Going to Granny and Granddad’s house
About once a month mom and dad would take all five of us kids to visit our grandparents. They lived in a small house in Truro next to my Aunt Ruthie’s house. My Aunt Ruthie had two kids, Billy and Julia. They were a bit older than me. They were about the ages of my older siblings. Billy was always busy hunting or fishing and he would show us his trophy catches. Sometimes it was a little gross looking at the things he would save. Billy gave me a rabbit’s foot one time but he forgot to take the bones out. About a week later it smelled worse than a dead rat burning in the wood stove. I tried fixing the smell by soaking it in moms old patch perfume. That stuff wasn’t much better but it had enough alcohol in it to ward of any bacteria that might be growing in that old paw. Billy told me if I kept it forever I would always have good luck. I was afraid to throw it out in case the opposite happened. I knew I didn’t have the best of luck as it was and I didn’t want to increase the chances of having it any worse. The kind of things that I brought home always seemed to go missing no matter how well I looked after them. I think my mother would sniff them out and make them disappear during the night.
Aunt Ruthie’s yard was full of big trees for climbing. She had a few apple trees and berry bushes around her yard too. During visits I would roam out around the back to find whatever was in season to eat. I remember one year I was digging in the leaves and lifted up an old branch. Out from under the leaves came about a million tiny ladybugs. That was the first and last time I have ever seen that many baby lady bugs at one time. They scattered quicker than I could catch some to show granddad. He always loved looking about the back too. We would sometimes go on a hunt together to see what we could find.
Granddad only had one eye; he lost the other one in a wood chopping accident. Granny always said it was a sin to work on Sundays because that’s the Lord’s Day. Granddad didn’t listen to her and he chopped wood anyways one Sunday. That was the day he lost his eye. He was chopping apple wood and a piece flew up and caught in his eye and after that he had the eye removed. Granddad told me he took a piece of the wood that caused the loss of his eye and carved him a new one from it. He said that old stick owed him a new one so he made it from that same piece. Every time granddad complained about not having his real eye granny would tell him, serves you right, you weren’t suppose to be working on the Lord’s Day anyways. It kind of sounded like she didn’t care but that wasn’t so. My mother explained to me that granny loved him so much that she felt comfortable enough to give him crap as he needed it. My mother would tell me any man that ain’t prepared to take a little crap shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. I know my mother had no problem dishing a bit out to my dad every once in a while too. Granddad never talked back to granny and neither did my dad to my mom. Both men would walk away grumbling under their breath but never out loud. Maybe that was the key to a long and happy marriage. Letting the wife think she had the last word.
Granny was a tiny little woman with snow white hair and eyes as blue as the ocean. They sparkled like the sun hitting white caps and were full of just as much bounce. She would always have a treat or a small trinket for me to take home after our visit was over. I still have a set of blue boys she gave me many years ago. She was as cute as a picture and always wearing her dressing gown. She would sit in her rocker belting out orders to granddad. I know he loved her because he listened to every word and it wasn’t out of fear. She was so small she couldn’t hold a grass hopper down if she tried, so she was certainly no threat to granddad.
Granddad was a prankster and liked getting us kids screaming. Him and that wooden eye he had always got him in trouble. He would walk around with it in his pocket. He would hold it out to us kids and tell us it fell out. We would run into the house and scream. “ Granny granddad showed us his eye again.” Up she would rise from her rocker and head out the back to find granddad. She wasn’t very big but she could roll out across that yard faster than tumbleweed in the wind stopping for nothing or no one until she found him. She would threaten if he didn’t stop scaring the kids with that eye she would take out his other one. I am not real sure what he had in his pocket, it might have just been an old clay marble. Once he figured he had us fooled, he kept it up for as long as we kept screaming. Poor granddad would be holding back the laughter in hopes she wouldn’t see him smirking. She would get over being mad pretty quick and he would do the whole thing over again the next time we visited. We always had great fun at Granny and Granddad’s. We couldn’t wait to do it all over again next time. If I could have just one thing to remind me of my grandparents it would be that apple eye. That way I would know Granddad would always be watching over me and Granny would be tumbling around behind him.
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Carolin D. Palmer