A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

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.

4 Responses to “cheese and crackers”

  1. Michel said

    Clo and I love Boston. The drive there from Ottawa is so lovely. Once we took a trolley tour of the city and a walkabout self guided tour also. When asked the origin of all the French sounding names in Mass., the guide told us that, yes the French Canadians and the French French formed a lot of the history around Bahston. He said, and I quote, “Paul Revere’s real name was Rivière”. Just for the fun of it, can anyone confirm that?

  2. Sparkle said

    Condolences, LD. May the richness of cheese and crackers memories offset the sadness of loss and bring you smiles. Hugs…

  3. intlxpatr said

    I’m so sorry, Little Diamond.

  4. […] was a funny birthday without my grandmother around (although my cousin K did make her special cheese dish), but it was also a wonderful birthday weekend. Happy birthday, Dad, and a happy year […]

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