I had three favorite toys when going to my grandmom's house as a child. She had this set of plastic dinosaurs from, probably, the 50s, that were my Uncle Gary's. He was born in 1952, so they were that plus what, 6? They even had names on the bottom - names like Brontosaurus, and a name I can't remember for a dinosaur that looked like a Dimetrodon. Old names, names that changed since the late 50's. I loved them.
I also loved Rig-a-Jig - this great Lego-esque game with plastic flat pieces and red tubes to connect them. And another toy that was like Lincoln Logs, but different. I used to make houses with the logs and then have the dinosaurs crash into them and destroy Abraham Lincoln's house.
Anyway, I was just helping my grandmom clean out a closet the other day, and she wanted to go through the toys. The dinosaurs are at my mom's house, but she still had the logs and Rig-a-Jig at her house, and she wanted me to take them home, or do whatever I wanted with them. So I did, and I have left them on the coffee table for several days now, and every single day after school, the kids go directly to them. Every day. I know that won't last forever, but how neat is that, they were my Uncle Gary's, and now my kids are using them!
It was really cool going through my grandmom's closet - she also has a small old suitcase of felt puppets she's made - the flat kind that you put your hand in; an owl, George and Martha Washington, jester, monkey, etc. They are beautifully made and so colorful. She wasn't ready to give them to us, but if she does, I plan on hanging them - they are just so wonderful to look at, and have so much personality.
She also gave us about 8 phones. Tate was mystified with the rotary dial golden yellow phone - it's in her room and she practices dialing our home number. She gets this beleaguered attitude when she has to dial the 9s and 0s, just like we did pre-push buttons! Remember that? Most of the phones were old cordless phones, and not anything anyone needs or wants, but David took a look at them all the same.
We did all this after a lunch at Cheesecake Factory, and a viewing of old photos of hers. I love looking through her albums. There will be a page of her and my granddad when they were first married on one page, with NYC as a backdrop (they honeymooned there), and the next page will be a picture of me, age 10. So fun to look through, and Tate enjoys seeing all the people in the pictures, too.
Feeling nostalgic, reminiscent, etc. Seeing and playing with these old toys makes me remember what we did at my other grandmom's house, too - she had a "smoker" - one of those nutcracker looking things that you could light, and it looked like he was smoking. We also had a special routine when I spent the night at her house. For dinner, we had Steak-Ums and gooey, melted provolone cheese on a sub roll, and she had an old kimino from Okinawa (she was stationed there for her work for years) and crocheted slippers in the pocket that were just for me. The next morning, we'd sit on her balcony and drink hot cocoa in our robes.
I have always understood how lucky I was, growing up with two sets of grandmom's 15 minutes away. Smith and Tate are fortunate to have one set of grandparents able to come and see their soccer games, host them for overnights, etc. Their other grammy lives in New England, but comes and stays with us, in our house, for around a week each time (several times a year) and knows them as well. Really knows them. They, too, are so lucky to grow up with their grandparents, full of love for them, full of hope for their future, and full of traditions and future memories.