My favorite grandparent in this lifetime was my dad's mother. Her name was Ruth. Her husband passed when I was 4, so I don't have many memories of him (the only one I can recall is being with him and my family in a blue pickup truck that had a camper attached to it). She lived at 1924 W 5th Street in Winona. Her house was painted light green and was located at the city limits of Winona (a green sign on the street in front of her house said "Winona" along with another sign that said Winona was an "All-America" city whatever that means).
It seems that almost every time we went there as children, Grandma always wanted to get us "washed up". This consisted of sitting on her kitchen sink while she cleaned our face and hands with a washcloth. It wasn't too unpleasant, however. She also did the same for our redheaded cousin.
She had more than an acre and a half of land. Needless to say, getting the lawn mowed was a job that took all day. Usually my uncle would handle those duties. I sometimes liked to climb partway up a supertall pine tree that was in the backyard. About 4 blocks away was a small grocery store called B&B. I remember one afternoon my sister walked with my brother to the store (she was about 8, he around 5). On their way there, they passed a house that had a small statue of a polar bear in its yard. My brother got a little scared. My sister told him that it wasn't a real bear. In the same yard, he said he saw a snake in the grass and started to freak out. She told him that it was simply a garden hose and all was well.
Grandma typically stocked the same foods in her kitchen. Her grilled cheese sandwiches were the bomb. She almost always had some Welch's grape juice on hand as well as Keebler's Fudge Stripes.
My grandma was also one of the first people I knew who had a remote control for her telly. It was pretty primitive, though (It only had 4 buttons on it). I watched several Super Bowls at her place along with my uncle, including number 23. That was the one where Joe Montana of the Niners came back against the Bengals in the final minutes of the game.
My favorite memories are when I would stay overnight at her house. As opposed to when I was at home, when I stayed at Grandma's, it was all about me. One of my parents would drop me off at her place on a Friday night. She would make something for us to eat for supper. We might watch a little TV. If it was nice out, we would go on her porch, gaze out at west 5th and talk about life. I would usually hit the hay at around the time that the Tonight Show was starting.
I slept in the bedroom while Grandma slept on the couch. One night, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Grandma said she found me trying to get out the back door. Being half asleep, I thought it was the bathroom door. Grandma told me I had the wrong door and guided me to the loo. It was great getting up in the morning and having some toast and OJ. Waking up to quietness was not something I was used to. In the afternoon, we would walk over to JCPenney and she would usually buy me something that I wanted. One time, I chose this:
We would relax at her place the rest of the afternoon. One of my parents would pick me up in the early evening and we'd head back to the rolling hills of Rollingstone, Minnesota.