Times and Places in the Heart

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We’re all so connected to smart phones and computers, but do we connect very often in quiet moments where we remember those awesome memories of our past?

In our youth, we think more of the future than the past. In our later years, we have a lot more yesterdays than tomorrows and the yesterdays can feel a lot sweeter than the present. For those of us somewhere in the middle years of life, it seems we’re so bent on staying “connected” that sometimes we fail to just spend some time thinking about all those wonderful experiences that can still bring us a lot of joy.

Sharing those memories with our older loved ones can spread that joy even if forgetfulness has robbed them of some of their own memories. The memories of their youth will be the most vivid even if they suffer from mild to moderate dementia.

Times and Places I Love to Remember

When I was 15, I got to go by myself on an airplane to visit my Granny. I remember waking up on a cold November Oklahoma morning to the smell of bacon and coffee and the sound of my Granny cooking a feast in her small kitchen.

I struggled to free myself from the seven handmade quilts and a feather bed that sank in the middle. Icicles hung from window panes but a framed picture of “The Lone Wolf” that hung over my bed seemed to give me the courage to get my feet onto the cold linoleum floor. The struggle was worth it once I reached my Granny’s kitchen. It was warm and steamy from a pot of rice boiling on the stove. Granny in an apron was cutting out biscuits on her old Hoosier and I could immediately taste those fluffy things smothered in her gravy made with lots of bacon grease and pepper. You didn’t diet at Granny’s. She might never talk to you again!

Granny’s little house holds lots of sweet memories for me. I love to remember just sitting on her bed and listening to her sister, my great aunt, tell me about the day my granny got married. She was only 16 and my granddaddy was exactly twice her age. They married in Indian Territory in 1916 and even though granny’s folks were of modest means, my great aunt said she wore silk from her underwear out!

Granny’s been gone since the 1980s and that little cement block house now is owned by someone else. Someday it will be gone but not in my heart.

Special Memories

These are special memories for me. They’re just ordinary events but still remarkable in my mind and heart. It makes me wonder what memories my grandchildren will keep in their hearts even long after I’m gone.

I’m so lucky to still have both my folks and I now ask them often about the days of their youth. Such stories I’ve heard and it’s fun to think about my folks being young and sometimes just as dumb as I was in my youth. I’ve heard my daddy tell about hunting possums to make a little spending money. I’ve heard about mama taking all day to get ready for a Saturday night date when it took all day to get her hair washed and curled and her tightly gathered skirt ironed and starched stiff. When her date and her friends came to pick her up, she’d have to pile in the back of an old jalopy with four other friends. You can only guess what her skirt looked like when she got out at the picture show!

How long has it been since you’ve asked your beloved elders about their glory years? If it’s been a while, you’re missing out on some great family stories. You’ll make new memories just by talking to them. May you be blessed with many more great stories to tell your kids and your grandkids.

Photo Information: Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Oklahoma

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