When I was growing up, I would often get the chance to be at my grandparent's home. I had two favorite times: dinner and bed time, which translated to story time. Dinner was amazing because my Grandpa would come home from a hard, long day's work and tell Grandma and I the day's stories. He could tell a story like no other! As he told stories, we ate homemade food that tasted like no other.
One of the moments I will never forget, that happened at each meal, is my Grandpa stirring his entire plate of delectable food all together. I remember the first time he saw my concern. He grinned and said, "It's all goin' to the same place, Sister." He referred to all the women folk in his family as "Sister"- his daughters, sisters, nieces, granddaughters, etc. The only variation from that was how he referred to my Grandma and that was "Mother".
The stories he told were full of smiles, jokes, and exciting events that could have been everyday ordinary to some other people, but not to us! No, there was always something interesting and moving about the moments of his day. Once the food was finished, Grandma would offer the prized dessert, Ice Milk. It was a watered down version of ice cream, and it was "better for you". Gobble it up, I did. There were Fudge Stripe cookies that could be added to the Ice Milk, which probably negated the "better for you" part, but delicious nonetheless.
Once the evening was over, the bedtime part of the day came. I would crawl under the covers in my grandma's bed and Grandpa would sit beside me. He didn't even have to ask which stories I wanted to hear. It was always the same, and The Three Pigs was my favorite. For such a simple, little tale, my grandpa made it come to life. It still lives in my mind, almost 13 years after his death, as the most incredible story. I must admit, though, it was the way he told it. He had a gift, and that gift could make any tale sheer entertainment. There is no other way to explain it- you had to hear it from his lips to understand. The characters were alive, in front of you, and you could witness the action each time he spoke. As the story would end, I would have always drifted off to sleep. If sleep now could be like the sleep of those childhood days...
I remember so I can give the gift of stories and sharing to my own children. There is something magical about reading and telling stories. It is a simple thing, but something that can affect a life. If their memories can be half as full as mine, then I will have done my job! However, I don't think I could ever stir my plate all together, even if it is all goin' to the same place ;)