I thought there might be a call for reminiscences at Grandma's 100th birthday, so I spent a morning looking back on the many things we've shared over the years. I didn't get to share them, but thanks to the magic of technology, I can set them down for the ages, and let the roots set for the tree to shade future generations.
I began and ended my list with two of Grandma's signature expressions; the first, an exclamation of wonder, and the last, the punctuation to every trip we ever made together.
Glory be to Peter Ann! Has it been that long?
Boat rides to the island with Uncle Jim, and my dad making the heroic swim to Astounder Island.
Going to Odessa in the big green Pontiac Lemans to visit Uncle Larry, and maybe getting to ride Wildy.
Swimming at Sand Lake, with Uncle James diving off the dock and swimming back underwater while Ace looked frantically for him in the water.
Going to the dump with Uncle Eddie in his truck.
Bunco, always happy to see us, when we visited Aunt Margaret and Dick.
The beautiful cedar strip boat that Grandpa Hugh kept in the boathouse, and how he liked his newspaper folded just so.
Using fish eyes for bait.
Playing bingo at the Knights of Columbus and being one number away from a win.
Going “up street” in the morning, and invariably running into a few people, and maybe bringing back some apple tarts from Round’s bakery.
A trip to Ste Anne de Beaupre with Uncle Larry and Father Brady.
Those steep stairs up to the 2nd floor of the house on Stone street, and the horn blast of the Boat Line’s new triple decker, which played la cucaracha as it got ready for another day of boat rides.
The skeleton key under the mat and the big red chesterfield in the living room. “Don’t climb on that, lover.”
Riding the scrambler at the Lansdowne fair.
The washing machine in the kitchen with the terrifying wringer that I think someone got his arm caught in one time.
The boathouses, which always seemed like they were going to fall in the water and never did.
That salmon you caught on your trip to British Columbia, and your picture in the Reporter.
Looking through photograph albums at the apartment and talking about Floods, Kelleys, Mcglades, Dempsters and Shortalls.
Going to London with you and my parents in 1975 and trying to make the grenadiers at Buckingham Palace smile.
Taking the water taxi from the old cottage to the inn with you and my new wife on our wedding day in 1997.
Naming my beautiful daughter Anastasia and watching her two-year old self watch you ride in a horse and buggy to the Provincial for your 90th birthday party.
And bringing her back, almost a teenager, with her sister Evie for your one hundredth.
Thanks be to god for that.