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Memories of My Grandmother

By Jon Nardelli
Copyright 2000 Jon Nardelli

The writer describes loving memories of his Grandmother.

I spent many of my boyhood summers in Sheboygan, Wisconsin at my loving Grandmother's house on 1530 North Third Street, two blocks away from the Great Lake Michigan.

In my mind's eye, I can see my grandmother and me sitting in the backyard in front of the kitchen door looking up at the stars on a clear crisp Wisconsin summer's night. My Grandmother is pointing out the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and the Seven Sisters to me.

All my life I've loved to look up at the stars. I've learned that the speed of light is one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second. Stars distances are measured in light years. So a light year is the speed of light for a whole year. And the space telescope Hubble has looked something like twelve billion light years out into space. How can this be? Yes it is. The vastness of outer space tells me that a higher power many of us call God exists and is at work in the universe.

In my mind's eye and ear, I can see and hear my Grandmother sitting at the piano in the living room. I'm upstairs in the middle bedroom getting ready to go off to sleep and my Grandmother is playing the old black piano and singing church songs up to me. My Grandmother wouldn't tell me she was going to play and sing me off to sleep. I'd just hear her start to sing and play. She'd cook me homemade bread and oatmeal for breakfast. She'd call me in for lunch. Shed pray at the dinner table with me and my uncle Owen sitting at the table and now she was singing me off to sleep.

In my mind's eye I can see my Grandmother reading me a bedtime story. She's sitting by the edge of my bed and reading me a story about a noble grizzly bear who escaped from the zoo and made it back to the wild.

Now I see my Grandmother, with her wide-brimmed straw sun hat on, gardening in the backyard. It's the mid 1950s in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. My Grandmother is in her mid sixties. She's raised eight children. She's lived through the Depression. She's watched her children go off to war and thankfully all come home alive and well. She's buried her strong and handsome husband a few winters ago. And now she's picking raspberries from her garden in the morning sun. It's her private time out there. I go off to Darwin Menzer's backyard. I know that come lunch time my Grandmother will call me in for a lunch that will feature homemade bread and raspberry jam.