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Grandpa's pipe

posted 12/23/2011 9:11:36 PM |
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I can remember Christmas's past when, on Christmas Eve, my parent's would gather up the presents they got for their parents, and we would head over to the grandparent's houses. Like clockwork, we always headed out at 6pm. We would go to my dad's parents house first. That was a short drive, not even five minutes. We would get there, and aunts, uncles, and cousins would be there. Us kids, we would gather in the little playroom off of the back of the kitchen and play with the toys Grandma and Grandpa had for us, while the adults would gather. Mom, Grandma, and my aunts would be sitting at the kitchen table playing Yahtzee while Dad, Grandpa, and my uncles would be in the living room talking about fishing or deer hunting.

Grandma would call us out to gather at the kitchen table and we would have dinner, and after that, Grandpa would sit in his rocking chair, get his pipe out and all of us kids would gather around to listen to his Christmas tales. Grandpa had his own twist on the tales about Rudlolf or Frosty, always something funny to make us laugh. All the while, he would puff on his pipe. And for each story he would tell, he would let 2 of the smaller kids sit on his lap, and it would go like that until all of the grandkids had their turn on Grandpa's lap. And he would end story time with us all single Frosty the Snowman. Afterwards, we would open the presents Grandma and Grandpa got us.

Grandpa passed away when I was 7 years old. We still went over to Grandma's on Christmas Eve as before, it was the same, yet it wasn't. There were no more stories, no more pipe. Funny, 39 years later, I can still smell Grandpa's pipe. And, I can still feel the togetherness of those days. After we got done over at their house, we would head across town to my mom's parents house, and it would be the same basically. Grandpa, instead of a pipe, was the comedian of the night. He loved to say and do silly things to get us kids howling with laughter. And I remember feeling like I'd never wanted those nights to end. It was fun just being together with everyone.

Years go by, we've all grown up, moved, started our own lives, families, and those two houses where there were such fun memories, are now being filled with new memories for other kids. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, I will be working, then coming home and resting up for Christmas day. I'll spend it reflecting on years gone by...cherishing those memories of days gone by. It will be me, my two younger sisters, my niece and nephew, and a new brother-in-law, and my parents. I'll probably take Sasha over to Mom and Dad's with me, she's the only one of my dogs that I know will not freak out over the newest member of the family, my brother-in-law. Sasha is my more friendly dog. But even though the size of the crowd has shrunk, there is still that feeling of festiveness and love at Mom and Dad's at Christmas time because both of my parents have carried on in the tradition of their own parents. Well, ok, no one smokes a pipe. But still, we hold on to what the holiday has meant for our family, and that is of being together, appreciating that we have each other, and celebrating the fact we are a family and being thankful that we have what we have.

It's so funny how I can still smell the aroma of Grandpa's pipe on Christmas Eve.

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Dec 23 @ 9:24PM  
Lovely well written story of rich memories Greenie fou you

Dec 23 @ 9:53PM  
What a beautiful memory to share with us. I do understand still being able to smell the great uncle who came to stay with us the whole deer hunting season use to hold me on his lap in the evenings as he smoked his pipe and there are times even now something will spark a memory and I can smell his pipe.

Thank you for sharing this with us..........your words evoke a mental image as if I was sitting right there beside you seeing it all. Great job........well deserving of the coveted kudo.

Dec 23 @ 10:07PM  
That brought back memories of my grandpa ... I loved that man .. after grandma died I'd walk with him and his dog to the cemetary every time he had to trim the the cedar tree he planted by grandmas grave .. every grave stone there would be a story behind .. he would talk as we walked.

Thanks for bringing back the memories

Dec 24 @ 1:16PM  
Grampa's PIPE! Oh my, for me it was Great Grandpa but yes, yes yes yes.. I remember the smell of his pipe and the taste of the tobacco on the air near his face. The soft crinkle of his eyes as he told me faerie stories. The feel of his flannel shirt, warm, soft with wear, The touch of his work hardened hand on my hair. I recall how he'd shake with silent laughter as he tugged the tail of the German Great Gramma ... sigh.. what a lovely memory. Thank you Sugar!

Dec 26 @ 12:19AM  
Thanks for sharing this, Dawn!


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Grandpa's pipe