The above photograph is kept in a frame and is on display in our home. It was taken almost twenty years ago in Burlington, Vermont. The two main characters in the picture are Clifford the Big Red Dog, of course, and my Granddaughter Nicole. However, I would like to tell you the story that the image does not tell, nor would anyone else in future generations know about unless someone records the story so it won’t be lost.
My daughter was to find herself a single young mother of two daughters who was working full time and going to college full time also. It was at this time that she and my two granddaughters lived with grandma and me. Nicole was the younger of the two daughters. At the time, I was the manager of a movie theater and would work late into the night coming home at about one in the morning. Many mornings I helped to get breakfast for the girls (and truth be told for the rest of the family) and get the oldest one off to school. That gave Nicole and me the morning to find things to occupy our time. Our local PBS television station had some great programming for children at that time of day, so as often as not, we ended up watching it curled up on a chair. Needless to say, Clifford the Big Red Dog was a favorite with Nicole.
One summer, we were vacationing in the Plattsburgh, N.Y. area, and decided to take the ferry across Lake Champlain and spend the day in Burlington, Vermont. Part of the downtown in Burlington is closed off to automobile traffic and is for pedestrians only. On the day we were there, they were having a parade of dogs. The parade was being led by the biggest dog of all, Clifford. Now I swear I had a firm grip on Nicole’s hand, but somehow she broke free and streaked across the walkway and ended up giving Clifford the biggest bear hug she could muster. I mean, she would not let go. We had to go out there and pry her off from Clifford so that the parade could continue. Someone in our family had the presence of mind (it could have been me, but I am not sure) to take the picture of Nicole and Clifford.
Where has the time gone? I have no idea; it has passed way too fast. I am sure it is the same for all of you also. We must tell our family stories because if we don’t, they will be lost within a generation or two. The picture below is of Nicole. The time has gone way too fast.