Wednesday, July 4, 2012

on the 4th

As a child, I spent almost every 4th of July on the east coast with my grandparents. My grandfather was the star of the day. He was a master story teller and would share amazing ones about the fireworks and wild homemade (explosive) recipes from his youth. We'd always make some paper poppers, as I plan to do today with my own kids... who doesn't love a  little noise and some simple paper folding magic! Then he'd go off to gather a small handful of firecrackers and  two cherry bombs to set off with me in the driveway. I remember the feeling of the tiny stones under my bare feet as I'd dash away for safety, holding my hands over my ears and laughing the whole way. There were always sparklers for me at the very end, and then my grandmother would call us in for dinner, which inevitably was filled with fresh vegetables straight from the garden my grandfather so lovingly tended all summer long.
My Papadaddy in his garden circa early 80's
It was with this flood of memories that filled my heart as I worked in my own garden yesterday while he  recovered from surgery. Two days ago my grandfather fell and broke his hip. At 94 years old, in the late stages of Alzheimer's, this was devastating for my whole family. I'm so grateful that so far he's doing well, and I will continue to honor him and be close to him by doing the work he taught me. Planting my second rotation of green beans was done with my grandfather at my side, and later today we'll harvest our first zucchini of the season for dinner.  I have the sparklers ready, bought at an old fashioned toy store in Vermont on my way home from Squam. When the sun has completely set, jars are waiting for the the true fireworks of July... the temporary capture of tiny lightning bugs. Sweet memories being reinvented with my own children, because if there's one thing both my grandparents taught me about happiness:
 we choose it... 
we make it... 
we grow it... 
 Happy 4th of July! Happy Summer!
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15 comments:

  1. ...and hope your grandfather recovers well. xx

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  2. Lovely story about your granddad, hope he recoups well. 94 is spme impressive living. Happy 4th. xox

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  3. Such a wonderful post. God bless your grandfather. : )

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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  4. Sending you love and hugs, Maya.

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  5. Reading your lovely post made me stop a minute and think about my own cherished childhood memories of the 4th. Thank you.

    Healing and happy thoughts to you and your family. Enjoy the holiday!

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  6. Such a beautiful story,thank you for sharing. Love & light to your Grandfather as he heals.Happy 4th!

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  7. And you do honor him in the telling of such dear memories. You've given us all the opportunity to think about the kind of memories we are making for our children and grandchildren. In the rush of life, it is so easy to forget how much simple actions form our legacy. Thank you, Maya, for sharing this.

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  8. I love hearing stories about your grandparents and they have inspired you to become the amazing woman you are today!
    You are truly blessed, I wish your grandfather well and have a wonderful evening!
    xoxo
    ~ joey ~

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  9. Sweet gifts are your memories. Happy Independence Day, Maya.

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  10. Your Grandparents sound wise and amazing! I hope your fourth was filled with special magic that only you can create.
    ~Michelle

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  11. I just want to send you some love from Northern California. You are a daily inspiration to me. I feel great after reading your thoughts. The pictures of your Mother's barn are where I go when I need a happy place.

    Peace and Joy
    susan

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  12. "...happiness:
    we choose it...
    we make it...
    we grow it..."

    I love this. It is so true. Your grandparents are wise ones.

    You should incorporate this quote in some of your lovely collage art work. I hope you don't mind if I borrow it. I would love to post it somewhere in my home.

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  13. I usually read your blog while sipping my morning tea out on our porch. It's always a relaxing and quiet time. This particular post spoke to me because I lost my grandfather last fall and your description reminded me exactly of him... notorious storyteller, proud gardener, maker of fun. It made me miss him in a good way. I'm glad your own grandfather is recovering well and continues to do so. He sounds like a wonderful man. Thanks for the great memory this morning.

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