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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)

TITLE: The Glue and Texture of Life
By Janice Wood


When Kris and Jaime were growing up they looked forward to spending the weekend with grandma. A survivor from the Great Depression, grandma had some ways of thinking about things that were memorable for our girls to say the least. Like bath time, for instance, grandma would conserve water by filling the tub to about 2 inches from the bottom. Needless to say bath time was short.

Grandma didn’t have a driver’s license. Going to the mall to ride the carousel was a major event that took the girls across town on foot. Riding the train in the center of the mall and window shopping were major treats but the most memorable and eagerly anticipated event when staying with grandma was when Aunt Marge and uncle Hank came over to play Aggravation. Aunt Marge had polio as a child and used a walker to get around. She was a big bosomy lady with a heart of gold and a knack for spell binding stories about characters in the family. Uncle Hank was a short fellow that was big on spirit, long on know how and the shortest fuse imaginable. Never one to back down from a fight he took winning quite seriously and peppered his language with colorful epithets when someone landed on his space sending him back to square one. This is the part the girls lived for when Aunt Marge and uncle Hank came over: Uncle Hank’s cussing. “Now grandfather”, Aunt Marge would chide, “remember we have the girls with us tonight.” Then uncle Hank would reign in his temper and things would settle down to a more boring pace until someone else caught up with him.

It’s those old folks that became the heart of our existence in our young family’s life. They provided a sense of connection and belonging. The expectation that grandma would take Kris and Jaime to the mall and get out the game board at night and Aunt Marge would stop by with uncle Hank for the evening was a wonderful tradition. But the most memorable and cherished thing that topped these times for the girls was hearing uncle Hank’s cussing when he got sent back to “start” on the game board.

Like summer grass we’ve seen those we’ve counted on to always be there fade and pass away. They provided glue to the fabric of our family and a texture that we savored and enjoyed so much. They are a part of us, one that we enjoy reminiscing about and admiring.

Now we are approaching the summer of life. Kris and Jaime have left home to start their own families and we are Boppa and Nana to 3 precious little ones. We’re collecting a string of recorded calls on our cell phones we love playing back from our grandson when we have a moment to sit and hear that little voice. These memories and each addition to our family provide the glue and texture of our lives that we savor and enjoy so much.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 09/19/08
I love the reflections of times long ago. You brought me there. Very nice.
Lisa Keck09/25/08
Very good job. I didn't know Uncle Hank but I could still envision him there trying not to cuss. You may not've intended it but I just realized that in many games you go around a board and your story came full circle with your girls visiting their grandparents and now you being grandparents.
Anita van der Elst09/26/08
Nice memory sharing! I can just picture the girls anticipating those cuss words!