Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grandma Dot - Part 1

On another blog that I'm writing with a friend, I started to write about my grandmother's chickens. Memories of Grandma Dot started flooding my mind and I decided to write about her here.

If I were challenged to list the top 5 people in my life that I feel love(d) me unconditionally, Grandma Dot would definitely make the list. And it is funny, because she was in no way related to me - technically. My real grandmother, Ming, was adopted by Great-Grandpa Adams (Theodore Roosevelt Adams, isn't that a great name?!) and Great-Grandma Dot was his third wife. And yet, my childhood memories of Grandma Dot are richer than those of my grandparents. The main reason is that when I was 7, my parents, my little brother, and I moved from San Diego (home to both of my sets of grandparents) to Polk, PA. Don't know where that is? No worries... just think rural Western Pennsylvania. I think the population of Polk, in 1976, was somewhere around 3000, half of whom were residents at the state mental institution. We lived in the house that my Grandpa Adams built by hand with Grandpa and Grandma for a few months while my parents picked out a single-wide trailer to install on the 3 rods Grandpa gave them in the hay field up on the hill, 1/4 mile up a gravel road. I experienced my first summer of thunderstorms in that house, safe under Grandma's blankets.

Grandma let us help her in the garden and didn't mind when we wandered over to the rope swing hanging from the nearby cherry tree. I don't remember what she grew in that garden, although I have a vague recollection of bushels and bushels of zucchini.

Grandpa and Grandma also had a goat, on a chain. Somehow, this goat would escape regularly. As I remember it, the goat chewed through the chain. Could this be possible? I do know that it ate anything, including tin cans and cigarette butts. But I'm vague about the purpose of the goat. No one milked it, that I know of - I think it was a boy, come to think of it. Or maybe Grandpa just called it "that son of a bitch goat" enough that I got the impression it was a male. Although...Grandpa didn't let the gender of his animals effect his name calling; he named a new bull after me shortly after our arrival.

Since long posts can be tedious, I'm going to continue this train of memories later and maybe I'll find a moral to this story, or at least a theme, by then. And wouldn't it be super cool if I could somehow get some old pictures from my parents and scan them?

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