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Childhood Memories Essay

1315 words - 6 pages

Some of my favorite memories from my childhood happened at my grandmother’s house. When my sister and I were younger our family spent nearly every weekend at Grandma’s. Those weekends were great, but the best trips to Grandma’s were usually at Christmas break or during the summer. Mom and Dad would drop us off and we would stay for a whole week. Those visits, when it was just Allison and I, were when we’d have Special Parties.
Special Parties were a big deal. It was usually on a Friday or Saturday night, and Grandma knew how to build up anticipation. At some point in the morning we would each find an envelope with our name on it. Inside there would be a handmade invitation. In ...view middle of the document...

The three of us would take our seats around the table. Grandma and Allison would sit at either end of the table, and I would sit on the side where the lowered leaf was. The other side of the table was pressed up against the kitchen wall. Special Parties began with everyone telling a joke. Youngest went first and oldest went last. Grandma would always laugh at our jokes like they were the funniest thing she had ever heard. Allison went through a phase where the only joke she told was the repeating banana knock knock joke with the punch line of “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” Grandma could make it seem like every time she heard it was the first time. Grandma’s jokes were always great. I still laugh at a lot of them now when I remember them. My favorite joke to tell to this day is one I learned from Grandma about cats, mice on roller skates, and meals on wheels.
When all of the jokes had been told and the giggles had stopped it was time for the show. After we received the invitations in the morning Allison and I would begin working on a story. We would act it out by making shadow puppets on the wall in the flickering candlelight. Our tales were somewhat limited by our rudimentary shadow puppet skills. Most of our stories involved magical talking bunnies who had wild adventures. Grandma’s shadow puppet skills were amazing. She crocheted quite a bit and it helped keep her fingers nimble. It seemed she could make anything at all appear on the wall by just adjusting the position of her hands and fingers. When I was older I learned that Grandma went to a boarding school of sorts when she was a girl. Her family lived out in the country and the Catholic school was in town. Every Sunday night she would be dropped off at school with the nuns and wouldn’t be picked up again until the following Friday evening. She and the other girls from farm families would entertain themselves by making shadow puppets in the dorms at night. That practice yielded some wonderful skills.
Once the show was over we got down to some serious gambling. Every card game that I know was learned at Grandma’s kitchen table. The favorite game for Special Parties was Kings on the Corner. We would each bet with the pennies that were at our place at the table. After cries of “Ante up!” the game would begin. All three of us would put a penny in the middle of the table and the game would start. Whoever won the game won the pot. After you had lost all of your pennies you got to play one game “on your...

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