There's Mail From Mom!

Wouldn't it be nice to have a letter from mom in the mailbox each time you checked it? Here's a place to check your mailbox for a heart-to-heart talk with mom...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Memory Lane- #1

   I don't know why but my heart has been going down memory lane in a big way for over a week now.  I have thought so much about people and places that have influenced my life in a major way.  Maybe it's because I'm in the autumn of life and maybe it's because the Lord has been giving me a grateful heart lately.
   My first memories are of a little house on Jay Street in the town of Dunkirk, IN.  Dunkirk was a small town with a train track dividing it.  My maternal grandparents lived on Railroad Street and my paternal grandmother lived on the other side of town on Pleasant Street.  What sweet memories the town of Dunkirk has for me.
   The house we lived in was a dark green shingled house and I was a very little girl.  My only memory there is of a Christmas tree and my dad throwing his shoe at a mouse that ran by the tree and killing it.  I remember my parents thinking that was very funny and all of us laughing.  End of memories in that house.  I have lots of memories of how the house looked by looking at pictures and hearing my parents talk abou it. 
  I also have the memory of my dad telling that while we lived there my sister Kristi would ask to go to church when the church bells rang on Sunday.  He said that bothered him--but not enough to get him to go to church.
  Then he began working with a bricklayer named Paul Vice who was also an evangelist.  Paul Vice was going to be preaching a meeting at my dad's mother's church.  It was Sugar Grove Methodist Church, a little country church that I remember us going to some when I was very small.  He asked my dad to come hear him preach there and got my dad to agree.  During that meeting on January 25th (I think I have the date right) my dad and mom went forward and got saved.  Life changed for our entire family after that--my parents salvation saved their marriage and allowed my dad to see household salvation.  I can't imagine how happy his mother must have been.
   My only other memory of that period of my life was that my Grandpa Ike left and I didn't see him again until I was in about 4th or 5th grade.  I am not sure if what I remember really is in my memory or it was told to me by my parents till I think I remember it, but I have a memory of my Grandpa Ike holding me, playing with me, riding me on his foot like I was on a horse and then he was gone.  My dad told me he left right after that evening of spending time with us.  He was a womanizer and had left more than once but this was the last time.  I only saw him twice after that.  Years later when reading my grandmother's journals I read where he would come home and run up bills, leave after getting indebted, ask for forgiveness and come back only to put them in debt again.  Finally when he asked to come back she told him no. 
  These were the days when to get a divorce the person who was wronged had to file for the divorce and my grandmother would never do that.  She told me that although he had broken his vows she was not going to break hers.  He never did get his divorce but lived in Florida with another woman till his death when I was a senior in high school.  My grandmother's willingness to be true to her vows in spite of what had been done against her made a huge impression on me as a young person.  I knew when I married it was truly "for better or for worse" and planned to see it through because of my grandmother's advice and example.
  My Grandma Nelle's house had a beige living room, a flamingo bedroom and a turquoise kitchen when my grandpa left her.  I have never liked those colors on the walls of a house.  It gives my heart a little downward tug to think of her kitchen back then and I didn't like it till my dad remodeled it for her.  Who would think that even the colors affected the sadness I felt at losing my Grandpa Ike as a very little girl. 
  I still remember the smell of the Dove bar soap in my grandma's bathroom, my fascination with her razor laying on the side of her tub, how I loved her collection of cameos and her hair reticule and bakelite set of brushes and beauty items on her dresser.  I think of my love of  her teacups and the little China doll on her curio shelf with glass lace on her skirt tail.. 
  At my other grandparents I spent many a rainy afternoon on a butter yellow glider in their screened in porch and today a glider like it sits on my porch.  I loved my grandmother's book shelves with their glass fronts and the wonderful smell of stationery when I opened them.  I loved the Big-Little books on those shelves and the little box of games my grandpa kept in there to entertain us.  I loved my grandpa's Popular Mechanics books and find myself looking for reprints of them in bookstores.  I loved my grandmother's orange teakettle, her African Violets that lined her sunny kitchen window and the grape arbor in the back yard with the porch swing under it.  Oh, sweet memories.  Thank you Lord for bringing them back to me to relive those lovely days.
  With that I will conclude  my first trip down memory lane.  I'm writing this mostly for my children, but also for my spiritual children.  We don't realize how much one person can affect the rest of our lives.  It is so important to surround ourselves with the right influences and to see our children are surrounded with the right influences.  Childhood influences affect us for the rest of our days.  As a young woman I felt my Grandmother Mettler was my best friend.  As a little girl my Grandpa Mettler gave me many pieces of advice and I've not forgot a one of them.  I'd say at the time he didn't know if I was listening or not--but I still remember our talks.
  How does that affect me today?  I am now a grandmother and I know that every conversation might mean the difference in my grandchildren's lives.  I try to have time with them that they will look back to with the sweetest of memories and not to take them for granted. 
   I also try to remember that every spiritual decision I make will affect my entire family--for good or for bad.  I pray that I will make decisions that will bring more of the Lord into my family's heart and life.  And I pray that the Lord will teach us all that today is tomorrow's memory.  May all of us live in such a way that when we are gone "we being dead still speak" to our family.



Niki Lott said...

Thank you for sharing. I look forward to more! I know that you are right about influences, and I realize more and more how things you say that you think no one is even paying attention to are heard and absorbed....good or bad. Thank you for being such a loving and godly influence on my life and the lives of my children. I wish they could be around you more! I pray that I will be for them what you are for me. I love you!

Stepsingrace said...

Thank you, Tami for this inside look into your childhood. What wonderful blessings have been wrought in the decision your parents made to follow Christ. I especially enjoyed hearing about the porch glider, that you have replicated on your porch today and of looking for magazines like the ones your grandpa had. I myself have some of my grandmas stainless steel flatware and some odd plates I've collected like the ones she used chen I lived with them as a child. I regularly use her flatware for my setting and a cereal bowl just like my grandpas. I'm not sure why, but it gives me a good feeling. Your post helps me realize that I'm not "kinda weird" for holding so close to those things. This makes me think of so many sweet memories in my own childhood, even amidst the chaos created by my parents divorce. Thank you again.