Saturday, May 1, 2010

In-laws, and also May Day

Happy May Day! We planted two new hydrangeas and hung two really pretty hanging baskets outside our front door. I'm feeling very properly celebrated.

When I was little, my mom taught me that on May Day the thing to do was cut paper into perfect squares which we would then fold into little baskets. We filled these baskets with jelly beans and other small candies. Then I went around to the neighbors' front doors, set down a basket, rang the doorbell and ran away. That was how we celebrated May Day. Anonymous candy would not go over so well these days.

May Day also made me think of my grandma, Mae (Short) Rainbow. For obvious reasons, I hope. I am going to write about my grandpa instead though.

Grandpa Rainbow could do everything. He could build things, fix things, grow things and play things (like the harmonica). He was just one of those people who could figure out anything.

Grandpa had a boat, and one of his favorite things was to go out on the Rum River and catch fish. He loved fishing so much, he worked part-time in a bait shop for years and years after he had retired.

Grandpa was my father's father. My mother's father, Grandpa Herbold, died in 1971 when he was 91. He was riding his bicycle and a car hit him, and after a number of weeks in the hospital, Grandpa went to Heaven.

This meant that Grandma Herbold lived alone without a husband for many years. Eventually, Aunt Nunie retired from being a missionary in Africa and moved in with her, but even then they had no man in the house.

Grandma Herbold loved fresh fish, and Grandpa Rainbow loved to fish. So every now and again, when Grandpa was on his way home from fishing on the Rum River, he would stop over at Grandma Herbold's house and give her a string of sunfish. After all, two of his boys had married two of her girls. There was a lot of positive attitude back and forth between the two families.

That was my childhood experience of in-laws... that, and the way my mom called my Grandma Rainbow (not her own mother, but Grandma Rainbow) every night before she went to bed, just to check in. My mom called her own mother, "Mom," and she called my dad's mom, "Mother," and she was very devoted to them both.

No comments: