Grand Memories

Vicky Hawkins


Each year, as the holiday season rolls around, I remember my grandparents who brought their own special brand of enchantment to the table.

Grandma Gertrude was known for her
delicious southern cuisines such as her sweet made-from-scratch pound cakes and famous mac-and- cheese. I always thought it was fascinating how “Santa” knew exactly what gifts to distribute
to each particular person no matter who was visiting. Their home, where our entire family gathered each year, bestowed inviting warmth.

I am now an adult in my mid-30s and the
memories of Paw Paw Arty and Grandma
Gertrude (my mother ’s parents) and their
profound love, old adages, and “When I was…” sayings frequent my mind. To me they were the epitome of an electric current, sending a charge through my childlike body that left me yearning for more.

At the tender age of 4, I began to spend my summers with them in the heart of Louisville, Ky. Each summer, those 2 1/2 months were
preoccupied with vacation bible school, weekly library visits, outdoor playtime with cousins, lunch soap opera recaps, and endless excursions with my Paw Paw Arty. And when it came to finding yummy delicacies of the South, Paw Paw and I were our own Diners, Drive-Ins and Dive duo.

Grandma Gertrude was the Elmer’s glue that fixed and held things together. Her contagious smile, beauty, grace, love for dance, and extensive costume jewelry collection would have made any woman stop in awe. Grandma Gertrude perfected the person that I was to become by pouring her learned” lessons of life onto my heart.

Wiser than our years, grandparents personify a distinct classification that
resembles none other. With their child rearing days in the rear view mirror, daily
common stresses of life’s complexity aren’t as pressing, which allows the true meaning of life to beam through their everyday existence.

With the holiday season amongst us, it’s such a joyous time to reflect on those
that have impacted us the most. Even though they are no longer with us, those
that go before us have unintentionally forged their “grandparenting” blueprint
into our family legacies.


My Paw Paw Arty and Grandma Gertrude had a big part in
molding me into the woman that I am today. They didn’t have much, but they gave me the world – with milk and cookies on the side!




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