There’s No Place Like Home
By Dave Hayes (Grandson of Charles Dayton)
Living the life of a nomadic military family had its ups and downs. Sure, we got to see so much of the country and even sampled some life overseas. But when it came to the holidays, we were more aware than ever of being far from the “North Country” and the family we loved. The other service families were in the same position, so we became a sort of “surrogate family” for each other. Still, we missed seeing grandparents, aunts & uncles and lots of cousins!
Enter Grampa Charles Dayton! No matter where we lived, Grampa, Gramma Jo and Cammie always came to visit us. I remember their visit to Killeen, Texas, accompanied by Rev. Floyd Tyler & his wife, Helen, where they continued south to Mexico and returned with a large bull whip which they enthusiastically demonstrated in the front yard. It’s a wonder no one was hurt! They also visited us in California. We ushered them to the redwoods, the seashore, the town wharf with its stores and restaurants, one of the string of California missions, and many other local sites of interest. And they even came to Italy, where Grampa helped Dad to lead the Easter Sunrise Service on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. We made a quick trip to Rome to see the Sistine Chapel and several other monuments and sites, and they even got a bonus trip up through Germany to see the windmills and tulips in Holland and the lovely gardens in Belgium. Now that was a whirlwind trip!
For us, these visits were a crucial tie to the family we had left behind! But it was also a reminder that we were loved and cherished and certainly not forgotten. My father’s devotion and patriotic service to his country as well as our family’s sacrifice of a life surrounded by our extended loved ones were honored with each remote stay. Cammie became more than our aunt…she became a friend and a remembrance that, even as kids, Keith and I had roots deep in the hills of upstate New York. Grampa & Gramma Jo brought news from the home front and dived into the local culture and customs wherever we were, fully enjoying themselves in a distant or foreign locale. It tied us together more strongly, and that lasting bond is still unbroken. What a gift it was to greet my grandparents at my house and to know that they were bringing the love and caring of a family we loved so much, there in the Adirondacks!
Thanks, Grampa & Gramma Jo & Cammie for those treasured times!
Categories: Chop (Charles)