Over the holidays, my family's conversations were filled with, "Do you remember the time when...?" The ensuing story—not its first telling, to be sure—excavated fond memories, helped us remember a loved one or made us laugh. No matter the story, though, it always brought us together.
One of my favorite family memories is a love story involving potato chips and a circuitous route to get them. My Grammy and Grandaddy lived in Ft. Worth, Texas, and often hosted our extended family. On most occasions, Grammy would cook, but when we all got together for movie night or to watch a Ranger's game, take-out hamburgers were on the menu.
My grandparents had an unusual but precise arrangement for this fare. Grandaddy would drive to pick up dinner, but the catch was, my Grammy wanted hamburgers from Whataburger, potato chips from the grocery store and ice cream from Braum's. (I agree, she DID have great taste.) Grandaddy would drive from place to place, singing along to gospel music on the radio, and return home with her exact order.
A 30-minute pickup time kind of takes the "fast" out of fast food, but Grandaddy never once complained. Day in and day out, Grammy devoted her life to Grandaddy and their three daughters, and he joyfully made that drive. His affection for her was unparalleled, and she returned it in spades. They are the greatest love story I know.
If I told you that my grandparents were generous to each other, it wouldn't be the same as the visual of my Grandaddy joyfully driving to three separate locations for a meal. You wouldn't know that he was a Rangers fan, that he had a heart of gold or that he meant the world to me.
That's why I love storytelling. It lets us know one another, it helps us remember and it brings us together.