Monday, February 11, 2008

Old photos and old memories

I was looking at Sarah of Still Life in Yarn's blog this morning and she had a funny blast-from-the-past type of blog a few days ago. Her father has been sending her wonderful nuggets of history in the form of CDs full of childhood photographs. Instantly, I thought of my own collection of photos... sitting in a box and unscanned. Sure, they are in order, but that's about it. They are not available for viewing or memory reminiscing... something I'd like to do and something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

Yesterday was the eight year anniversary of my most fantastic Gema's passing. I still think of her as here spiritually, coming around now and again for a visit and to check up on things. I went through my limited supply of digital pics of her... and have virtually nothing! But my childhood memories are vivid enough to remember her in 3D in my mind. This teeny pic you see is of my mom's 50th birthday at Tony Roma's. My grandma was 71. I was 20... not really "childhood" but hey, 20 was a while ago for me!

I remember my grandma saying "We're goin' to Townee Rowwwwmaas!" and ordering ribs... eating daintily with both pinkies up and enjoying the whole meal from sit down to stand up. She's wearing a jean blazer for February "warmth", a khaki shirt with darker brown matching pants and these pretty hand-carved and stained wooden beads with gold accents. I don't know what happened to those beads...

I remember her insisting on sitting in the back seat of Rob's pink Honda Civic... lowered to the ground so anyone would grunt trying to get in or out of this thing! I made her sit in front after much protesting.

I can still hear her voice in my head saying "Love you Darling!" or calling me her "Shayna Madela" and blowing kisses every time we talked in person or on the phone.

I remember her teaching me to braid my hair. To knit. To crochet. To cook. To play gin... and she didn't let me win... I had to work at it!

My favorite stream of memories are of our Saturday nights together. From ages 9 to about 11, I would get to spend the night all by myself with my Gema. My brother in turn got my mom all to himself.

Gema would make dinner (teriyaki steak, pahtted meatbolls, or spaghetti) and then we would go to Thrifty's for ice cream. I had 25 cents to spend, so I'd get 2 scoops of ice cream for 15 cents and a little toy from the machines for 10 cents. We'd walk around the drug store looking around and then go back to her apartment.

By now it was late... 8 o'clock, and we'd change into our pajamas. Always a long nightgown for her... special silk or rayon two-piece PJ's for me. We'd play gin and watch TV... all the way up to Dallas and Falcon Crest. Do you remember Falcon Crest? We'd lay on opposite ends of the couch with our bodies meeting in the middle and I'd fall asleep somewhere in the middle of the show.

These simple memories are some of my most cherished.