Threads of Memories

My grandmother Mimie, mother’s mom, had always been a thread in the blanket of my life. Actually, I was fortunate to have many grandparents, more than most, with the addition of the loving family included from mother's second marriage, but this story is about Mim.

Mimie's present in many of my childhood memories. Some of my earliest are of visiting her in Oak Cliff, Texas. We would sit on her arched brick porch smelling the magnolia blossoms or in the kitchen awaiting the best poached eggs ever! There was a creek behind the house where my older siblings played of which I only heard because of my age. At some point she moved out close to my Aunt in La Mesa, California. It wasn’t a bad thing, really the opposite. We were fortunate to visit regularly going to the beach, the Zoo, the original Sea World and HORSE RACES! I remember walking freely to the fruit stand around the corner from her apartment, getting bags of oranges and eating to my heart's content. That was my first exposure to fresh squeezed orange juice and I thought there was nothing better!

What a treat it always was to hear of her latest adventures with Aunt Elvie, Uncle Pip and mom’s cousin Totsie. It was the closest I came to camping and in my mind they were true outdoor folks! Often they headed north, up the western coastline to British Columbia. They would go by car and meet a guide who flew them, via pontoon plane, into the interior islands. Their campsite was a fishing camp and they often stayed a month at a time. The story goes something like this. The group would fish like crazy for weeks on end and smoke the trout at the campsite. With a canning factory close by the trout was then canned and the company would ship their catch where ever they requested. We were some of the lucky recipients of that fabulous smoked trout!

One year while home alone after school I remembered there was one last can of smoked trout. Without hesitating a moment, I opened the can and ate it all! Mother was livid upon finding the empty can and realizing that I alone had eaten the last of the trout. That was something I still remember vividly, feeling very selfish. Mother rarely raised her voice, but I do remember her showing her anger that day. I guess that’s why it stayed with me.

Another story that comes to mind about Mimie on one of the trips to BC. When traveling north they stopped at a truck stop gathered refreshments and returned to the car. The others flat out, got in the car and drove off without Mim! They realized soon what had been done but took a while to find a place to turn around to get back to her. This of course is pre-cell phones but when they finally returned they found my sweet grandmother just sitting patiently waiting for their arrival. She knew they would come back for her.

She knew then they would be back just as I always knew it would not be long before I would see her again. It is one of great secure spots in my heart, our family and its importance. The effort was always made to stay in touch. I love that about my family. Now with our grandparents and parents (except few wonderful extended parents from marriages ) all having passed it seems harder to make it happen as our lives are set in different directions. It is my hope that the importance will remain for the siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and the future generations with the thread carried forward creating the next quilt.

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