Sunday, September 07, 2008

Grandparents Day!

Today, apparently, is Grandparents Day, a fact unknown to us until we were surprised with a lovely visit from the grandchildren! Though it isn't a well publicized holiday, it's a nice time to acknowledge one's roots and celebrate the genetic traits that have been passed down from generation to generation... you know, those things that you love/hate and recognize in your sister/mother/aunt/grandmother? I hope Avery and Paige grow up with a strong sense of connection to their grandparents - all of them!
There are quite a number of personality and behavioral traits that I attribute to my heritage. The "Davis Girls" would not be nearly as special without them.

  • From my dad's mom, Lillian, I get my sense of family connection and wanting to "be there" for everyone and anyone. This doesn't mean I have the time or energy to do it, but I remember my grandmother having lots of friends, lots of activity going on around her house, and some chaotic interconnetions between family members. Lill also taught me to wrap presents at Christmas, although my dad once told me it was only to get me to do the work for her :) Even that perspective makes me smile and remember her every time I put a gift together. Lill also made wonderful spaghetti sauce that had absolutely everything in there... I can remember being surprised to find chicken and pork as well as the expected ground beef, and wondering if she saved a little bit of everything she made all week just to make this sauce super special. When I keep bits of leftovers in small sacks and packages in the freezer, I think of her.
  • From my mom's dad, Merrit, I get a sense of connection to the natural world around me... and a keen desire for order and purposefulness. Merritt worked hard all his life to provide for his family, and he also maintained strong connections within the community. He was opinionated to be sure, and I can guess that I inherited some of that from him! A friend once described him as a wizard in the woods, because you'd never know when he'd appear from behind a tree or a bend in a trail. I like to think my curiosity of nature is a gift from him.
  • My mom's mom, Irene, also maintained a strict sense of order but with considerable respect to the finer things in life. Although they were not rich by any means, Irene had some lovely pieces of furniture and jewelry, and everything in her home and yard was "just so." Although I don't actually exhibit these qualities in my own life - I always seem to have some project in the works, or am too overly involved in some idea to actually KEEP my house clean- I do appreciate having things in their proper place, especially when I go to get them! So, while my floors are not spotless and there is usually dust on the furniture, I occasionally "catch up" on my inside chores and outside gardens to some degree of what she might accept as nice!
  • My great grandmother, Helen, was very artistic as I remember. She sketched and drew, and had a way of keeping house that looked tidy but in reality was simply not used much. I remember hearing that she would wipe her dinner plate clean with bread and turn it over until the next meal, eliminating the need to do a lot of dishes. This was done in part so she could spend her time reading and attending to the pursuit of mental activities and it is to this that I most often aspire.

So, these are small glimpses into the personas of my grandparents, on this Grandparents Day 2008. Because I'm sure their life energies have blended into the community and people nearest to me, including my parents and my siblings, I know that my appreciation for them and all they've passed on to me is recognized somehow.

To my sisters who are also grandparents, how fun is it to know our gifts (good and bad) are going to live on in another generation of 'Davis' boys and girls!?!

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