school bus she drove for a time.

She always regretted her lack of education, but she was smart and very ambitious for her girls, two of whom became RN's, one who went to business school, and my own Mom went to Northwestern University in Chicago.  Grandma was very fun loving, enjoyed music and dancing, and was a fabulous cook.  I can still remember her cellar with all the mason jars of food she canned, and I can still taste her pickled peaches, bathed in sugary syrup seasoned with cloves.  I could eat a whole jar if she let me!

As a child, I loved chicken-and-dumplings, and one summer I asked Grandma to make me some for dinner.  She went to a neighbor's, got a live chicken, and before she prepared my much anticipated treat, Grandpa slaughtered the bird by chopping off its head.  I can still remember that chicken running around headless in their backyard and to this day I understand what it means to "run around like a chicken with its head cut off."  Alas, after all her work to prepare this meal for me from scratch, I refused to eat it because I could not get the image of that slaughtered chicken out of my head.  What I wouldn't give to sit down at her table today and eat some chicken-and-dumplings!

Cricket Hunter, SimplyHome Controller

 I have nothing but fond memories of both sets of grandparents.  My grandparents on my Dad’s side lived in Chicago, and some of my fondest memories are of them taking my brothers,  sisters and me to Cubs games at Wrigley Field – many times a doubleheader!  Woohoo!! 

 On my mother’s side, my grandparents lived in the small town of Rhinelander, WI, and owned a jewelry store.  During my summer vacations spent with them, I loved going into work and “helping” them wait on customers, especially the young couples who were there to pick out engagement/wedding rings! 

My grandparents played a huge role in my idyllic childhood, and it is with much love that I remember them on Grandparent’s Day!

Andrew AbuMoussa, SimplyHome Software Architect

I fondly remember working for hours on end on my grandma's lap preparing meals for the extended family at the kitchen table.  Perhaps the most productive time of my life.

Cameron Kempson, SimplyHome Virtual Care Mangement Specialist and Client Care Educator

At the age of 7, my mother's parents moved to my hometown to be closer to us.  I was delighted to have Granny and Pop so near by and spent many Saturdays out at their house playing in the big field and fishing in the pond.  As they aged, we decided as a family that they would live with my parents so a small apartment was built beside the house to give my grandparents some independence and my parents some peace of mind.  One of my favorite times spent with my Granny and Pop was the summer between college and graduate school when I lived at home.  Because the apartment was under construction, Granny and Pop lived in the main house.  I spent that summer asking questions, and listening and relistening to the stories about their life together.  I am so amazed by the lives they lived and how they cared for several generations of our family.  I tucked those stories in my heart, and now, I share them with others as a way of remembering and honoring all my grandparents did to make me the person I am.  ~Cameron

Ian Sanders, SimplyHome Director of Sales

My fondest memories of my grandparents were always from the annual beach trip they organized for all of the extended family. We shared an oceanfront house and could always remember as children how our grandparents brought us all together. At each generation in our family some of our most enjoyable family moments came on those trips with our grandparents - who made sure that everyone had no concerns but sun & the sand.

National Grandparents Day 2011

In the years since Jimmy Carter first declared Grandparents Day a national holiday in 1978, we've been following his call to reflect on the impact grandparents have on our own lives — and on society. In that spirit, we'll help you celebrate the grands in your life with creative gifts, activities for the whole family, and more. Read more at Considerable.com’s article “When is Grandparents Day?”

NewsKristen SuttlesComment