What do you remember of your grand parents?

Grand parents are great. They love their grandchildren more than their own children. Mainly because grandparents don’t have to raise the grandchildren and can spoil them and then send them on their way. Gram & Gramp only have us kids for small blocks of time, til the next time. Those were the good times.

Now for the bad times. My grandparents all died young in their early to mid 50s. When I look at pictures from the past, all of my grandparents looked like they were in their 80s when they were only in their 50s.

And both my mother & father side had all passed on by 1959. OMG, has it been that long?
I remember a lot. In the early eighties I got pocket change to go into the garage and get these metal cans out of the refrigerator and bring them to Grandpa. Things were fun. By the time I came around in the Ronald Reagan era which was 1980 there was a lot of fun things going on. Remote control cars, Atari, and playing outdoors. I had three out of the four of my grandparents still alive when I came in. I wouldn't have traded the memories or the road trips for anything. I wish that I could have gone with my grandparents over to live in Turkey when they did for a few years. The stories about the Middle East would make every young boy just fantasizing glamor about adventure. Thinking back on it it reminds me a lot of the movie Secondhand Lions.


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As a family we had fun visits regularly with my Dad's parents, as they lived closer than my Mom's parents. As a young couple my wife and I would see my Dad's parents quite often as they lived only 2 hours away, and we also went down to Florida a few times to see my Mom's parents.
They always treated us like royalty. Being young, I didn't fully realize how good they were to us. I wish I could go back in time and express how much I appreciate their generosity to us.
They were all a part of 'The Greatest Generation'. First coming of age during the depression, doing menial jobs to survive. My Canadian paternal Grandfather was gone for six years to England to train, then Holland and Germany to fight. He was home on leave only two times to see his wife and kids. My American maternal Grandfather was in the Navy, and saw action in the pacific. Again away from home for several years. My Grandmothers raised their kids, worked part time, and looked after their homes on their own in those years.
After the war they made good livings, raised their families, and prospered. But what a rough start in life. Again, I wish I could go back in time to tell them how much respect I have for all four of them.
They worked hard all of the life....they did not get into debt and lived within there means....and most of all they loved me very much as I did to them...
My paternal grandfather kept a dish of candy next to the front door. When I arrived it was "You don't want any, do you?" He passed in 1959 when I was 5. My grandmother was a great cook but would never talk about family or ancestors. I do remember being told that bootlegging booze from Canada was one of his "hobbies" during Prohibition. Both were German.

My maternal grandfather's family originated in Germany but during the reign of Maria Theresa his ancestors migrated to what eventually became Yugoslavia and is now Serbia...I think. At some point he served in the U.S. Army during a campaign against Pancho Villa. He eventually became a farmer and later a building laborer at U of M in Ann Arbor. My grandmother was of English origin but I don't know much more than that.

None of them were ever rich nor were they so poor that they suffered much, but they were certainly aware that many of their neighbors were living under hardship conditions. None of them wanted to talk about the old country or family in front of me. Maybe I was too young but I never knew much more despite my inquiries.
I was incredibly fortunate to have both of my maternal great-grandmothers until I was in my 20's, my paternal grandmother until I was a young boy and my maternal grandparents until I was in my 50's.

I look back on those memories with great fondness particularly as I grow older. Those were simpler times to be sure and from my point of view, we have not improved overall quality of life a great deal other than drown ourselves in technology.
I think it would be fun to share what do we all remember. I'll start first:

Paternal grandpa: he died when my dad was 7

Paternal grandma: she died when I was 3 so it was only story about how we interact according to my parents. Supposedly she was lovely but she did have her problem like gambling addiction and not getting along with my mom.

Maternal grandpa: he was an art teacher, taught in a boarding school, positive in life, loves children, would try to break apart fight even between kids he doesn't know. He passed away when I was about 8 so only a bit of memory when I visit him during summer babysitting and when he was dying in the hospital from liver cancer / hepatitis. I think he would be the cool grandpa that most people want to have, or maybe it was just the the best in memory from childhood.

Maternal grandma: she was nice to me but not to one of my other cousin. She lived till I was in my 30s then got Alzheimers, and the final years was a bit hard for my uncle to take care of. When she was younger she was a bit more calculating and wasn't always getting along with everyone, but my mom being the bossy big sister would get her to do the right thing eventually (none of my uncle had that authority to her despite only being 1,2,3 years younger than my mom). To be she is like a neighborhood "get off my lawn" + "crazy cat lady" + "only nice to me because I'm her favorite" kind of lady.

I wonder what kind of grandpa would I be like when I'm old.
dads father died 3 months before i was boen. his mom died when i was 15 . mom;s mother died when she was 13, her dad died when i was 4
Maternal Grandmother - Bilingual (German/English). Good card player, not great at parenting (controlling), lead foot driver, Alzheimer's
Maternal Grandfather - Died at age 55 or so. Underachiever from what I gather. Never met him.

Paternal Grandmother - Loving, didn't like to talk on the phone, wore a wig, worried like a mother would, sarcastic sense of humor.
Paternal Grandfather - Died around age 55, know nothing about him personally. Never met him.
I too was blessed and very lucky, gifted to be with both sets of my grandparents well into my late 20s, early 30s for two.
I would run off and spend almost every moment I could with them. One side were Italian farmers and wine makers. The other
side were Cajun/French farmers and cattle ranchers. Such great places for young kid to visit and hang out. Two (one on each side)
lived to 103 & one to 105 years old. I messed up big time. I passed the chance to learn French and Italian as they all spoke that and