Grandparents Day: Edie and Oweny Taught Us so Much


September 13th is National Grandparents Day!

I have so many fond memories of my grandparents. They have all moved on to be with the Lord, but if I close my eyes, I can take myself back to those great times in my life.

I learned so much from my grandparents (my mum’s parents especially). For example, women and men had traditional gender roles at the time, and my grandma was one of the greatest cooks and gardeners I have ever known. She had beef tomatoes from the garden the size of your head! We would spend countless hours with her in the kitchen, helping her make everything from breads to apple fritters. She would even have us help her in the lost art of canning; her elderberry jelly and kosher pickles were my favorites.

My grandpa, or “Pap” as we used to call him, was a kind man who loved penny candy. He would always have a huge paper bag rolled down at the top and filled with all sorts of delights. We got to stick our hands into it, where Sixlets, BB Bats and Mallow Bars were always in abundance. He was an excellent hunter and we always had fresh turkey and pheasant at every holiday meal.

All of us kids would pile into their car to take a ride and see what we could see. Roadside stands, tag sales, bing cherries and drive-in theaters will always take me back to our time with them.

Edie and Oweny came from an era where the love was in the littlest details. Every Christmas felt like a Bing Crosby holiday special. Cousins roughhoused while the adults played cards at the table after dinner. Friends from far and wide would drop in to offer a laugh and good cheer. It was an era where you still got dressed up to go downtown to do your shopping or to go to church on Sundays.

Buckeyes played a significant role with the grandchildren. My grandma would make us necklaces out of them and told us they were good luck. When she passed away, many of us kids put one in her casket as a token of our love for her.

I remember everything about their home and their little piece of heaven on “Chicken Hill,” as they called it. The stories they told about our family’s over 100-year-old house and the amazing times we all had will stay within my heart forever. I truly had the best childhood and they were a big reason why. They taught me so much about family, togetherness and values, and for that, I am eternally grateful.


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