Two Sleepy People...
written on Friday November 20/ 2020- 6:00 pm
Today, I want to share one of my favourite memories from my childhood with my Grandparents. And there is a lot of them.
When I think of my Grandpa Kai (namesake for my son), this is the memory that comes to mind first before any other. I was very young, I honestly couldn’t even tell you how old I was, but I was definitely under 6 years old. I’ll try to paint you a picture of what it looked like, just to set the scene a bit.
As I had mentioned in a previous story, my Grandparents lived in an older style of home here in St. Thomas just down the road from the historical Court House. Here in St. Thomas, it’s called “The Courthouse Area”, and that is the neighbourhood I grew up in. My Grandparents always lived in the same house, and eventually. My Mom bought the houses next door to them and we shared a laneway. This memory was long before we moved in next door. My Grandparents' house had a sidewalk that went right up the centre of the front yard. It led to the front steps, which, like the sidewalk went right up the centre of the front porch that was as wide as the house. There was a big rocking chair on either side of the porch. Each of them partnered with a piece of white wicker furniture. The porch faced the South. I remember the best spot to sit any time of year to sit outside was always on the top step on the front porch, but you had to sit off to the left (facing south). If you sat there, it never mattered if it was summer, or winter, you got the full sun and no wind. I still don’t really know why. But if you were cold, that's where you would sit, and I’m not the only one in the family that knew this and did it. I know for a fact that my Mom used to do it too. Although I never really found out until later on in life when I had mentioned it, long after Grandpa had passed.
When your standing on the front sidewalk looking at the house, the shared laneway, was off to the left. Grandpa had poured a cement slab for Grandma's car and built her a carport as well, that in time had greenery grown all the way over the roof. The rest of the laneway was gravel, the sharp kind, and when I was little I used to go barefoot everywhere, and I remember Grandpa being shocked that I could walk across that sharp gravel laneway in bare feet and not wince once. I used to take great pride in silly little things like that, just because Grandpa was surprised by it. I loved my Grandpa more than I think anyone could ever love their Grandparents.
At the back of the carport, there was a big wooden gate that led into the backyard. To the right was the big wooden back deck and the back door to the house. The garage was straight ahead when coming through the gate. Grandpas garage was a place of endless treasure hunting opportunities for me. Eventually, Grandpa poured an in-ground, concrete, mini-pool directly beside the garage to the right. This took place many years before the pool came to be, however.
Over on the grass, beside the garden, which, ran the entire perimeter of the backyard. Grandpa was a big gardener, and had even been featured in the local paper for having the most beautiful garden (out front) once, I think. It could have been more than once but I remember once for sure. Anyway, alongside the garden, on the farthest right of the backyard there was a swing set, just for me, as I was the only Grandchild at that time. I am the oldest of I believe 9, or 10 Grandchildren they eventually had. So that was my swing set. It was one of the ones that had regular swings obviously, then on one side, there was one of those swings that had the 2 benches facing each other and the table in the middle that kind of glided. Grandpa used to squeeze himself into one of the seats with me often and swing with me. He had a white beard and looked very much like Santa Claus. But usually with a baseball hat covering his balding. He was Danish and also a fairly good singer. The whole Danish side of the family were good singers I think, even my Great Grandma (we called her Farmor, pronounced fa-moi) sang.
I remember sitting either in this little red, rusty, kids size, glider swing, or the big 2 seated porch swing with Grandpa, right around sunset, so the sky was often absolutely beautiful with colour. And Grandpa would sing to me a song. At the time I didn’t know what song it was, I just remember the words “Here we are, out of cigarettes, holding hands together, see how late it gets, two sleepy people, by dawns early light, but too much in love to say goodnight.” I later found out that it was Two Sleepy People by Art Garfunkel. That is the sweetest, most cherished memory I have with my Grandpa. There really are so many more with him, and I hold each and every one of them dear to my heart, probably more than any other memory I have, other than the memories I have with my children, those are right alongside the Grandpa memories.
Well, that’s it for that memory. I really hope you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed telling it. I miss my Grandpa every day of my life, still just as much as the day he left us. He was taken by bone cancer when I was 16. He passed just 7 days after he found out he had it. That was the last funeral I ever went to.
I hope you all have an absolutely magical evening. We all deserve to have a little bit of magic and blessings in our lives.