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For my grandfather a junk man meant driving around in his truck knocking on doors collecting junk. He would then place the junk in the back of his truck. When he had a full load, he would drive to the local junk dealer and sell the items he had collected. On this money he supported his family.
As a child, I remember standing outside in my yard waiting for my grandfather's battered truck with beat up wooden sides to come rumbling down the street. My sister and I, along with my two cousins that lived across the street, would scream for joy to see my grandparents.
Immediately, after the truck was parked safely in our driveway we all climbed up into the back of my grandfather's truck. It was always loaded with unusual items such as toilets, sinks and lots of bathtubs. We never knew what we would find when we went exploring. It was a child's dream.
Obviously, some of my toys came directly from the back of my grandfather's truck. As a child, I loved to read books. I had a field day sifting through all the books that were thrown in the back of the truck. My grandfather did not read English, consequently; he did not know the content of the books.
I would sneak books I knew my parents would never approve of into my bedroom. My mother always found them and threw them out.
Climbing up into the back of my grandfather's truck has been a memory that has stayed strong with me to this day. Its given me the love to browse through junk stores and yard sales looking for good books. Even today I have retained the love of reading books.
My grandparents came from Wilno, Lithuania. They never spoke of there past life even though I asked them. They both lost there families in the holocaust and speaking about them was too painful.
I have always been interested in family history. My grandfather came alone to this country on a cattle boat before the First World War approximately in 1911.
My grandfather later sent for my grandmother and then they were married. The funny part of the story is they were first cousins and never betrothed. My grandfather was supposed to marry my grandmothers sister but she had an eye infection and did not pass the custom's physical, therefore, the family sent my grandmother instead.
They were married for about seventy-five years. They may have had their differences but I never witnessed serious fighting or arguing between them. I could feel the deep love and affection they had for each other. They both lived way into there nineties.
It takes a lot of courage to come to a strange country, not knowing the customs or the language. My grandfather kept a roof over his family of two children and his wife. He also kept food on the table which was not easy at times. My grandfather learned enough of the English language to squeeze by and managed to support his family.
My grandfather performed all the family errands including the grocery shopping. He would shop by the color and design on the labels. If a label was changed on the can he wanted to purchase who knows what he would end up with.
My grandmother spoke a little English but she mainly stayed home, kept house and raised the children. I remember watching her boil their clothes in a big pot on the stove stirring it with a large wooden paddle. Then she would rinse them in the sink, ring them out, and rub them on a board.
Not speaking the language and not knowing the customs kept my grandmother trapped in her home. When I was older, I asked my mother about this. She said her mother was happy and why should she rock the boat.
My grandmother was happy with her life, I never heard her complain about staying home and taking care of the kids. If my grandmother needed a dress or shoes for a special occasion my mother would go shopping and make the purchase.
I, personally, do not believe in making life so easy for your loved ones that they do not make the effort to self improve and become more independent. Everybody should try to become independent. But that was then and this is now and things were so different back in the, "Turn of the Century".
Obviously, we need to look back at the past to move forward to the future. We can not forget our family history, since we are the product of our past.
I hope you have enjoyed this article of delving into my past memories. I was lucky, I had grandparents in my life. Today so many children come from broken homes and the grandparents get separated from their grandchildren.
My own children did not get to spend much time with their grandparents since we lived across the country. I think back now and I should have made more effort to keep our east coast and west coast families connected.
I would have made the extra effort to visit more often. Grandparents and family are the foundation in which we want to establish in our children's hearts.
If you have a child or a grandchild and you don't see them often, call them and say, "I love you."
If you manage to see them in person give them a big hug and kiss and say, "I love you." A little love goes a long way.
There seems to be now more violence in this world then love. I definitely feel that this should be reversed. I am talking real love, family love, and family unity.
If you enjoyed this article feel free to check out my other articles.
Copyright 2006 Linda Meckler
Linda was very lucky she had the love of her grandparent's throughout her lifetime.
Currently she is the author of "Ghost Kids Trilogy," three books in one book. CHRISTY 12, AND HER BROTHER BRAD, 16 MOVE INTO AN OLD HOUSE ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN AND MEET TWO GHOST KIDS. Meet a Magical Blue Vase.
Join Christy and Brad on a Pirates' Treasure Hunt. ADVENTURE/MYSTERY Love, Family Values and Charity burst off the pages.
Visit my website at http://www.lmeckler.