Two favorite memories

Many moons ago, my wife and I drove to New York City with her parents. Our mission was to visit her sister’s family on Governor’s Island, since, her brother-in-law was in the Coast Guard stationed there. The trip was eventful and a lot of fun, but two memories linger on as favorites of mine.

The first memory is of a kids play area which overlooked Manhattan. We would sit on benches as our niece and nephew played in a huge sandbox with the skyline across the river. In the early evening after dinner, it offered such a relaxing view and allowed easy conversation. I should note the Coast Guard moved off the island and those two kids are now married, one with two of her own, and the other expecting a first.

The second memory was on the ride home. While we split the ride into two pieces on the way there, we decided to drive the fourteen hours home in one day. But, that set the stage for the memory which was my wife’s parents singing old songs in the backseat after sunset.

My father-in-law was a good guitarist and singer who tried to make a living early on in a band. Unfortunately, he was unable to make a living, so he limited his singing to church and retirement homes, as he got a more mundane job. So, he knew lots of songs to sing on our journey home. We heard Sinatra, Bennett, Como, Clooney, Martin, Cole, and many others.

They are both gone now, but when I think of them, this memory comes to mind. What a nice trip. Thanks for the memories. What are some of yours?

16 thoughts on “Two favorite memories

  1. Note to Readers: My wife would occasionally sing in church with her Dad. They harmonized well together. We would arrive Saturday night and they would rehearse. He loved to make popcorn and we would watch Austin City Limits, usually one he taped for us.

    After Sunday church, we would have family dinner before returning home that afternoon. But, before leaving we would hike in the words with her Mom, who knew all the trails.

  2. Dear Keith,

    While I was not gifted with a good marriage, I have been blessed with lots of good memories of spending time with both my in-laws and my parents. I remember taking a trip with both my in-laws and parents where we spent time together in Luxembourg. We visited beautiful gardens and took a trip to Patton’s grave in a US military cemetery I just enjoyed the comradeship, the competitive card games and the laughter. I still think of all of them with fondness and wish I could relieve some of those good times..Like most folks. I took those times for granted but now, those times are treasured memories.

    Hugs, Gronda

  3. The happiest times I can recall were spent with my grandparents who lived on a large farm, cattle, cotton, tobacco. I began staying summers there after my mom died when I was eight and my father traveled. They were a blessing for me, loving, kind…having raised five children of their own they took me in as though I were their 6th child. That’s asking a lot but they never complained but seemed to live for my arrival and were saddened at my departure. I do treasure them (passed on now) and thank God for them. Thank you Keith. It’s delightful to learn more about you.

  4. I think one of my earliest trips leaves the most impactful, if a bit dim, memory. I was 4, my sister 13. My mother had loaded all the household furniture she could into a moving van and sent it ahead of us from New York City to Laramie, Wyoming. What she couldn’t fit in the van, she sold or gave away. Then she loaded my sister and me into a newly purchased car, along with clothes and valuables she didn’t trust to the movers, and off we went, following the path of the moving van. This road trip predated the Interstate and the parts I remember most were driving through a twister in Kansas and through interminably heat in Nebraska. And at the end of the trip, I remember that we drove up to the house she had bought, sight unseen. It was a Sunday and she did not yet have a key to the house, so we walked up the front walk to the porch and my sister held me up to the diamond shaped window in the door so that I could look in and see, wonder of all wonders, a staircase and banisters! (Till that point I had been an elevator child.)

  5. Note to Readers: Like my mother, my mother-in-law battled Alzheimer’s. When her older sister, who lived with her, went into a long term care facility, my mother-in-law lived with us for about five weeks. I remember her attending a church service at small church near our home that was similar in size to hers. Even with her memory issues, the rote process to the service was very comforting to her. It was familiar. It made us feel good to see her in her element.

  6. One memory from Childhood sticks out as relatively happy (not a lot of them I’m afraid). I would love going to visit my grandparents…our trip home in the car on a Sunday evening was always accompanied on the car radio with old tunes from the war years on the ‘Sing Something Simple’ program. My mum would join in (I wasn’t allowed to sing as my mum didn’t like my voice spoiling things), and I would listen intently, while our journey took us past the majestic ruins of 12th Century Newark Castle. Even at that young age of seven years old, I was spellbound by historical things.

    • Colette, thanks for sharing this nice memory. I am sorry that you had too few of them. If a good singing voice was required in my car, the driver would not be allowed to sing. Keith

    • Kathrin, thanks for stopping by. We should cherish that time and ask many questions. Even recording their answers may provide future memories. Take care, Keith

  7. My father was a very spontaneous person. He would wake us up whenever the urge struck him and say “let’s go for a ride.” The ride could be 2 hours away just to have an authentic chicken and dumpling dinner. No matter where we went we were always happy to hear the words “get in the car!”

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