I was standing here cleaning toys for this year’s toy distribution when I started reliving my own childhood. I was raised by my grandparents in a small town just north of Peoria. My grandfather worked at Caterpillar on third shift as a sweeper because that’s all he was qualified to do with no education. Even at that time, education dictated your pay scale so he was at the bottom of the pay scale.
Holidays were spent at grandma and grandpa’s by the whole family from Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, and the Chicago area. Family would show up one or two days before Thanksgiving to one or two days before Christmas and stay past New Years.
Grandma would cook breakfast for all; pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, french toast, and, of course, hominey for grandpa. Grandpa had to have his hominey and fried potatoes with each breakfast. Oh yes, I forgot the biscuits and gravy. With all that grandma fixed, no one left the table hungry and there was no food left over.
We never had turkey on holidays; it was fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, ham, dressing, green beans, chocolate pudding, jello, and apple, pumpkin, and my banana cream pie. As before, no one left the table hungry and there were no leftovers. Every time grandma fixed a meal she had to start from scratch the next meal.
On Christmas Eve, every niece, nephew, cousin, and child had presents from the Jolly Ole Elf Santa Claus. I wish the Good Lord would show me how she came up with all the presents, especially on grandpa’s pay from Caterpillar.
I thank the Good Lord for letting me accomplish what I have so far and the life he let me live growing up with my grandparents.
I love you Grandma and Grandpa. I wish I could tell you so now.
Your loving grandson,