A few years ago a dear old friend of mine (in years not age haha) gifted me a picture she’d found of the “old house” here. The “old house” is the one by the barn that my great grandparents built, and the house that we moved into when we returned home.
It’s cool because not only does this picture look exactly like the “old house”, it actually IS the old house.
I wasn’t sure where to hang it and have tried a few different spots in different rooms. Then today I was looking at the Braeside house where my Grandpa Ramsay lived (you may remember the story my Grandpa Ramsay told, you can find it Here) and realized that these two pictures belong together.
The house where my great-grandparents Copithorne lived, where my grandpa was raised, and the house where my grandpa, and great grandma Ramsay lived with my great-great grandparents in Ontario. And they should be hanging here in the house my grandparents built – our home.
I feel so much gratitude towards this friend who found this picture for me, made a special trip to meet me to give it to me, and who generally has just been a great person to have in my life. We met 21 years ago when we were expecting our now adult sons and have stayed in touch throughout the years.
I love these memories, Michelle describes some of the absolute best moments of my childhood. In fact, the only “downside” of going to Grandma’s as a kid was worrying about the boogeyman who lived in the basement (Grandma had trained us all that the boogeyman lives in the dirt part of the basement). All these years later I’m still a bit scared to go in the basement. But the memories of that special cake, the pull-taffy, and the famous tea times will live in my heart forever. I’m pretty sure I found her tea leaf reading book in the junk room a while ago – I’ll have to go look for it.
Well Gramma, this is it: the big EIGHT ZERO. So, how does it feel to be so wise and well cultured? Ever since I’ve known you, which has been 18 years and 1 month, you have had a direct influence on my life. Ah yes, how I remember Melissa and I terrorizing you and your house. How you put up with us, I’ll never know. I remember how the big highlight of my life was to go over to Gramma’s house for the afternoon and have tea at 4:00 everyday, life would stop in order that the tea could be served, it was quite the event. Of course there would be cookies galore, of all sorts, and if we were REALLY good, we would get our own teapot. Melissa and I would always fight over who was going to get the teapot, or who was going to sit beside Gramma. In the end, Gramma would always step in and solve our dilemma. To finish the afternoon off, Gramma would always read our tea leaves to see what our future held. To my knowledge none of the predictions have come true, but I haven’t lost hope yet. There are so many fond memories I have of you, Gramma, I just don’t know where to begin. Let’s see… sleep-overs, reading comics, making pull-taffy, your “favourite cake”, going to church with you and eating shrimp sandwiches after, going to. Hawaii, and even sweet-talking police officers. I’d just like to say that you are, and always will be, the bestest Gramma us grandkids could ever have.
Love ya lots and lots. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Love Michelle
Grammas are Special by Ryan Copithorne
As years have gone by, I think of the fun Because of the special things my Gramma has done. The making of pull taffy and afternoon teas, A constant supply of doughnuts and cookies. Looking under the branches of our Christmas tree, Yes, the biggest present is from Gramma to me. She’s always there for driving me places And when asking for money, surprisingly kind faces! The cookies, the doughnuts, and special things you do, Are some of the reasons that the best Gramma is you!
I know… I said I was done. But this house has ways of throwing things in my path for me to have a look at. Last night I was standing in my boy’s room looking for a photo of grandma (his bookshelf holds our family photos) and I noticed a couple of albums kind of stuck off to the side. A couple of very old photo albums of Grandma’s and one that holds a bunch of memories the family put together for Grandma’s 80th. Her children, their spouses, and all us grandkids (plus two spouses), and a couple of great grandkids wrote out our memories of Grandma. Sharing them seems like a really nice way to honour a woman who has meant so much to us all.
I’m not sure where the “Profile of a Senior” came from – when I googled it I found a couple of copies of it written elsewhere – no idea where to credit it though. Grandma turned 80 on October 4, 1988 and as with most things, some of it aged well, some of it didn’t (pretty sure the “Coke” of their time had actual cocaine in it so….)
Profile of a Senior
Who is a senior citizen? What is one?
A senior citizen is one who was here before the pill and the population explosion. We were here before television, penicillin, polio shots, antibiotics, and frisbees. Before frozen food, nylon, dacron, xerox, Kinsey, radar, fluorescent lights, credit cards and ballpoint pens. For us, time sharing meant togetherness not computers; a chip meant a piece of wood, hardware meant hard work and software wasn’t even a word. Co-Ed’s never wore slacks, we were before pantyhose and drip-dry clothes, before ice makers and dishwashers, clothes dryers, freezers and electric blankets. Before Hawaii had Alaska became states. Before men wore long hair and earrings and women wore tuxedos.
We were before Leonard Bernstein, yogurt, Ann Landers, plastic, the 40 hour week and the minimum wage. We got married first and then lived together. How quaint can one be?
Closets were for clothes, not for coming out of, bunnies were small rabbits and rabbits were not Volkswagens. We were before Grandma Moses and Frank Sinatra and cup sizing for bras. Girls wore Peter Pan collars and thought cleavage was something butchers did. We were before Batman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Snoopy. before DDT, vitamin pills, disposable diapers, QE one, Jeeps, the Jefferson memorial, and pizza. Cheerios, instants coffee, decaffeinated anything, and McDonald’s were unheard of. We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent. We were before Boy George, J.D. Salinger, and Chiquita banana. Before FM radios, tape recorders, electric typewriters, word processors, Muzak, electronic music, disco dancing – and that’s not all that bad!!
In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, grass was for mowing, coke was a refreshing drink, and pot was something you cooked in. If we’d been asked to explain CIA, Ms, NATO, UFO, NFL, ERA, or IUD, we would have said alphabet soup.
We are today’s senior citizens, a hardy bunch when you think of how our wold has changed and the adjustments we have had to make!!
This is the end of the photos. Every time I’ve said I’m done something else has shown up in an unexpected place – so we shall see! There is still a freezer full of mom’s treasures from when she went away to school to sort through – but that will be done first with my sister. I’ve sure enjoyed sharing this with everyone! Who knows what will be next! Oh wait- I know – I’m putting this together into a book! Enjoy…
Today marks the 200th instalment of From Grandma’s Kitchen. I had no idea last year that this would become what it has – I have loved exploring the history of our family and the area. I figured what better way to celebrate 200 posts than to look at old wedding photos! Young couples so full of love and hope for the future ❤️
There’s something about old photos. Even so many of these ones where i don’t know the people in them. I wonder about their lives, what did they do? Were they happy? As my cousin Jen pointed out these photos really make me aware of my own mortality. Some day I too could be an unknown face in a pile of old photos. It sounds depressing, but I think it’s kind of cool – we all share connections in ways we can’t quite comprehend.