Even more than their things, though, I cherish the times with them and the stories they shared. I feel like it gave me a sense of who I am, a heritage. I even share those same stories, and funny sayings or phrases that have 'stuck', and love telling them, "Oh, I got that from Great-Grandma. It's just part of our family." I'm so glad that they took the time to tell us things, even things they might have said over and over, because, even though I'm sure neither of us realized it at the time, they were really giving us priceless gifts. Those hours of sitting quietly with Grandpa while he worked on clocks in his shop, sewing with Grandma (and crying as she patiently tore out my mistakes), watching Lawrence Welk all just seemed like normal life - sometimes it even felt boring. Boy, am I grateful now for every single 'boring' minute I had with them! It helps me to realize the importance of passing on traditions and memories, and the importance of building a sense of family.
Oh, I almost forgot one of the best family secrets that I now employ! It's the use of "The Code". Just hearing the words still makes me giddy and giggly, just like when I heard them when I was little (even though I had no idea why they would say them, I eventually just knew what it meant...now I get it!):
"Ida Charlie Easy, Charlie Roger Easy Able Mary"Music to my ears I tell ya.... Can ya figure out why?? Think on it, leave me a comment, and I'll let ya know the answer tomorrow.