Memories on Wiker Drive

Amy's Camera 182
Whitebread Christmas 2003

After being on the market for quite some time, my dad and his brothers finally sold my grandmother’s house. She’s been gone for over a year and a half and while obviously I knew this was coming, it still hit me like a ton of bricks. This is it. This is the last outstanding item that belonged to my grandparents. And while it’s ultimately just a house, it’s still the house that my cousins and I filled with long-lasting memories over the past several decades.

I don’t really know what I’m hoping to accomplish from this post except to simply leave behind a sampling of memories so one day, when I’m old and (more) delusional, my kids might be able to understand just how special my grandparents were to me.

My grandparent’s house was a place that:

  • Every Sunday she would cook the world’s worst pot roast. Grandma, you would be proud. I’ve actually found a roast recipe that is not just edible but it’s delicious! I think of you every time I make it.
  • I would walk through the door and do my best not to immediately plug my nose from smelling the disgusting cigarette smoke that blanketed every surface (despite that they only smoked “in the kitchen”). Grandma, I promise you, it smelled everywhere!
  • The echoes from my grandpa yelling “Jean!” and my grandma responding with “Bob!” will forever remain in my treasure chest of unforgettable voices.
  • There was never a shortage of Casey’s donuts stashed away in the freezer.
  • One never was fully able to dry themselves properly after a shower thanks to my grandmother’s love for paper-thin towels that were practically the size of a washrag. Why, grandma, just why?!
  • My grandma and I would stay up until midnight eating Fiddle Faddle and watching Lifetime movies and Love Connection. How did that show go off the air? It was the BEST!
  • My cousins and I would jam to Michael Jackson’s Thriller in her boombox…the only cassette disc I believe my grandmother owned. And yes, she truly owned a legit ’80s boombox.
  • Once upon a time, my cousin and I had such small butts, we could both fit in our special chair that we claimed every Christmas. Boy, do I miss those small-butt days!
  • Speaking of Christmas, my grandpa would make all of us cousins line up in front of the tree so he could take our picture with his Polaroid. Oh how we moaned and complained, but today, looking back at those pictures, we’re reminded of some pretty terrific times. Thanks, Grandpa. You were right!
  • We all risked the imminent reprimanding we’d be getting to experience the brief  joy we got from turning on their (now) vintage dripping oil lamp and playing in the oil. Why was that thing so damn mesmerizing?
  • No matter how small of a chore I (or any of my cousins) ever did for my grandma, she’d always slip me a $20.
The last picture my cousin and I took with our grandma, September 2016.

Grandparents are extremely special people in so many way,s and I can only hope that someday I’ll leave behind my own legacy of memories to my grandchildren the way that mine left to me. And if you’re lucky enough to still have your grandparents around, don’t forget to remind them how awesome they are.

5 thoughts on “Memories on Wiker Drive

  1. Amy I so appreciated your memories of your Grandma’s house. She was Aunt Jean to me- I loved her too. She made me feel so welcome in the family from the very first time that I met her. Her relationship with my MIL “ Gramma Lou” as we lovingly called her was so precious to all of us. We too ran through a plethora of emotions when the family house was sold. Without that central meeting place nothing has ever been quite the same. I drive by Wiker Drive when I go to church. I will probably always think of it as your Grandparent’s house. Anyway, just wanted to say I truly enjoyed your article.

    Liked by 1 person

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