Monday, May 4, 2009

Memory Mondays ~ "What Naptime?"

Me, Matt, (Richard behind me?), and Grandpa about 1961.*

For the second installment of Memory Mondays I would like to share a story from my childhood. It's funny how someone I only knew for 5 years, and the first five years of my life at that, could produce such powerful memories. I suppose that's what love will do...imprint something deeply in your heart and mind!

My Grandpa, George Franklin Ellsworth Jr. was a small man, about 5' 6" tall but to me he was a giant. I loved him for so many different reasons, one of them being his jolly smile and twinkling eyes. He always wore a broad-brimmed straw hat and his gold wire, round-rimmed glasses. Bib overalls were also standard attire and he always had a bandanna hankie hanging out of his back pocket. He would drive from his home on S. Nina Drive in Mesa to help with work on the family dairy on North Recker Rd. After his wife, my Grandma, Annie passed away in 1960 those visits were daily to help fill the void in his life. It gave him something to look forward to and he enjoyed the company. My mother would feed him lunch nearly every day and this is where I really got to know him well.

Grandpa would park his white Chevy Impala in the shade of the mulberry trees in back of our house. As soon as his car had stopped the grandkids would gather. We knew there was treasure waiting for us in the pockets of those overalls! He would hide butter scotches and Brach's candy mix in the many pockets and we had so much fun clambering all over him to find it! He would always laugh and smile at us. After a morning of work he would come in our back door for lunch. I loved this time best of all because it meant "fun with Grandpa" time. He would tickle me and give me "whiskers" with his chin. Then he would cross one leg over the other and give me pony rides. He was never cross with me, always patient, and seemed to genuinely enjoy this time we played together.

Nap time for me was right after lunch. I was notorious for not being a good napper anyway, but when the men came in for lunch a bit late I was worse! I had missed my Grandpa and I was determined to see him! We must have had some unspoken agreement because I lay there quietly for Mom until I heard Dad and Grandpa come in. Then I would jump up and down on the bed and sing songs so that Grandpa would hear. Sure enough, he would always poke his head through the door and smile at me.

"Helen," I would hear him call, "this girl isn't sleepy at all. You might as well let her out!" My mother would then obediently come tell me that nap time was over. She had a soft place in her heart for her father-in-law. I would scurry out of bed and into my Grandpa's lap for my tickles and there wasn't a happier little girl anywhere!

Lesson Learned: "How to Get Out of a Nap"
1. Make lots of noise and jump on the bed.

2. Be sure Grandpa is in on the deal.

3. Have a soft-hearted mother like mine.
4. Pay them both back with lots of hugs and giggles!

*I just sent the photo above to my cousin Matt Ellsworth on Facebook last week. I pointed out to him that he had his hand in Grandpa's pocket obviously searching for candy! He then pointed out something I had never noticed before. Look at my left looks like I beat him to it!


Helen Ellsworth said...

What a sweet memory. I remember those times well. Grandpa was such a sweet, good person. The whole Ellsworth family treated me like one of their own from the time I first met them and I loved them all as much as my own. There are only three of us (Hamblins) left out of 15 and two Ellsworths left out of ten, and I miss them all so very much, Aunt Martha is so good to me. I don't want to be the last one left. What would I do? Of course I still have my wonderful kids who are so good to me. And count all the Grandkids and Great Grandkids and Great Great Grandkids. How could I feel left alone. Love you lots

Gena said...

That is a good memory. Makes me wish I were born a few years earlier. My memories are very young and sparse compared to my siblings. Maybe I'll have to think of some to share that you all don't know about. That means I'll have to think. This may take some time.

Niki {A*Lovely*Lifestyle} said...

LOVE that picture!

so sweet.

URFAVE5 said...

I really am loving your "Memory Mondays". I had no idea that Great Grandpa Ellsworth was that short. I don't know why but for some reason I just thought he was a big man like Grandpa. Kind of funny-huh? I loved the picture. You really are such a little doll. I bet you were quite a sweety like you are now. I love the candy in your left cheek. Too cute! Thanks so much for sharing all your sweet stories!
Love you,

Anonymous said...

This was such a cute story and an even cuter picture. I am loving your strolls down Memory Lane, thanks for sharing!

JAY- JEWEL -DAD said...

I remember your Grandpa Ellsworth very well. I am about 5ft 8in and he was a little taller than me. When Sharon and I went to get our Marriage license They told us that we needed one more document and sent us to get it. When your Grandpa heard that, he said "why didnt you tell them that you were Franks granddaughter". Then he went back with us and sure enogh they said that if we had told them they would have given us the license the first time. It pays to know good people!!

Marianne said...

OK, we'll let him be a little taller. I am just going by what Mom told me a few years back! He worked for Maricopa County didn't he?

Norman and Sveta ( Норман и Света ) said...

I wish I had known Great Grandpa. What wonderful memories.