A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kids and Grandkids

English: Tony Caris with extended family, Roma...
 Tony Caris with extended family, Roma, 1937 Three generations of the Caris family are standing on the front steps to the house. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     When I was a young kid, up to about eight years old, I had frequent contact with my grandparents, especially on my maternal side.  My family didn't live in the same town as my grandparents did, so visiting them or having them visit us was not usually a spur of the moment occurrence.  At various times we lived anywhere from two hundred to less than a hundred miles from them.   Weekend visits were fairly common.  I got to enjoy getting to know my grandparents and extended family fairly well during those first few years.  Still, these were visits and not part of my everyday life.

       Then we moved across the country and didn't see them for the next five years.  When my family later moved to Northern Indiana and then East Tennessee, we were still a bit too far for much more than one or two visits per year.  I was fortunate to have had at least some extended contact with my grandparents, but it was nothing like those who live nearby to theirs.

         With my own children it was a bit different.  They all had frequent visits with my parents as well as their mother's parents.  There were times when we actually stayed with my parents for extended periods or lived near to them.  Cheaper phone rates allowed my kids to have regular contact with the grandparents even when we were on the road or living at a distance.   My children were even closer to their grandparents than I was with mine.

         Now my children are across the country from me and I only get to see my grandchildren maybe twice a year if I'm lucky.   We have the technological advantage of easy phone contact and visual computer chat.  It's not the same as spending time with them and being able to hold them and hug them.  Maybe eventually I'll be able to live closer to all of them.  I hope so.

         Currently I'm in New Jersey with my girls and their girls.  The time has been going quickly.   I'm thankful that we've been able to have the time we have had.   These are special times that I hope one day will come more often.

          If your children are grown, do you see them often?   What about grandchildren--if you have any, are you able to spend much time with them?   Did you enjoy a relationship with your own grandparents?


  1. Hi Lee - just glad you're having a good time with your children and grandchildren. Our family was spread ... so we saw grandparents and uncles and aunts - but not often enough .. now I'd have to have spent more time with them .. but such is the way of life.

    As you so rightly say see them as often as you can, talk or chat via the phone, net or Skype as possible ..

    Not having kids and thus no grandkids I can't do much in that direction! .. but I do keep up with other relatives as best I can .. cheers Hilary

  2. >>... If your children are grown, do you see them often?

    I have no children so... no, I don't see them often.

    >>... What about grandchildren--if you have any, are you able to spend much time with them?

    No, I don't see them often either.

    >>... Did you enjoy a relationship with your own grandparents?

    YES! (Finally, a question I can answer in the affirmative.) I was especially close to my grandparents on my Ma's side. For many years we lived only a few blocks from them and for quite some time we all got together for dinner, along with my Cousins, every Sunday night.

    Those were good times! We'd all play baseball in the street while dinner was cooking. Then we'd all eat together - twelve of us - and after dinner we'd watch 'The Wonderful World Of Disney' on TV.

    Good times that won't come around again.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  3. I love spending one on one time with my grandkids. But things have sure changed. Where my grandmother didn't work, I do. So I have to use my time wisely in order to keep my energy when I do visit my grandkids.

  4. Hilary-- Today's technology affords us so many options to connect with others. We are fortunate in that respect.

    StMc-- You were lucky to have those family times. I feel like I missed out on a lot by not being near my relatives.

    Shelly-- That's a good point. My grandmother did plenty of work around the house just like my mother did, but they didn't have jobs outside the home so it seemed like they were always nearby.


  5. I have no kids and my stepkids haven't had children, but I suspect that they will be in this area so we will have contact with them.

    My father was abandoned by his parents so I didn't know them. My maternal grandfather died right before I turned 4. My maternal grandmother lived in Yonkers NY, 4 hours from the Cape, so I only saw her in summer when she came up for a couple months.

  6. I saw my beloved maternal grandparents a lot in the 1940s and 50s. Grandpa died in 1957, when I was 17. They lived in the country, Santaquin, Utah; I lived in Salt Lake City. Not a long drive, shorter today with the freeways. Lots of memories driving back and forth in summers to visit cousins, traveling in Daddy's 1930 Chevrolet. I just love the old black and white photos. Do you have a lot of them? I scanned my mother's old photos into a life history book about 20 years ago, when I could sit for longer stretches at the computer. Has anyone in your family put together a history?

  7. I was close to the grandparents who were living. My children were close to their grandparents. I've chosen to stay here just because of my four grands. They enjoy coming to my house and threaten to leave their own home to live with me. Of course that makes me feel special. One more thing, my kids are in their early and mid thirties. They've been blessed that all four of their grandparents are currently living.

    I REALLY wish you could live closer to your grandkids. There is nothing so enjoyable in the world as those relationships.

  8. Boy, Arlee! There are some resemblances in that photo through the generations!
    I lost contact with my grandparents when we left England and came to Australia. I never saw my paternal grandparents after that - I was 5 years old. I did see my maternal grandparents for a couple of years when they came to Australia but they went back to England after 2 years, when I was about 13.
    My own 5 sons only saw their grandparents periodically, as we lived a couple of hundred miles away from them, so only visited 2-4 times a year.
    I too only see my grandchildren a few times a year, when we make the long journey interstate. I have only seen one of my granddaughters twice in her life, as my son lives in Japan.
    Our times are so different to those of most folk in my parents' generation, who always lived close by their families and relatives. And I think we are the poorer for it.

  9. JoJo-- Different life experiences help make the world the great varied place that it is. I guess maybe grandparents who abandoned their own child might not have been worth knowing, but still I'm sure there is a curiosity factor for you.

    Ann -- Other than the B&W photos my mother has of our own family, I don't have much from beyond that. I had an aunt who was good about keep old photos, but since she died I don't know what happened to them. My cousin may have gained possession of them but I am not close to him relationship-wise nor geographically. The photos I do have are pretty cool.

    Teresa-- I agree about the grandparent/grandchild relationship. Maybe someday we can gravitate to closer locations. I enjoy having time with my kids as well and those times are now too few.

    Wang-- The photo is not my family. Sadly I don't know of any photos such as this for my family, though I'm sure some exist, but probably without me or my immediate family. In our modern age people scatter so easily and I agree that in many ways it is a loss for us.


  10. I was lucky. I lived in the same town as both sets of grandparents. Although they were all gone by the time I was 18, I have memories and am so glad. Our daughter has been able to know her paternal grandparents, as they live a mile away. I tell her, where ever she ends up, we will follow...and I'm pretty sure I'm not kidding.

  11. Liza-- I hope my wife and I can do some following except first we have to get our daughter in Houston to move closer to the 3 in NJ. Hope she gets a job offer that she can't refuse.


  12. Hi, Arlee. I was very lucky to live less than an hour's drive from my grandparents, so I was able to see them a lot. I have lots of wonderful memories.

  13. I grew up close to the extended family, saw them all frequently. My own children are somewhat scattered, but we stay in almost daily contact. Skype is a wonderful invention. two of my gr-kids live 35 miles away, but one lives on the other side of the world. We do what we can.


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Arlee Bird