Friday, December 1, 2017

It's A Family Tradition


The traditions I refer to in the title are not things like holiday rituals or alcoholism. The things I am talking about are more like family legends. They are things we feel are unique to us and we have a lot of fun with them.

The seeds of maple trees have a "tail" on them. It is almost see through and is flat. It is wider at the end than it is at the seed. If you throw them into the air they spin and float to the ground. We call them helicopters. A handful of helicopters thrown at the same time is a sight to see.

My second granddaughter took a handful of helicopters to her second story bedroom. She tossed them into the air from her room. Some went up and floated straight down. Some just went straight down. Some caught little flows of air and went to the sides before floating down. It was spectacular.

My family considers snapdragons to be our family flower. My father delighted in taking a snapdragon to show a child how he could make the dragon open and close its mouth by gently squeezing the sides of the blossom.

When my mother died in a cold January I asked the florist if it would be possible to have arrangements made of summer flowers because she loved them so. It was possible. We were all thrilled to see snapdragons in the arrangements. When I asked my oldest son if he would like to leave anything with his grandmother he told me to take some snapdragons from the arrangements. So Mom was buried holding our family flowers.

Most members of the family like rain. We walk in it and we dance in it. Or maybe we just sit on the porch and watch it come down. A good storm is a delight with rolling thunder and an occasional flash of lightning.

When my oldest granddaughter was about 8 years old she came in and said, "Grandma, I smell rain coming. Do you want to come out on the porch to watch with me?" Of course I went right out and we had a wonderful time.

If you drive by a house where someone in our family lives and it is raining you might very well see people out dancing in the rain. From the oldest to the youngest we spin and twirl to celebrate the cleansing of the earth.

Gremlins are those troublesome little creatures who cause glitches in mechanical items. My father claimed that he brought one with him when he married my mother. The gremlin's name is Petey. Whenever an appliance or a car would act up we all blamed Petey.

Then I married a man of Irish descent. Suddenly we had leprechauns too. They were the ones hiding car keys and misplacing important papers. How many families can be so lucky as to have both gremlins and leprechauns?

I told my second granddaughter about feathers. The belief is that whenever you find a feather, especially a white one, a loved one who has died is watching over you. My granddaughter is constantly finding feathers. She even tells us who is thinking of her.

My granddaughter idolized my mother-in-law and two of my sisters-in-law. All of them are gone now. When my granddaughter found three feathers, all separate but in the same place, she knew they were from her great-grandma and her two great-aunts.

Have you ever seen a slope and wished you could just roll down? We do it all the time. It is freeing to be at the top and lie down and roll over and over until you are at the bottom.

My husband's parents owned a small farm in the Loess Hills. As soon as my children arrived on the farm when visiting the first thing they asked to do was climb the hill behind the house and roll down. Soon after there would be what they called "walking the hills".

Sadly after the deaths of both my mother-in-law and father-in-law the farm was sold. But happily the man who bought it has welcomed members of our family and allowed them to "walk the hills" and roll down the hill. He is a nice man.

As you can see it takes little to make a family tradition. It could be your evening walk as you point out interesting sights in the neighborhood. All that is important is that they create cherished memories that are carried to adulthood. Then they will try to re-create the same memories for their children. And the cycle continues.

15 comments:

  1. It is the small things that are nice in life.

    Helicopter seeds are Maple. Acorns are Oak. You've heard of the grammar nazi. They need to fix all my posts. I'm a retired science teacher; so, I guess I am the science nazi. lol Have a good day.

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    1. I stand corrected. Maple helicopters it is. Either way they are lots of fun.

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    2. HaHa, I knew you knew the difference.

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    3. My brain is old and I was not paying attention.

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  2. I am the same way. My oldest daughter has done it to her children. She calls it "looking around."

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    1. Walks around the neighborhood reveal many surprises.

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  3. Good post, Emma! I was going to tell you that oaks grow from acorns, but I see someone else beat me to it. I had to look up what tree produced helicopters. I was guessing elm, but maple turned out to be the answer.

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    1. Whatever tree it is the helicopters are so much fun. I fly them when I am alone too.

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  4. I love "helicopter' seed pods. Even though they're supposed to be weeds I like the dandelion seeds on their tiny floaters. When I was a kid I used to imagine I was very tiny and sailed through the air on the seed.

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    1. Did you know that if you make a wish and can blow all the "floaters" from a dandelion your wish will come true? I have never been able to do it.

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  5. The more I read your blog, the more I like your family. Lovely post!

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    1. How nice of you to say. I like my family too.

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  6. Tradition and family is everything indeed. A heartwarming post as always, greetings to you.

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    1. Thank you. I agree. Family is always yours.

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  7. I loved this one so much dear Emma!!!

    I am so grateful that i had a mother who was full of life ,unlike her sister she was greatly in love with nature and rain was her favorite .
    so is mine i just love it ,i feel compelled when it rains ,thank God hubby don't object on my moves and even sometimes he dances with me ,we as whole family LOVE the rain

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