Sunday, December 09, 2007

Poptarts & Grandma

The kids were very excited that I bought pop-tarts last week. And I must admit, I really enjoyed them myself. Not really as food, per se, but as a trigger for memories.

When we were kids, every year we spent a week at my Grandma's house while my parents went to Lancaster, PA for a trade show for Dad's business. Since my grandparents only lived about 7 minutes away, spending a week there was actually pretty rare. But we were always excited about it, because Grandma brought exotic and wonderful things into our lives that we NEVER had at name brand snack foods, spaghetti WITH MEATBALLS (instead of ground beef) and the best part, Pop-tarts for breakfast.

I can still see her, plain as day, standing in her long quilted, zip front robe and scuff slippers, at her orange formica counter-top reaching for straws for our hot chocolate and serving it in the Fire King mugs I use today. And then the Pop-tarts would appear, piping hot on a napkin. And we could have as many as we wanted! And she never tried to make us eat the plain top ones, only the good iced ones. At home, it was all pancakes or french toast, scrambled eggs, cream of wheat, toast and tea, or other complicated, hot and nourishing breakfasts. But at Grandma's house, it was the wonder of things that came out of a shiny package!

There were other wonders, of course. Grandma wasn't much for braiding our long -nearly waist-length hair. But she could smooth it into a pony-tail that was high enough without giving you a headache, but also completely free of a single bump. You don't realize what a feat of engineering that is!

And when you got home, Grandma was ready, with a plastic bowl full of cheese-nips, to spend the next couple of hours playing cards or if you were feeling cocky, Chinese checkers. But you might as well accept the fact that you would NEVER beat her at Chinese checkers...there must have been something about marshaling a house-hold of 7 children on a shoestring that made her a genius at getting 10 marbles across a little maze.

And at Christmas, it was Chex Mix. I simply can't imagine a Christmas without Chex Mix. I have supplies laid in to make about 10 gallons of it. My fingers will swell until I can't twist my rings, but it will be worth every salty, crunchy bite.

I miss you, Gram.



Ness, love the memories. I played Chinese Checkers with my nan too, and my dad played with his nan. That IS a sweet memory.

Sandy said...

I LOVE this post. My grandmas were both dead by the time I was born (youngest child of youngest children of large families).

I am trying now to be the "poptart" Grandma.

Thanks for sharing this.

gerbmom said...

Chex Mix....
You can NEVER have enough...... :)

Ron said...

Yes, you got Pop Tarts with Grandma while I got fresh milk and a splitting head-ache staying with the Cox's... I miss Grams too.

H said...

My Grandma and Grandpa gave me Dr. Pepper. We weren't aloud to have soda at our house.

Dr. Pepper and fried bologna was heaven.

Candice said...

My Grandma always broke my cornbread into my milk when we visited her. It was this nurturing grace of hers that even made me try the stuff, I was so picky I really didn't feel all that open minded. But she had so many Grandkids it felt awesome to be singled out for this sweetness. My Grandparents had seperate bedrooms by the time I came around, and my sister would sleep with grandma when we spent the night. Grandma would give her m an m's and tell her they were "sleeping pills". I also think Mandy liked the idea of the adult sized "potty chair" in Grandma's room, and not having to go to the outhouse after dark.
( My Grandparents had indoor plumbing when I was 14)
She had long silver hair when I was young and I loooved to watch her brush it.
Ness, make me some chex mix!!!!
Just Joking!

Heidi said...

Such sweet memories...they bring back memories of my own.

Christmas just isn't Christmas without TONS of Chex mix and so much water retention my rings turn my fingers blue =)

Amber said...

My Grandparents lived about 2 miles from my house, but occasionally, I would get to spend the night. Every morning, I would get Eggo waffles! Yummy! I can still smell them!

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