Skipping Down Memory Lane  

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My grandparents were from the depression era. They didn't waste anything. I remember my grandmother using a paper towel and then laying it out flat to dry, because she could use it at least two more times before it wasn't any good.

They cooked huge dinners for the family and I can assure you that whatever went on your plate was eaten. It was a waste not want not dinner table. I like to think some of that wore off on me, and I try my best not to be too wasteful. I admit that in this fast food, one use, disposable world we live in I have been let's just say less than vigilant at times. I also feel a tinge of guilt when I don't save, because I know that my grandparents look at me from where they are and shake their heads at me because I didn't use that paper towel more than once.

I bring that up to say this. My grandfather didn't waste time doing things that weren't going to accomplish something. It just wasn't in his nature. He planted a garden because it was wasteful to buy at the store what you could grow in your backyard. He hunted because it was wasteful to buy at a restaurant what he could cook at home. The same thing held true for fishing. I do not enjoy fishing, it's just not something I ever developed the patience to appreciate I suppose. However when my grandfather wanted to go fishing, I definitely wanted to be with him because I enjoyed our time together.

His favorite fishing spot was some grimy old canal about 30 minutes from our town. My favorite fishing spot was Manzanita lake, and that was far further than 30 minutes away. Needless to say we went to the grimy canal bank more often than the lake. When we did go to the lake though it was a great trip.

I can remember waking up around 4 in the morning and I could hear my grandfather cooking in the kitchen. He was scrambling up eggs and cooking hotdogs. That was our lunch for the trip and I was excited everytime I smelled those eggs and dogs. We would leave the house around 4:30 and take the slow drive ( he was old and drove very very slow) to the lake. It was a good 2 hour drive and the whole way there he would tell me about how things were back when he wasa young man. How the roads had changed and the old stores that used to dot the highway where we were passing. I could almost see it as we drove past.

Now the lake was a catch and release facility. Meaning...yep you guessed it...you don't keep em....barbless hooks and fake lures....Which just meant that I didn't get to catch worms in the back yard the day before. Because at the canal we brought worms. No sense paying for bait at the store that you can get out of your own back yard. So we would reach the lake and make our walk to "the spot". This was the exact same spot we went to every single time we went. Nobody was ever there and I could never figure that out. It was a perfect spot. There was a big shady tree not 10 feet from the water's edge. and the shade went out in the water for about 5 feet. We would set up out chairs and fish for a few hours. By the way we never in all the years we fished there ever caught even one fish. so I guess that explains the reason nobody was in our spot. They were pretty certain that there was no fish where we were, and that could have been partially because I was a young man with lots of questions and my grandfather was a patient old man with a lot of answers. This was our time for Q and A. I would ask about this tree or that and what kind of bug was that on the tree. What kind of fish were supposed to be in the water because we never saw them.

We would eat at about 11:30 everytime and those were the best sandwiches I've ever had. I don't know why they were so darn good, but I just loved em. We didn't fish in the afternoon. After lunch we would take a little walk around the lake and find this little waterfall and toss rocks into the water for about 20 or 30 minutes. Once again this was a time for Q and A. Different questions and different answers. I'm convinced to this day that I learned more up there than I ever did in a classroom.

By mid afternoon we were loaded up and headed back home. It was never dark by the the time we came back into the driveway. My grandmother would ask how we did, and the answer was always the same. "We got a couple bites, but no luck. Maybe next time will be our lucky day." I would hang out with my grandfather and we would clean up our gear and put things away. Dinner would come and then Mom and Dad would take me home.

My grandfather has been gone for 12 years now. Funny I can still remember his face like it was yesterday. I can still see him making his little gestures and most of all I can still see him with that fishing hat on showing me how to cast a line. That's a little piece of my past that will never go away. It's locked away in my memory as safely as my wedding day, the birth of my children and my graduation from boot camp. I miss that man, but on days like this I can put a smile on my face and remember those great days at the lake along with those egg and hotdog sandwiches.

Good times...............

This entry was posted at Sunday, January 31, 2010 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

13 comments

That was a sweet memory and I loved reading it. I don't have grandfather memories, but the frugal part reminds me of my grandmother. She was even chintzy with toilet paper.

The fishing memory sounds so much like ones being made by my husband and our oldest grandson. They never catch anything, but they enjoy each other's company and do a lot of talking while feeding worms to the fish.
This was a wonderful tribute to your grandfather. He would be proud.

January 31, 2010 at 3:51 AM

I am like that...today I re-use those plastic baggies as long as what was in them was clean.
It is so great to have pleasant memories, it sounds like you have some good ones.

January 31, 2010 at 5:39 AM

"My grandfather didn't waste time doing things that weren't going to accomplish something."

Clearly he knew that something was being accomplished during those lake trips - even when no fish were caught. Wow.

January 31, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Rae...I wouldn't be surprised if one day your oldest grandson is telling somebody about his great times with grandpa...

Joe..I definitely re-use those plastic baggies as well(depending on the previous use as well)

Annoyed...It took me a lot of years to understand what he was accomplishing by those trips. I think we were both getting some pretty good stuff out of the trips..

January 31, 2010 at 1:39 PM

What a wonderful story. Completely brought to mind memories of my grandparents. Very touching,Bendigo
I am giving you an award dear sir:
http://thedomesticationofapartygirl.blogspot.com/2010/01/art-of-kicking-ass.html

January 31, 2010 at 2:16 PM

That brought tears to my eyes because I loved both of my grandpas sooooooooo much, and your post reminded me of them and all the things we did together. I think that's why I'm on the kick I'm on, about learning the old ways... I don't want that knowledge to die out, I want to preserve it, and preserve their memories...

January 31, 2010 at 4:35 PM

That was a wonderful post! Those egg and hot dog sandwiches sound great!!!!

January 31, 2010 at 4:53 PM

"My grandfather didn't waste time doing things that weren't going to accomplish something."

I wish more thought and acted like this. There's so much waste these days. My g-pa was the same way. He worked his butt off, saved every single dime, and filled his garage to the roof... probably too far there.

Great post. Keep remembering!
Dayne

January 31, 2010 at 8:15 PM

well thank you lisa marie...I sure do like awards :)

Kristy..I'm glad you were able to take a little skip down memory lane too...

AS....they were awesome...I don't make em anymore, cause I'm afraid they won't taste the same.

Dayne...it's amazing how the grandparents were able to put into practice what should be such a simple thing...yet so many of us struggle with it...I will definitely keep remembering :)

January 31, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Re-reading your post reminds me of my dad taking my brother and I fishing. We didn't catch much, but the memories were great.

February 1, 2010 at 5:53 AM

Bendigo, this was beautiful. Beautifully written and beautifully reembered. I remember my grandmother jsut as sweetly, so this was an easy post for me to understand and relate to.

Thank you.

February 1, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Remembering him is what keeps him alive...That's a really good anecdote!

February 1, 2010 at 1:46 PM

What a wonderful post. So wonderful that I am bookmarking it for something I do late in the year ;)

February 2, 2010 at 12:50 PM

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