I Remember Them (Part III)

My very much Dutch grandpa and grandma
each emigrated from Holland when they were young.
They fit American culture like a pair of wooden shoes.

Grandma followed in her Dutch Bible as Grandpa read aloud in English,
pointing to the text so I could pick out words like “Heere”, Lord.
And I knew the Lord listened when Grandpa prayed.

Grandma graciously served us rosettes and rusks on china saucers
with steaming tea or orange drink poured into matching tea cups.
We felt very special, listening in on grown-ups’ conversation.

Time of our vacation visits passed much too quickly
like the tick-tocking of their sitting room clock with
miniature figures of a boy and girl see-sawing the seconds away.

Grandpa rented Minnesota farmland; raised crops, livestock, two sons
and later, a dear daughter (who, in turn, raised my brother and I).
A gentle man with animals, he liked to tickle-torture us children.

Before bed, Grandma removed the squiggly hairpins
and let her braided bun fall down in silver ripples to her waist.
She would brush out her long locks while I watched, mesmerized.

On Sundays, she wore a stylish hat, black stockings and heels to church.
He dressed in a dark suit, handkerchief in breast pocket, and shiny black shoes.
Hard-working country folk transformed into classy lady and dignified gentleman!

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hannah Gosselin
    Jun 14, 2014 @ 02:39:53

    Audible sigh…this is a fulfilling piece. You’ve set the scene, brought your characters vividly and delivered a sentiment that’s proud and nostalgic…a very enjoyable read…thank you!


  2. summerstommy2
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 23:28:35

    What a great story of your heritage lynnediane, enjoyed this very much. Our pasts tell us so much about ourselves i think.


  3. claudia
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 21:22:56

    oh that brought back some memories of my own… i used to watch as well when my gramma was brushing her long grey hair and was ever so fascinated cause she usually had hairpins in it as well and i was amazed how long it was when she removed them


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 18:27:10

    What a tribute to your grandparents.. I really love the transformation to go to church.. how special that was at one time… dressing up their best…


  5. Mary
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 18:12:26

    I really enjoyed this. You really gave a wonderful picture of your grandmother and grandfather. I think it would have been quite nice to spend time with them….eating rosettes and drinking tea, plus time with the animals. The third line of your poem made me smile.


  6. Gabriella
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 17:28:49

    This is a beautiful poem and great tribute to your grandparents, Lynndiane! You described them and their life style so vividly, I can picture them. I am not surprised you have such great memories of them.


  7. Grace
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:57:20

    Lovely memories of your grandparents ~ I can imagine them dressing up their fine clothes during mass and your grandma serving tea ~ Thanks for the personal snapshot of your family ~


  8. Sumana Roy
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:38:46

    i love the vivid details you present…grandma’s waist-long silver cascade and even the see-sawing figures…a lovely write


  9. Glenn Buttkus
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:29:25

    Finely etched, strongly recalled, this fascinating portrait of your Dutch heritage; really put me into their home & your childhood; excellent rocking of the prompt.


  10. bmiller007 (@bmiller007)
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 13:40:50

    ha. we do a bit of the tickle torture around here…i think that farming as well brings a humbleness (in a good way) and understanding of dependence on many things…god mainly…smiles.


  11. Jennifer G. Knoblock
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 13:28:03

    Your first stanza captivated me. What a loving portrait you’ve made, using wonderfully specific details.


  12. lynndiane
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 09:31:04

    Yes, I can still taste them 🙂


  13. Marilyn
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 22:38:10

    Thanks for sharing some of my same memories! Especially the china and rosettes!


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