Summer with my grandparents was sailing on the Wianno Sr. and picnic baskets with pickles and chips and my grandfather playing the harmonica while we sang old sea chanteys letting our feet skim the waves.
They were Four Seas ice cream and penny candy at the Old Village store. They were bocce and bluefish, croquet and bats in the car port eaves.
Visits at "Our House" meant cousins and archery and fishing and clamming with old Ked's on, and long lazy days on the beach and tar on the bottom of your feet from the walk home.
The old summer house bursting with bounty, it's row of high-bush blueberries, the grape arbor's purple clusters that made your nose tingle, picking beach plums with Mom and making jelly for days. Cattails and Red-Winged Blackbirds and sails in the distance. Da's cutting flower gardens and weeding Dandelions.
In the Fall, my grandmother was back to school shopping day. It was her S-A-L-E song and always a stop for Sanka and an apricot danish. It meant the closing of the summer house and a last family hurrah at Thanksgiving. It was the torturous ritual of THE ANNUAL FAMILY PHOTO by my grandfather in the days before digital when we had to take any number of shots to make sure we got a good one. He was a wonderful photographer but a total dictator about it.
And winter came and they would visit us. "Shave and a haircut" went the horn and we would come flying. My winter grandparents were peppermint Chicklets and mothballs and Chanel Number 5. Winter visits meant presents from exotic places and Nana's sealskin coat that always made me think of Narnia. It was and remains the softest thing I ever felt and how we loved to wrap ourselves in it.