Sunday, August 1, 2010

Guest Blogger-Dad's Perspective on Legacies

There is a time in every lucky kids life that they realize that they must have a family outlet besides their mom, dad, sister, or brother. I was lucky enough to have my mom's parents, Grandpa Bill and Mickey. For the majority of my childhood they lived 3 blocks (or two streets and 4 back yards) from our house. They have an awesome property, with 2 heavily wooded acres, a big pool with diving board, and a basketball hoop. Once I hit 2nd grade, I spent the night there frequently. I remember Grandpa taking me to Kindergarten at Lawrence North High School where he was Principal, dragging me through the back hallways and in and out of faculty doors and eventually through the back entrance to the cafeteria for a chocolate milk and to say hi to all the lunch ladies....always flattered that they were the first to be greeted by the Principal.

Bill and Mickey loved the outdoors and some of my fondest memories growing up were in their woods and pool. One fall when I was in grade school, he had this awesome idea to "tap" all the maple trees on his property and collect the syrup. We collected maple syrup for about 5 days and on a Saturday morning Chris, Grandpa, and I poured what felt like 20 gallons of raw maple sap into a giant black cauldron (think witches pot) and burned it for 24 hours. We stayed there all day and night monitoring and mixing the syrup until the next morning. The 24 hour burn of 20 gallons of raw maple sap, turned into about the 2 cups of maple syrup that we had the next morning on waffles.
Bill and Mickey also picked blackberries every summer and would make cobblers, pies, and jams that they would can and give enough jars to my parents that would last through the fall. With that said I found a huge batch of blackberry bushes that I have been picking for the last three weeks and freezing. Addy and Lilly have helped several evenings in this adventure. This last Tuesday Aimee and I had our neighbor's kids over for a slumber party. I invited my grandfather Bill and Mickey over to help with our first attempt at making jam. It was a great success. We made two batches. The first was over cooked a little "tough" meaning it doesn't spread very well, but the second was perfect. All four kids had a blast and Bill was instrumental in his passing of the blackberry jam legacy to me and the youngsters. Here's what we did:

Old School Blackberry Jam recipe:
10 cups of blackberries

10 cups of sugar

Put blackberries in a big pot (one you cook corn on the cob in)

Use potato masher and mash all the blackberries until they become liquefied

Add Sugar and cook on low to low-medium for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir often and you know the blackberry jam is ready when it turns a deep purple and it slowly goops off the spoon.

Pour in canning jars and let sit over night.

Addy & Lilly are so blessed to still have great-grandparents who are active in their lives, they are fortunate that their maternal grandparents live on this beautiful golf course that they see as a giant playground and their paternal grandparents have a home on the water. They will enjoy so many memories in these places, passing on legacies like night-swimming and massive games of tag onto their children. We can't wait to watch!


mamalouise said...

Jeremy this was very, very sweet! Addy and Lilly are really lucky to have wonderful grandparents and great-grandparents in their lives but they are espcially lucky to have a father like YOU!! Aimee-I know you are reading this...go give Jeremy a hug! :)

Jillian said...

Great post Jeremy, brought me to tears. You all are so blessed, not only because you have such a wonderful, loving family but also because you appreciate them and recognize how special they are. Enjoy every second together and thanks for sharing these amazing memories!

Kristina said...

Great post Jeremy!!! I agree with you that the girls are very blessed to have great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents like you two that will pass down many traditions and treasure them!!! I also love it that you made jam!! See Aimee- I'm not the only one! :)

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Those are such sweet memories...and what a gift to pass them on to your daughters!

(Stopping by from Multiples & More...)