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What were your grandparents like?
“Grandparents are a sweet blessing in life. I am so lucky I was able to spend time with both sets of my grandparents growing up. Until I was 6 years old, I lived in the same village as my mother’s parents, C P Ward, and my dad’s parents, Rose and Claude Butterfield. I also lived near a couple dozen cousins. We picnicked together in the summer and celebrated holidays as a family. Such sweet fellowship.
When I was in the first grade we moved away from that little village so that Dad could have a better paying job to support our rapidly growing family. I was one of the older kids in our family so I was privileged to visit my grandparents for a week or two in the summer. I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Ward, where I played their piano, played Scrabble with Grandma and listened intently as she read children’s classic stories to me. We would visit Uncle Johnny’s store together and I would help her make her famous gingerbread cookies. I remember helping her on laundry day with her wringer washing machine. She had both a modern stove and an old cook stove that burned coal and/or wood. She loved poetry and books and she imparted that gift to me. Grandpa co-owned the mill in town and one fourth of July he took me to the top of the tower in the mill to watch the fireworks. He was a gentle, loving man.
While I was on those visits I would spend time with Grandma and Grandpa B. They always had a wooden case of pee wee bottles of orange pop from Uncle Johnny’s store for us. And circus peanuts, those orange peanut shaped candies. Not as healthy as Grandma Ward’s home. Grandpa B made a lot of fascinating wood projects, many of which were displayed in ‘Pop’s Haven,’ a little shed which was his private getaway. He had quite a sense of humor. Under the big spruce trees (I can still smell their fragrance) he had a headstone with his name on it and the toes of a pair of his shoes sticking out of the ground a few feet away.
I would sit on Grandma’s porch and she would brush my long strawberry blond hair. In the corner of that wonderful porch hung my dad’s Navy hammock where my cousins and I would spend hours swaying on a summer’s day.
During the rest of the year I would write letters to these dear folks. And occasionally they would visit our home, which was always a delightful time.
I cherish those times with my grandparents; they will always hold a special place in my heart.”
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