I Remember Where I Was When…

posted in: Blog Hop, Family Ties | 16

I hope you’re feeling nostalgic, because the Remember the Time Blog Hop is back from vacation! Emily of The Waiting and I are excited to resume the collective trip down memory lane. If you’re new here and don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, check out the explanation of the RTT Blog Hop here. We would love for new bloggers to link up stories with us, in addition to our old friendly favorites. You can find instructions for how to join at the end of my own blog hop entry.

This week, we are remembering where we were when…we heard some big news …an iconic moment happened …the course of our lives changed……anything along those lines. It can be remembering where you were when a collective cultural event happened, like the death of Princess Diana. Or it can be something only important to you or your loved ones. Just make sure it can complete the sentence, “I remember where I was when…”

Onion rings. I was eating onion rings in my grandparents’ kitchen. I can still see the powder blue metal cabinets and the wallpaper smothered in tiny strawberries. The linoleum was a cobbled pattern, and in almost the middle of the room was a nail hammered straight into the floor. I used to stare at that nail and wonder if it alone was keeping the entire area of flooring secured to the ground. It seemed so odd in such a glaringly noticeable spot. Yet no one ever seemed to pay any attention to it except for me. And I never asked why it was there. It was as if everyone ignoring its sheer existence meant its purpose should be obvious to me. So I pretended to ignore it as well, and faked the role of someone who knew something I really didn’t. Not that anyone else was concerning themselves with whether or not I knew the reason for the nail in the middle of my grandparents’ kitchen floor.

But they were concerning themselves with making sure I knew the duties of the new role I was about to take on. It was the whole reason I was at my grandparents’ house in the first place. And my unexpected visit, along with the anticipation of celebration that it meant, was just the occasion for take-out from their favorite restaurant. I imagine part of the dinner conversation included assurances of how fun it would be and what new responsibilities and privileges would come with my “promotion.” But I was little at the time, so all I really remember was the onion rings…and staring at the nail in the floor.

Suddenly, the phone rang, and my grandmother disappeared into the hallway. I could tell she was happy. She was saying things like, “Oh, how wonderful!” and “Neat-o!” and “How darling!” I remember the very round apples of my grandfather’s cheeks and the way they protruded as he smiled. Then it was my turn to take the phone.

I stood next to the stairs and brought the heavy olive-green receiver to my ear. That old rotary phone was like a tank. When you hung it up, the receiver always made a click and a thud that was amplified in the special wall enclave in which the phone was housed. The earpiece was still warm from announcing the news to my grandmother.

“Hello?”

I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went. And I can’t even recall if it was my mom or my dad on the other end of the line. But these words, I know, were spoken:

“You have a brand new baby sister.”

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My response to this information is no longer a part of my memory. I’m sure I was excited.  But the only really clear recollections I have of that day in March are of those words said though the phone, of the onion rings sitting in a styrofoam container, and of that curious nail in the middle of the floor.

Oh, and I distinctly remember that when we went to see this new little sister in the hospital, and I enthusiastically called her name and shook the toy I had brought her so she would look at it through the nursery window, she had the nerve to not pay one iota of attention to me or my generous gift. But no one else gave any attention to her tiny rude snub. It was almost as if I was supposed to know why a baby would act this way.

I guess I was going to have to fake knowing how to navigate being a big sister. Thankfully, I already had experience doing that with the nail.

This post is part of the Remember the Time Blog Hop. You can join in, too!

1. Write your post. Remember, it can be ANYTHING about Remembering Where You Were When…! Just try to stick with the whole “back in the day” vibe ;D

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16 Responses

  1. I want an onion ring so bad right now. It’s only 8am. Write it down. And did your Grandma really say “Neat-o”?? … if so, cool :)

  2. Onion rings and babies – both bring gas. I love the nail metaphor as it totally reminds me of my own grandma’s uneven tile floor where one end of a room was likely 6 inches higher than another end. Nice opening on this one!

    And your grandma actually said “neat-o” for your sister’s arrival. As a grandpa I guess I can share with you now the translation. It means, “oh great, we get to visit and cuddle your new baby and then hand it back to you when it messes its diaper”. (sorry to burst your bubble on that one Kelly)…..Welcome Back – here’s to a great 2014!

    • Thanks! As I was just telling Anna, “neat-o” was a regular phrase my grandma always used. It was her “signature” :) And clearly, that IS the best part about being a grandparent.

  3. LOVE THIS!! For many reasons 1. That new baby sister you were talking about is well….ME!;) So clearly that is awesome! 2. It brings back memories of Mema and Papa’s house which let’s face it brings back so many other memories (and for the record . 3. I can almost relive that moment with you and imagine you and grandma and grandpa doing and saying all those things, eventhough well I had just entered the world at that time!! 4. I want to go to Eleven Mile House now. 5. It really makes me miss grandpa and makes me want to drive over and see Grandma just to hear her say “NEAT-O” :)6. What a precious picture of us…..Love you sis!

  4. Loved this and the detail about the floor. What’s funny is that I remember staples keeping the carpet down in my grandparents’ house too. Looking back, their carpet seemed so old, like it hadn’t been changed out in 40 years. Maybe it’s just that nowadays, people replace old carpet more frequently.

    Isn’t it insane how these little babies don’t acknowledge the generous gifts from their older siblings? What nerve.

    • Totes annoying. Totes.

      We do NOT replace carpet frequently at my house. You can come see all the marker and dog pee stains to prove it. It probably won’t get replaced until the dog AND the kids are gone.

  5. Wow, I LOVE the way you brought it back around to that nail. Those are the kind of observations that set you apart. I wish I could remember such details. What a lovely gift to your little sister. And by that I don’t mean the toy!

  6. That is such a great big news story! Your description of the kitchen made me feel like I was there. That picture of you peaking into the bassinet is sweet.

  7. What a great story! Great description as it puts us all right where you were. Such a sweet testament to childhood too. Really lovely.

  8. […] is back and this week’s theme is big iconic news (and how it affected you).  Link up HERE or HERE to add your own post or to read the other […]

  9. […] sticks for the taking as soon as you walked in, was no longer there. Neither was the rest of the kitchen as I had known it. Instead, a wall had been knocked down to make way for a rather grand culinary room…one with […]

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