Sometimes the Best Memories Just Happen

By | July 7, 2022
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Sometimes the Best Memories Just Happen

I’m older now than I ever thought I’d be. I noticed how many people who are as old as I seem to be preoccupied with their bathroom habits. I suppose that’s why the drug store has a whole section filled with laxatives.  Luckily, for me, I’ve not had to buy anything from that section, although I do remember when I was young, my grandma seemed to be fixated on bowel habits as I recall seeing Feen-a-Mint and Ex-Lax (and that dreaded Fleet’s enema) in the house at all times.  I wonder why old people are so concerned with this? I’m an old person, and I’m not.

Anyway, this is the week when my granddaughter (who is 12) visits me and stays with me for an entire week. I cannot believe she still loves to come to visit me – as I’m OLD. But, it is a very good thing for me. I can’t imagine why she wants to come here and spend her days with an old coot like me, but she does.

I thought once she reached the “almost teen” stage, I would be a forgotten old hump. But she told me I am not allowed to drop off (pass away, die, leave this earthly coil) until I’m 103 years old, which I’m delighted to tell you is still ALMOST three decades hence.  When I think about it, 103 is really old. I’m not sure why she wants me to hang around that long – maybe it’s because I don’t have much money and my passing will not result in anyone’s windfall.

And when I’m 103, she’ll be 41, so you do the math. Maybe she figures when she’s 41 she’ll be able to better handle my demise – or maybe she plans on spending a week with me every summer until then so I can spoil her to the best of my ability.

Now, this is like the sixth or seventh summer that she has spent a week with me. And her visit always starts the same way. I pick her up from her dad, we come back to my house and unpack her things, then head to Walmart. Yes, I know this does not sound exciting to you, but to her, it’s the beginning of a fun week, with lots of freedom, lots of time to watch movies, and lots of time to work on her art — she’s an amazing artist!

So, we go to Walmart, without a shopping list or rules. She can pick out whatever she wants – usually enough to fill half a grocery cart.  And what she wants is an eclectic selection of junk food (hey! it’s only a week!) usually Little Debbie honey buns, Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, Krispy Kreme crullers (which she pronounces CRAWLERS). ramen noodles, donuts, Knorr pasta and rice packets, Hello Panda cookies (she claims they’re Japanese cookies, even though I point out that Pandas are indigenous to China), ice cream, chocolate milk, and so on… you get the idea.

You don’t? OK…

Shopping with grandpa

She’s normally a healthy eater, but this week is a week with her plump old grandpa and I figure one week of fun food and fun times isn’t going to hurt…right? 

She lives in (near) a big city, and I live in a small, conservative, farmy town. We have a 4th of July parade. I took my granddaughter to see the parade because another granddaughter who lives near me, was in it. So, let me tell you that our “parade” consists of three or four (can’t remember now) local high school marching bands, lots of fire trucks, ambulances, desert-colored military vehicles, military men and women dressed in fatigues walking (not marching) behind the trucks looking bored, various clowns (political candidates) waving to the “crowd” smiling throwing candy to the commoners lining streets. various beauty contest winners with glowing tiaras on their heads, a bunch of farm tractors – some antique, and some local businessmen showing off their Beamer,  Mercedes, and Lexus convertibles -throwing candy to the peons lining the street.

“Well”, I asked my granddaughter, “what did you think of the parade?” She paused for a brief moment and said “It had to be one of the most boring things I’ve ever seen in my life!” In her twelve-plus years of life, our little hometown parade ranked as one of the most boring things ever. 

I can’t disagree.

I’m wondering why a town would amass an almost two-hour-long parade full of things no one wants to see? The best part for her was the people throwing candy. For me, the high school bands were pretty good and they reminded me that even though we are not even in the middle of July yet, football season is just around the corner.

After the parade, we decided to walk back to my house. It is a good three-mile walk from the parade route to my house. But that’s OK. I use our walking time as talking time when we can catch up on what’s going on in our lives. It takes me about five seconds to tell her what’s been going on in my life -at my age, not a whole lot changes.  But her life is constantly changing and she had a lot to tell me. I enjoy her stories – some of which are exaggerations and some purely made up. And as we don’t get a chance to visit much during the year she tells me a lot. She’s not allowed a cell phone yet, but she’ll get one this year on her birthday – and she promised she’ll call me often… we’ll see.

On the way home, we stopped in a little Mexican “la tienda” where I bought her a Mexican Pepsi (made with real sugar). We also bought a dozen homemade tamales – wrapped in corn husks. My granddaughter had never had real Mexican tamales before so she was in for a treat later on that day when she had tamales for dinner. She loved them.


On the way home from the parade, now with a sack of tamales in hand, my granddaughter and I walked and talked lost in our own little world on a sunny, hot, 4th of July.  The sun was brutal though and we both yearned for some shade, and I knew a shortcut through the woods – very dense shady woods.

We started to follow the footpath in the woods when suddenly the path disappeared. We stumbled over branches and deadfall making our way through the forest as best we could forging our own path. Suddenly, the fat old grandpa, lay sprawled on the ground. Yep. It was me I tripped over a big branch and found myself quite painfully lying on the ground. 

My sweet granddaughter, nearly panicked. I guess she figured anyone as old as I would have many broken bones and that I wasn’t going to make it to the age of 103.  But, thankfully, other than a scrape on my ankle and a bruised ego, I was OK. But it was tough getting up off the ground, I will admit. She helped lift me from my awkward situation and got me back on my feet. I don’t know what I would have done without her.

She did commend me for holding the bag of tamales high in the air keeping them off the ground and thus getting smashed.

Every year when she visits, we create memories that live on throughout the year. And you know what?

Sometimes the best memories are not made — they just happen.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes the Best Memories Just Happen

  1. jill delany

    AWESOME, as always. TY for brightening everyone’s day.

  2. Judy

    I’m with granddaughter, you must not die before at least 103. I’m not far behind you, so I’m hoping you at least out live me because I could NEVER do without my Cloudeight hero’s. You have been lifesavers to many of us on our computers that keep us highly amused and entertained through many a boring day. Loved the essay, I have nine grandchildren of my own I am so very proud of. One studying to be a doctor, a nurse, two in the Navy and 5 to still choose their life path. I am Blessed beyond measure and love hearing of your adventures and memories.


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