cheese and crackers
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 4, 2008
When I was little I loved going to Boston for our annual summer vacation with my paternal grandparents. Somehow our flight always arrived just in time for us to get stuck in rush hour traffic, and we would spend an hour or more in stop-and-go traffic with my father reminiscing about how his father made the drive every weekday without complaint.
I don’t know how he did it, my father would say. I get impatient if the traffic on the Des Moines freeway slows down to 50 miles an hour.
Ahh … the luxuries of life in Iowa
What I remember as the most quintessential of Boston grandparent (we called them Boston Grandma and Boston Grandpa to distinguish them from my mother’s parents) moments was the cheese and cracker hour, which usually commenced as we arrived. (The cheese and cracker hour also featured wine, for those beyond the dress-up age.)
During the winter, cheese and crackers were served in the living room – but in the summer, when we came, they had migrated to the screened porch:
My grandfather died when I was a sophomore in college, but my grandmother remained hale and hearty. She volunteered for Meals on Wheels (as the wheels) until she was 80 at least, and she drove the senior citizens bus (taking the non-driving elderly on errands) for several years after that.
And whenever we arrived, she would say in a rich old Boston accent that no one I know other than her and my great-uncle speaks any more: Good to see you, deah; and How ahh you, deah?
And now no one I know other than my great-uncle speaks in that accent. As my mother says: sometimes the circle of life just stinks.
Goodbye Grandma, with lots of love from faraway Beirut.