Thursday, June 28, 2007

Vacations (8) - the Lewis Side

Dad's Parents

I have already blogged about my dad being a goof-ball, but he didn't fall far from the family tree. My Lewis Grandparent's were a kick, and a lot of fun to be around. While we stayed at Grandma & Grandpa Smith's in Provo, for most of our vacation. Our family would always stay a night or two at my Grandparent's in Lehi, Utah, too. Now mom preferred to stay in Provo with her family, but would acquiesce to a night at the Lewis'. Dad always spent more time at his folk's place, and when he would head to Lehi, I'd go with him.


I loved to play with my cousins in Provo, but I couldn't wait to spend a few days with Grandma & Grandpa Lewis. Grandma and I had a lot in common. She sewed, I sewed. She crocheted, I crocheted. She danced, I danced. She sparkled. . .I hope I do, too. I truly believed that if we had been the same age, and lived near one-another, we would have been best friends. (I think I wrote and told her that when I was in college.)

Crafts and Puzzles

When my sister and I were about 10 & 5, Grandma and Grandpa Lewis made furniture for our Barbies for Christmas. They made each of us a chair, a couch, an afghan, and an oval rug. I thought they were the best! About the time I was 12 or 13, Grandma gave me all her yarn when I went to see her. I was ecstatic! She couldn't crochet anymore, because of arthritis - but she knew I loved to make things. I felt so privileged that she would give her stuff to me! She even showed me how to wrap the yarn so that it would feed from the middle, like purchased yarn. That way it didn't roll all over the place when you used it.

Grandma Lewis let me play the top 40 tunes when I stayed at their place, and she told me that used to teach dance when she was younger. She taught the Fox-trot and the Charleston. I later learned how to Fox-trot, and a wee bit of Charleston. I must get my moves from her. . .
While Grandma and I sat in the kitchen talking and listening to the radio, Dad and Grandpa would be sitting in the living room playing Cribbage. If they weren't playing Cribbage or Casino or some other card game, Grandpa would be playing solitaire. I think I got my love for games from that side of the family, too. Grandma taught me several solitaire games, so I wouldn't get bored with my small repertoire.

Grandma & Grandpa Lewis always had puzzles to play. They had 3-D store-bought puzzles, like wooden cubes or spheres that came apart and you had to put them together. They had puzzles made out of small twisted metal rods that came apart and went back together, but only if you figured out how to do it. They also had some homemade puzzles-games, like the one Grandpa made from a piece of wood, three nails and some circular disks. He had pounded the nails across the board at intervals, so the nail points stuck up. Then he made the circular disks out of thin wood and put holes in their centers, so they stacked small on top to large on bottom on the first nail. The object of the game or puzzle was to move the disks across the middle nail to the far nail one at a time. You could move them backwards, but you weren't to place a larger disk on top of a smaller disk in the process. The game ended successfully when you had all disks restacked on the third nail exactly like they were on the first nail when you started. It took me a while to master that one!

Grandpa Lewis was a rock hound, and picked up agates and all kinds of rocks here and there. He tumbled the rocks when I was younger. It seems like he had a tie clasp for a "Western" style tie -(String with two metal tips that the clasp moved up and down) that he had made out of a brown specked rock. I have always loved rocks, and wanted a tumbler at one time, so I could make them smooth, like semi-precious stones for jewelry. I wonder if I got the idea from him? Grandpa Lewis also liked to whittle. He carved me a bunch of different sized crochet hooks from various kinds of wood. I used one to make a rug from old jeans when I was in my teens. I still have them, and my daughters and I use them on occasion still.

He also made my sister and I "quarter rings." Now these rings were fashioned from actual quarter dollars, minted in the years we were born. The quarters back then were primarily silver and highly malleable. He measured our finger size with steel rings (like they have at a jewelers) then found a button that easily fit inside the steel ring that corresponded to our size. Then he took a hammer and began to tap the edge of the quarter turning it as he went. This caused the silver rim to spread out to each side and become smooth. It also made the writing inside the quarter lay over to the inside of the ring - on each side. When the quarter's new rim fit around the button, he cut out the center and polished it smooth. We still have our rings.


InlandEmpireGirl said...

Those quarter rings sound cool. It is good to have memories to write down about grandparents. Furniture for Barbie also... WOW!

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

I think I'll add a few more items that they made my sister and I. Funny, how when you are a kid, you take those things for granted, but looking back I can see a lot of love involved in those project-gifts.