S: Our Memories - 2012
BC: Thank you! | Happy Birthday | 2012
1: Dear Grandma, Happy Birthday! I hope this book will show you how much you mean to us. I appreciate how you have shared your love and your home with us all of my life and I am happy to share some of my memories with you. Love, Neal
2: You are the only person I have ever seen gut a fish. After we caught a few brook trout in a stream you set to work on them. Within hours of reeling in those fish we were eating them. I don't remember how they tasted but I remember being impressed with you. | One highlight of our visits was outdoor adventure. We were so excited to hear after the Table Mountain hike that you had a bear encounter. I am so glad that I was able to visit you during a business trip and that we drove out to see Mud Lake. I am thankful to have acquired some of your love of the outdoors.
3: Since all of our extended family lived hundreds of miles away I was always eager to be with the cousins again. When enough cousins were together you would get out the old gloves and bats and play softball with us in the driveway. I loved your Saturday picnic tradition. I knew how all the tables and chairs will be arranged, which tablecloth will be out, and that you would be in the center of everything flipping the burgers.
4: At your home I relished opportunities and learning experiences that we didn't have in the suburbs. I learned to appreciate old cars, to ride a motorcycle, to shoot a bow & arrow, and a little bit about what it means to be a farmer.
5: I am grateful that you gave us kids such free rein. You would let us take over the dining room table to work on projects together or play Wheel of Fortune, complete with the cutout pictures of the fabulous prizes we would pretend to buy. We would come into the house after wading in the muddy Tuttle. You allowed our water fights and all of the related drama. We would clutter up the front and back yards with obstacle course croquet. You would even let us get out the old videos and slides to have viewing parties in the living room. Thank you!
6: Once I began looking through photo albums I noticed how many times you traveled to Kentucky to see us. I remember one of your visits when you traveled by bus. I had never seen you so exhausted as when you came in the door. In spite of how much you like to travel I know that trip was hard on you. Thank you for that visit and all the others.
7: I appreciated being able to spend Memorial Day with you and see the family graves. When I visit you I can walk where my dad walked as a youngster and feel connected to the same things that have mattered to Ericksons for generations. Even more special to me now is that my son is creating great memories of the same people and places that I love. Thank you, Grandma, for loving us. We love you!
8: Dear Grandma, Your home is one of my favorite places to visit and holds many memories for me. I think of our yearly L-O-N-G car trips to Idaho during my childhood with fondness because the destination was such a fun place to be. You allowed us the freedom to explore the farm and play to our heart's content.
9: I asked my kids what were their favorite things to do at your house. All three answered the swings and playing with the kittens and cats. Drew also said that he enjoyed playing in the irrigation canal. Those were things that I enjoyed also. I remember swinging as high as I could and having contests to see who could jump the farthest out of the swing. Floating down the irrigation canal on an inner tube was one of my favorite things to do.
10: I always enjoy your cooking (it's even good salt-free!), and there are some foods that make me think of you - zucchini brownies, peas and potatoes, anything with rhubarb, Christmas mints, and the caramel corn you often made on Sunday evenings. I enjoy eating the fresh produce from your garden. | A visit to your house wouldn't be complete without a Saturday picnic or hamburger fry. I know it's a lot of work for you to prepare for one, and I really appreciate your effort to get the whole family together.
11: Those Saturdays were full of fun - eating good food and spending time with family. Badminton, croquet obstacle courses, baseball games, and water balloon fights - boys verses girls (although I seem to remember Wendy often joining the boys' team). | We usually ate watermelon, which would result in Uncle Lynn telling us to go spit the seeds in the road. When it was dark, we would sit around the fire talking and roasting marshmallows.
12: I have memories of many different activities and events that occurred during our visits: *Tractor rides *Motorcycle rides *Playing with George and how he often smelled like a skunk *Painting the fences and barns | *Trips to the mountains where you and Grandpa would fish while we went hiking *Climbing on the hay bales *Playing with the electric train *Enjoying the view from the balcony (and occasionally locking someone out there!) *Playing games; Othello sticks out in my mind as one I really enjoyed And much more!
13: We often arrived at your house during the night and left very early in the morning. In spite of the time, you always got out of bed to greet us or say goodbye. You and Grandpa took several trips to Kentucky to be there for special occasions. These are things that demonstrate your love for us. | As a kid, I remember you as a loving Grandma who gave us the opportunity to have fun. As an adult, I think of you as a loving Grandma who is a hard worker and a joy to be around. Thank you for all the memories. Happy Birthday! Love, Beth
14: Wayne's Memories | Dearest Grandma Erickson, The memories I'm sharing are ones not only of you, but of my Idaho experience as a whole - things that exist for me because of you. Looking back, my mind not only sees images, but also includes things that are much harder to describe. (Things such as smells, sounds, tastes, and emotions.) Because of the distance between us, and due to the limited time we have shared together, it is all lumped together in my mind. Most of the pictures are from the past few years, but most of my fondest memories are from farther back. I will try to use both written words and my recent pictures to paint my memories. With Love, Wayne | By the way... my number one memory is when I realized I was taller than you. A close second would be your laughs.
15: What better place to start than the kitchen. You have prepared many a meal for me and all of the family. There was always plenty and it was always good. I hold a special place in my memories for your strawberries as well. Of all of the things you grew in your garden, they were by far my favorite. I also must mention rhubarb. I never thought by the looks of the stuff I would like it, but because of you I tried it... and liked it. | The house in general brings many memories to mind. It would be difficult to think of them all. I was first introduced to one of my favorite games, Othello, while there. The balcony was the best place to sightsee. (I remember seeing the Milky Way one night from there.) The books on your bookshelf in the living room held many adventures. The wood stove intrigued me. Just the smells made me feel at home.
16: Many memories revolve around the yard. You always kept the lawn nice, and the trees, shrubs, and flowers well maintained. There was plenty of room for all of the croquet obstacle courses, water balloon fights, badminton tournaments, swing jumping competitions, and any other activity we could think up at the time. There was also plenty of shade to sit under and simply relax and take it all in.
17: The back yard holds many great memories of family reunions and of course, cookouts. I have always wanted an outdoor fire pit / grill because of the great times I've had centered around yours. Sitting around eating great food, telling stories, and playing with cousins. What could be better?
18: Playing in the water has always been a part of my Idaho experience. Throwing dirt and rocks into the ditch, catching water skippers, and, of course, the lazy inner tube floats. The Tuttle has logged countless hours of my time. | (And, I can't leave out, the occasional threat of throwing a random cousin in.) Also, while hiking around the land and near the bee hives, I enjoyed the thrill of crossing the bouncy bridge positioned directly above the waterfall of the "big ditch" - mind over matter.
19: Some of my best memories revolve around the farm itself. For a long time I wanted to be a farmer. Part of that lifestyle is very exciting to me. I enjoy the satisfaction of working hard and seeing the fruits of my labor. | I always treasured the times I could drive the tractors down the dirt road that led into the fields. I felt so grown up. The motorcycle was more fun, but with the tractors, I felt linked to the land. The few times I got to experience hay baling, I thoroughly enjoyed. Speaking of the hay bales, I can't leave out the adventures I had on the huge stacks.
20: I am an adventurer, and I owe it mainly to the trips to the mountains we took during our stay. I love the clean air, the clear water, the majesty of the mountains. I thrive when in nature. The beauty of Idaho holds a special place in my heart. | I loved riding to our destinations in the back of grandpa's truck. I loved having you two with us in our adventures even though you would stay back and fish. When we would return, you would usually have enough rainbow trout for dinner. I also remember coming back once, just to find out that you got up close and personal to some bears - I was a little jealous. | Thank You for the wonderful memories! | (Even the ones that didn't fit in this book.)