Sun., Sept. 2, 2018
Psalm 129:6 – May you live to enjoy your grandchildren! And may God bless Israel!
“But I wanted to sit on the stool.”
This one sentence took me about 40+ years. I remembered this same sentence being uttered by myself or one of my sisters on my grandparent’s porch.
When I was growing up, my Grandpa and Grandma Deaton lived in Story City, IA. Each summer, my sisters and I would spend several days in Iowa visiting them, as well as my maternal grandparents, the Sowers, who lived about six blocks away.
My Deaton grandparents had a screened-in porch off the back of their house. When visiting them, this is where we ate meals, played games and sat and read books, checked out of the local library with my Grandma Sowers. They had lounging chairs where you could take a nap or lay and snip green beans, freshly picked from their garden. It was a favorite location at their house and one where we spent many hours while visiting them. I have lots of fond memories from this porch.
For years, this well-worn avocado green stool was a fixture at my Grandma Deaton’s house. She kept it in the kitchen. Like me, she was short. This stool helped her reach the top shelves of her cupboards.
It was also a favorite “chair” for when we ate a meal on the porch. It was not uncommon for my sisters and I to “discuss” whose turn it was to use the stool during a meal.
Fast-forward 40+ years to today. Recently, our three youngest grandchildren were at our house for the day. Eight-year-old Ellie helped me get lunch ready. One of our favorite places in our house is the screened-in porch. When the weather allows, we eat nearly every meal on the porch.
It was a little warm the day the grandkids were here. But there are fans on the porch ceiling which help keep a breeze in the porch. With only four chairs on the porch, Ellie quickly identified the old avocado stool as her preferred seat for lunch.
We’d gathered up the boys to eat. Of course, 11-year-old Waylan immediately grabbed the stool for his seat. And then, I heard the words I said myself, years ago:
“But I wanted to sit on the stool.”
Suddenly, I realized that I am now the grandparent trying to make memories for my grandchildren, just like my grandparents did for me, a hundred years ago.
And it’s a job I truly try to embrace.
I don’t have children of my own. Yet, I often say I have five grandchildren. Hubby Rick has two children which have provided us with these gems. Every time Rick and I get to spend time with these little and not-so-little souls, we consider it a huge privilege.
And it’s an opportunity to create special memories together.
That’s why we make picnics and go to the park. Why Rick had the golf cart ready to rock-and-roll when I returned with the kids just a few days ago. He knew they would want to go for a ride. That’s why we keep a moped in the carriage house, so we can take them on little rides round our yard or on our side street. Our grandchildren are why we go to water parks at our ages and sometimes why we go hiking. Grandpa’s (and Grandma’s) rarely say “No” when grandchildren want to go fishing or get ice cream, which we did on the trip back to their house.
Yes, we’ve taken our grandchildren on a big trip to Disney. And yes, they speak of it often. But we know that eating a meal on the screened-in porch while sitting on a favorite stool also creates special memories. It doesn’t matter how ancient this stool is getting, how many drops of paint are splattered on it or that it is getting a rusty around the edges. It’s a stool at Grandpa and Grandma’s house and it reminds them of times we’ve spent together.
When I realized I was reliving a memory from my childhood, I didn’t have a camera handy to snap a picture of Ellie eating chicken while sitting on the stool. (Yes, I supported Ellie’s comment that she had first dibs on the stool.) But later, when I was putting the porch back in order after the kids had been returned home, this is what I found:
Crumbs. Crumbs from our lunch together on the screened-in porch. Little bits of biscuit and chicken and drops of gravy smudged into the tablecloth. Crumbs that reminded me again of the stool and precious memories of times spent on the porch with my grandparents. Hopes and prayers that these little crumbs of time our grandchildren spent with us will be wonderful memories for them someday.
It’s just a stool. But isn’t it so much more?
What might be something in your memory that conjures up a precious memory from time spent with a loved one?
For stools, crumbs and time with grandchildren, I am grateful.
Lord God – thank you for precious memories of days spent with our grandparents and other loved ones. I pray we find simply, yet powerful and effective ways to create the most special memories for our loved ones of today. Amen.
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