Monday, September 13, 2010

A Memory For Monday (With Granny & Grandad Next Door)

Just this last Saturday afternoon, I chose Megan and Luke to accompany me to Costco.  Considering it was a Saturday at one of the busiest stores around, it was quite a pleasant trip.  Taking into consideration my regular shopping entourage; a three year old and a one year old... shopping with an almost twelve year old and almost nine year old was sheer bliss.

As we approached the check-out stand, we passed the part of Costco I usually try to quickly pass by without a sideways glance.  (Chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered raisins, Costco size package of Lindt chocolate, etc. etc.)  Yet for some reason on Saturday, in my more relaxed than usual, frame of mind, (Not having to deal with a three year old and one year old while shopping does wonders for positive mental health...) I glanced to the side and a box of assorted chocolates immediately caught my eye.

And for some reason, as I picked up the box of assorted chocolates to look at, I got a big lump in my throat and in a sudden moment of nostalgia, I began to tell my children about Granny and Grandad Next Door...

Growing up on Carlton Crescent, we lived next door to an elderly couple.  I can't even tell you what their names were, because to us, they were Granny and Grandad Next Door.  (My paternal grandparents were also known as Granny and Grandad to us, so the Next Door was always added as clarification.)

Grandad Next Door had an immaculate garden.  His tulips in the spring and roses in the summer were a beautiful sight.  It was not very often we had much association with them besides greetings and chats across a garden fence, or the occasional knock at the door to retrieve a ball.

But, if you did for some reason go into their house, we were always taken into the back room, where Granny Next Door was always sitting (she didn't venture outside nearly as much as Grandad Next Door).   And there was always a tin with Kit-Kats inside and a box of assorted chocolates sitting on a table, that we were invited to choose from.

So there I stood amidst scores of shoppers in Costco on a Saturday, blinking away tears while telling my children about Granny and Grandad Next Door's flower gardens and the smell of their house. It was that simple memory of our kind, gracious, elderly neighbors that caused me to arrive home from Costco on Saturday with a box of assorted chocolates.

But the real laughter and appreciation from the children (and Mike) came later in the afternoon while we were each eating a chocolate.  I told them about the time a neighbor friend and I decided to make homemade perfume by mixing talcum powder and water together in old baby juice bottles to sell.  I told them about selling a bottle to Grandad Next Door and was scared and didn't know what to say or do when Grandad Next Door handed me his ten pence piece and said, "Thank you very much. Granny will really enjoy drinking this."

Hopefully Grandad Next Door's purchase was simply a courtesy to a young neighbor girl and he didn't offer  to Granny Next Door what he had mistakenly understood was a drink...

Happy Monday!

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