Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jack and Kay

This is the wedding picture (I think) of my maternal grandparents, Jack and Kay. Kay was actually born Catherine/Kathryn/Cathern. We are not sure how it was actually spelt. My niece is named after her. My grandpa always called her Katie. My grandpa was Jack but not until late in his life did he find his birth certificate and find out his birth name was John. Oddly, he named his first born son John! I am struck by how beautiful my grandma looks here. Of course, I never knew her like this. I am also moved by how much my mom looks like her. My grandpa was so handsome. By the time I came along he had eyebrows that could allow him to take flight and these horrible military issue glasses he wore because they were free or super cheap. Interestingly, I think my brother looks very much like my grandpa. If you take his features separately they are more like my dad's side but the whole package looks like Grandpa Jack.
My Grandpa Jack served in the Navy all his life. In fact, he lied about his age to enlist at age 17. He was retired in the late 60's/early 70's. They moved to Oregon and built their own house by themselves. They lived there the remainder of their years. As long as I can remember my Uncle John and Aunt Linda lived on the 20 acres also. This proved to be quite fortuitous as my grandparents aged and became sick; John and Linda were invaluable in caring for them. My grandpa died about 8 years ago. All my life they lived on this rural property and had a small amount of cows and chickens and such. They loved to travel in their RV. They would come and visit us for weeks and months at a time. Grandpa was always sort of gruff and rough on the outside but deep down he was a sweetie. He would walk a mile to get the newspaper every morning and it was always great fun to be up in time to go with him.

My Grandma Kay seemed quiet and sweet and caring on the outside but was also very strong and tough on the inside. She raised four kids with a military husband gone quite often. Plus, she put up with my seemingly often grumpy grandpa! :) She made the most wonderful blueberry syrup for pancakes when we were there from the blueberries out of her yard. She would let us go get the eggs out of the hen house. We played cards alot and she taught me how to play cribbage (not that I remember now). My grandpa died before her, right before their 60th wedding anniversary. She gradually declined in health. My mom, Double A and I were flying to visit her in late September 2004 (I was pregnant with BumbleB). As we got off the plane, my aunt and uncle met us and told us in the airport grandma had passed away that day while we were on the plane. It was quite the shock as she had been ill but nothing more than usual. It was just a regularly scheduled visit, not one due to illness or anything.

My cousin and his wife and family live in their house now. They have redone some of the necessary things in the house. I have not seen it yet but hear it is nice. I am glad someone is living there so the house does not deteriorate. My aunt and uncle still live in their house on the property. I miss my grandparents. I have wonderful memories of playing with my cousins when we visited. Spending time together as a family and just hanging out around the property or doing other activities in the area. So many memories: the farming game, bumper billiards, being chased by cows for apples, picking blueberries, go cart racing, crazy shaggy rugs in the twin bed room, the awesome spinning chair with that horrible squeak in the kitchen, sleeping in the various RV's or the basement and on and on and on.

I want to go visit with Husband #1 and my kids but just have not seemed to find the time. I want to see my family who are still there but maybe in a way, I am hesitant because it will be so different with both of them gone.

(If you are one of my family members and I have some facts wrong, please let me know. Or if you have a great memory to add, please comment!)

1 comment:

tarab said...

I remember the first time Brent saw a pic of my grandmother -- his exact words were, "She was a fox." There was something beautiful about women back then...
and we have "friends" (i use the term loosley) who seem to want to be the Kennedy's bc they named a child john and call him jack too.