Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wistful Recollections

We have more photos for you again today but not pretty postcard types this time. Not at all, just our cruddy old driveway on a mild day — yesterday.

I grabbed the opportunity that the break in the weather provided to scrape ice off the driveway. For the most part, I could get under it with a steel shovel. Then, I would throw it onto the pile with the scooper shovel that is planted in the snowbank in the photo below. And I remembered something.

I remembered being a little boy in Montreal and my grampa doing the same thing. In my memory the ice was thicker and he broke it up with a pick axe. There were a few spots where I could have also used a pick yesterday too, but alas I am not so equipped. I had always assumed that particular day about 55 years ago was later in the year but perhaps it was in some sort of mid-winter thaw such as the one yesterday.

Now I am the grampa chipping up the ice. Perhaps I might do this again with The Smudge in another year or three when she is older, just as I watched my grampa more than half century past. While she watches, I can tell her of my memory of my grampa ... and maybe she will remember me too when she is old, and I am but a distant and fading image in her mind.

I wonder if she'll wish in that far off day that the adult her could have a little chat with me just as I wish the adult me could sit down over coffee with my grandparents. Wouldn't that be grand (so to speak)?


I have posted this photo before, but that's me and my grampa below. Yes, I would really love to chat with the old guy and hear about his life from his own lips. What was he really like? Was he happy with his lot? Why did he immigrate to Canada? Why did he go back to England several times before staying here permanently? Did laying bricks on skyscrapers scare him senseless? Why did he return to Montreal after living in New York for several years? How did he meet his wife, my grandmother? And so on ...

With Grandpa and Frisky

Speaking of generations, guess who's ten months old today? Happy Birthday little one. Just look at those teeth with several more on the way. (Photo taken on Feb 18/08.)

Ten Months Old Tomorrow


ChrisB said...

I much prefer the picture postcard views~ these reminds me that snow can be hard work and not nice when it gets all dirty!

You are busy creating a lovely diary for Smudge when she gets older. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and I'm going to try and visit places I've lived and take photos and write about my memories. Whether I manage it or not remains to be seen!

Donna said...

Wonderful post and Happy Birthday Miss Smudge!!!!

Paul said...

In the years ahead the Little Miss will read a copy of her grandfather's blog and recall him with great fondness.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It took my grandmother several trips back to England, (before and after the wars) before she was content to be a Canadian.

My grandfather never went back. i think he was embarassed for having lost the family fortune in England.

Ruth said...

Enough of the ice and snow! Your driveway looks like ours, and the snowbanks are positively dangerous when backing out. Some day Smudge will chop ice and remember vividly that you did it too. Those early memories end to strengthen with age.

Lorna said...

the photo of your house reminded me of the place we lived in for a few years in Camp Valcartier---by this time in February, we could walk up one side and down the other of our garage.

Great picture of you and your grandfather.

Valerie - Still Riding said...

Hard work, that ice, friend.

Easy work, seeing the love in that photo.

Thanks for being the loving man you are.

It is good to know they are still out there!

Pearl said...

Lovely stories and photos. You get to see life from both ends of generations. What a privilege.

Dale said...

I loved this post. Thanks, AC!