Opening my childhood backpack, remembering my grandpa Rob and my grandma Minnie

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They were as different as daylight and darkness

My grandma Minnie and my grandpa Rob were married for sixty-five years. They were as different as daylight and darkness. He loved to laugh and have fun. He was always playing practical jokes on family and friends. He was a tall man, very handsome with a heavy growth of blond hair. He had smiling eye's full of mischief. Strickening different, my grandma Minnie. She was stern and serious. She was also tall and thin with long reddish brown hair that reached the floor when she sat in her chair brushing it. She wore it in a tight bun on top of her head. ( She believed it was a sin for a woman to cut her hair. )

Her philosophy concerning religion was full of brimstone, hell and damnation. She was a devout pentecostal believer. She spoke in tongues and was most happy when she was at church, clapping her hands, singing, and tapping her feet to the lively music.

I went with her a few times when I was a child and usually felt afraid of God.

She frequently went to religious retreats to seek a more pure relation with God.

That's when my grandpa Rob would bring out all his hidden paraphernalia to make his blackberry wine. My mother was his sidekick in this ' most sinful act. ' I remember my mother saying, " Boy when you drink dad's wine, it lasts the next day too. "

I was twelve when my grandpa fell ill. My mother sat at his bedside for two days and nights before he passed away. She listened as he prayed, asking God to forgive him for making fun of grandma's religion. ( He would mock her actions by clapping his hands and talking gibberish. ) He then asked God to forgive him for beating one of his horses so badly, it died the next day. It was well known that he had an uncontrollable temper at times.

My grandma Minnie lived twenty years after grandpa Rob died. She spent the last two years in a nursing home. She was totally blind due to diabetes. She refused any kind of medication. ( It was a sin. )

She died quietly one Sunday afternoon. Her meal had been served and she ate all the food on her tray. She then laid across her bed and died. The staff were unaware until they came in to pick up her tray.

I remember thinking at her funeral, " Grandpa has waited a long time for you, I bet he's standing at the gate with arms wide open, his eye's smiling and still full of mischief, and possibly grandma Minnie has a surprised look on her face. "

This was my grandma's favorite kind of music

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Comments 38 comments

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England

What lovely memories and what colourful characters! I do find grandparents fascinating; mine certainly were. I often wonder how my grandchildren will remember me!

Great hub, well written.

Ann


DJ Anderson 23 months ago

Ruby, you have vivid memories of your grandparents and a beautiful way to bring their story back to life. I have known some Pentecostal

believers. They are some of the strongest Bible believers one can ever meet. I could never understand the need for speaking in tongues, but

was told, it was not for me but for the translators to translate what was

being said. Interesting denomination, but not for me.

What great memories you have of your grandfather. He must have been

fun to be around.

Ruby, I really enjoy the way you relay your delightful stories. It appears that you have distanced yourself from the negative and have retained

the positive memories.

Great job, Ruby!

DJ.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

As you know, I'm fond of reflections like this one. Thank you for sharing your family memories with us. I smiled throughout this lovely story. :) Merry Christmas, Ruby!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Ann. True story. I've often wondered how they stayed together, both so different, but they really loved each other. They say that opposites attract. lol. My grandpa Rob was a colorful man, he was full of fun and dare. My mother adored him, she and grandma Minnie were close but trouble was always brewing between them. My mother was brought up in grandma church and she always struggled with her faith, but late in life found a church that she felt comfortable in and was happy. Thank you so much...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello DJ. My muse has a lot to do with my writing. lol..I could never understand the talking in tongues either. One day I was sitting watching grandma brush her hair and just out of the blue she started speaking in tongues, I was a kid and thought it was funny. My grandma had four children, my mother was the oldest. She had three girls each about two years apart, then after about ten years she got pregnant and said that it would be a boy because she had prayed for a son who would be a minister, that was uncle Jimmy who was exactly like grandpa. He was a pilot, first serving in the Royal airforce in England in the 40's. He finally settled down and raised a family but not before he dated hundreds of women. Hee. He was so handsome the women flocked around him. When my mother told me the story about him, I remember thinking, " Oops, he ' ain't no preacher. " Ha..Thank you for coming by to read more of my backpack memories....


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Bill. I enjoy looking back and writing about family. I'm glad you smiled while reading this. My grandpa was a character full of fun and my grandma was stern but a wise woman. I wish he could have lived a longer life so I could've known him better. Thank you. Merry Christmas...


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 23 months ago from southern USA

Hi Ruby,

Thank you for sharing your interesting memories of your grandparents. You are blessed to have spent time with them during your childhood, as grandparents are a special blessings in this life. I hope I will be remembered fondly by mine and provide them with lifelong memories.

Merry Christmas to you and yours ...


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 23 months ago from New Orleans, LA

Opposites attract I guess. Nice to look back and remember, especially around the holidays. I look forward to reading more of your backpack memories.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 23 months ago from Shelton

one could only wish for an ending like that where they finally meet up again... sad memory... but at least you remembered them... and perhaps you got to taste just a wee bit of his wine.. I did when I was ten tried my grand-pa's wine... it was almost like drinking keroscene..:) thank you for this share...bless you


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia

It's always good to think back and remember thing and people from our childhood Ruby. Thanks for sharing these memories of your grandparents.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 23 months ago from Central Florida

Thank you for sharing this, Ruby. They say opposites attract. This certainly appears to be true with your grandparents.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Theresa. That's something to think about. I hope I'm remembered fondly. Thinking back to the times I spent with my grandparents were special even though grandma's religious beliefs were different. I've learned that there are many beliefs and I say, now, " to each his own. " I'm always happy to see you. Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and yours...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello thuthfornow. I guess my backpack is full of memories, happy you enjoyed this one. Thank you....


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi Frank. I guess about all grandpas made homemade wine. I didn't taste it when I was a kid, but have in adult life and I could never find a wine I liked. I think It's good for you. I'm glad you liked the ending. I know if there's a heaven they are both there. ( Without the wine of course. Hee. )


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi John. I was thinking about the days of my youth yesterday when my grandma popped in my mind. I guess my muse was tired of being on vacation. Ha. Thank you. Happy to share..


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Shaua. I often wondered how it was when they were dating. Maybe she was more fun loving. I really don't know about her parents, I do know they came to America from Germany. Thank's so much for coming by...


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 23 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Ruby. What wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing. Married 65 years, now that is something to hoot and hollar about. We all get swept up in nostalia from time-to-time. Your Grandfather sounds like he held the secrets to life.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Mike. My grandpa enjoyed life. He was funny and mischievous, while grandma Minnie was stern and rarely laughed, but they loved each other. He wasn't a drinker. The only time he had wine was when grandma would go on one of her retreats. I really think he got a kick out of doing something, like making wine, to irritate grandma. lol..Thank's so much for coming by. Have a great Christmas eve and day..


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 23 months ago from london

Short, sweet, interesting. A strong and no-nonsense woman and a man who increased his discernment on his deathbed. Quite touching, really. Happy Christmas!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Manatita. Your comment is exactly the way it was with them. A deathbed repentance for sure. Thank you. Have a wonderful day..


Genna East profile image

Genna East 23 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

I was so taken with these touching, wonderful memories, Ruby…I can almost picture Rob and Minnie in my mind. Those we love the most, or spend time with when we are young and vulnerable, seem to make the strongest impression. The saying, “Opposites attract,” certainly found a home with this fascinating couple. “As different as daylight and darkness,” is so true! Thank you for sharing this story with us. Your “backpack” is full of amazing stories. I look forward to reading more. Hugs, and Merry Christmas, dear friend.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 23 months ago from South Africa

Interesting and thought-provoking memories of your grandparents, Ruby! All 4 of mine were also pretty unique. I wonder how my grandchildren perceive me?

Merry Christmas to you :)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Genna. They certainly were opposites. So glad you enjoyed reading about them. They were very much a part of my childhood, even thought he passed away when I was twelve. I should write about uncle Jimmy, mother's brother. He had an exciting life, I'm told.

Hugs..Hope you had a merry Christmas....


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi Martie. I hope my grandchildren will remember me as a caring grandmother. I hope yours will too. Everything is so fast for them, never a dull minute. I hope you had a great Christmas. Stay well my friend..Hugs..


Susan Recipes profile image

Susan Recipes 23 months ago from India

Wonderfully written always exploring. Memories are always very precious. Thanks for sharing with us.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 23 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Happy Christmas to you Ruby. I thoroughly enjoyed this brief sojourn into the lives of your grandparents, a fascinating couple and proof that opposites do attract. Beautifully done, thanks for sharing.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Susan. Happy you enjoyed my look back at my grandparents. Thank you for coming by..


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Jo. Always happy to see you. Your comment is ' right-on.' they were not two of a kind. Ha. Thank you so much..


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 23 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

You are blessed, dear Ruby to have known, loved and to now possess these memories of two such special, yet different kin.

You weave nostalgia, humor and love in your writing...Your childhood backpack holds many treasures. Voted UP and UABI. Love, mar


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 23 months ago from California

It is wonderful to have these memories Ruby! and thank you for sharing them with us--I hope you have a wonderful holiday!


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 23 months ago from London, UK

Ruby, that was a very touching and special story. Sixty five years together is truly a huge blessing. It's almost a lifetime. I'm glad your grandma was with your grandpa during the final days.

You recall it in a beautiful way. No doubt you have lots of photos of them too. Thanks and Seasons Greetings. xx


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Mar. I'm so glad you liked reading about my grandparents. They were a great part of my young life.. I guess my backpack has many srories yet to be told. Always good to see you. Love and hugs.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Audrey. Thank you for coming by, always a pleasure to see you. I had a nice Christmas, and I'm glad it's over! So rushed, looking forward to spring.....


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Elena. My grandparents were special, each uniquely different in every way, but they loved each other. I only have a few pictures of them, and they're not very good. I really don't know how she felt about taking pictures, my guess, not much. lol. Thank you so much..


DDE profile image

DDE 23 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A truly amazing hub. You shared a special story and I admire your courage in doing so.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello DDE. Thank you for an amazing comment. Happy you thought it was special...


sallybea profile image

sallybea 23 months ago from Norfolk

My favorite kind of story, thank you for sharing. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello sallybea. I'm so glad you enjoyed my story. Thank you much...

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    always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller (always exploring)808 Followers
    162 Articles

    I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.



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