Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Grandma

Most of my posts have lots of pictures this one will but not today. Early this morning shortly after midnight my grandma passed away, for the last couple of years she has been declining both in mind and body but there were always moments when she knew who you were. While she lost her memories year by year we still had them and today I will share some of mine, most of which also include Grandpa  who has also been missing his wife more and more each year. But I am sure finds comfort in knowing that today she is with the Lord and remembers all.

May 2008

I remember camping with my grandpa and grandma they came along on many of our families camping trips, then they decided to settle down their camping and had a trailer placed in a campground not far from home but just far enough. The joys of being a kid at grandma and grandpas trailer new kids to meet, a pool to swim in, dinner outside under the awing  " Be careful with that zipper, make up your mind in or out" still echos through my head in Grandma's voice. Spending the night at grandma and grandpa's trailer was always a special thing. Listening to them tell the stories about their first trailer and taking my Uncle and Dad camping when they were little, singing songs to them and more. I think we all were a bit sad when the time came for the trailer to be sold.

Grandma loved to share her history with us kids. When asked about a picture hanging in the hall, " That's me and my sister we had to share those skates and my shoes had all those buttons" or how many of us has heard the story of how her sister Dorothy had a job and nice clothes and she would wait until her sister had left for work  and then she would ware her clothes to school and her sister would never know.

 She loved to pull out the old pictures kept in her night stand and tell you who was who and how we all got to America. Asking about the wedding picture hanging in the bedroom always lead to hearing about how she met grandpa, and their wedding, and the telegrams from grandpa during the war. And how she wondered why he couldn't remember that her middle initial was J, it kept changing from H to M. Turns out that was grandpa's way of letting her know where he was Hawaii or the Marshall Islands. The picture of the car loaded with all their belongings led to hearing about what it was like to be a young military wife the walk up apartment without hot water, the stove grandpa found and tried to rig up for his wife,learned from that story that one should not make a wood door for a stove. Their life after the war when they returned home, pulling into the LaSalle apartments asking for one of the apartments set aside for returning vets and being asked where to you live right now and pointing to that car laden with all their belongings. 

Buying their home, and how important it is to make just a bit more then your mortgage payment each month even 5 dollars makes a difference. How she worked at the Shredded Wheat Factory and other places that unforently I don't remember  The stories she told me about my dad, the broken arms two at once mind you, the case of the missing potato peelings,  the polio he shared with her as a baby, making diapers out of tea towels because that was all there was to be found. The stories about my uncle Ron as a baby and the work she did to help him along.

She taught me many things, some I learned , others not so much, and some I wish I had payed more attention to  there were kitting lessons, crocheting  and even tatting to learn, she taught me how to read and cut out a pattern. She even told me stories while teaching me these things  stories about learning to tat from her grandma Buck showing me the dollies she made, and the ribbon she won for a sewing contest. While my tatting may never had gotten very far and my crocheting ability was a chain that went around the house she never gave up on trying. The tax lessons were one's that stuck and today I still enjoy doing taxes.

There was her friendship with Mrs.Fix and how it showed my grandma's sense of humor  I believe at least some of my sisters and cousins were involved in planning April Fools jokes on Mrs. Fix under the guidance of grandma. I remember at least one year making mud pie cookies that Grandma helped us make and place into a nice tin and then delivered next door. How she looked forward to the yearly delivery of German goodies from Mrs Fix family, the pillow on the couch that was a gift and how it was a good thing the Mrs. Fix could make knit socks for all of us grand kids as Grandma did not like to knit socks. I learned that finding that good friend was important.

The kitchen floors, I think that the floor company started to cringe when grandma would walk in with the warranty in hand saying that her no wax floor, was  not shiny anymore. A new floor and after a while in she would walk again  I think the floor company was very happy when they installed the tile floor that is still there today. I think my husband wishes I had learned this lesson a lot better.

Me and my sister Bri lived with grandma and grandpa for awhile so that we wouldn't have to change schools 3 times in a year. I remember the PJ's grandma made us, the ice cream in bed, getting to pick out lunch meat at the counter. Grandma being challenged by the idea of girl hair, we were so spoiled but loved it.

Sitting next to grandma in church and trying on her rings, and afterwords hearing the stories behind them which granddaughter each ring belonged to , how she got the rings gifts from grandpa or inherited from her mom and so on. When it was your week to eat out after church she always let you pick the restaurant. 

The blanket that one always had to place on the floor before playing or watching TV, remembering to take your shoes off, for me the sears catalog that she always had in the closet that she would let me look at for ever. As even back when I was a child I was a planner I think I had all the kids and their future clothing and rooms planned out of that catalog. 

Learning to square dance so that Grandpa wouldn't be dancing with all those widows while Grandma was out with a broken hip. The sweaters she made for the new babies, and the scarfs and mittens for the older ones.

She was always generous and helpful, I am sure that at least some of my sisters experienced this too. Taking the great grand kids to visit grandma and grandpa and after the kids had eaten their spaghetti-os and having been sent to play downstairs or outside with grandpa.  She would slip you 20 dollars out of her pocket money and tell you that you needed to spend it on yourself, and if you were bad like me and not likely to spend on it yourself but the the kids she would make you come back and show her what you had bought. I believe grandma has paid for many a bra. 

All I have left today is the stories that grandma told and the things she has left behind that makes one remember those stories, the afghan that used to be on the couch and then was made into a floor blanket before being gifted to a grandchild. The picture of Grandma and Grandpa's wedding, the vase she won with Mrs. Fix, and all the pictures taken over the years. Her spirit will live on though us and today when I wash my floor I'll cry a bit.

I am thankful that she told her story while she could and hope that we all learn to share our story so that we may also live on in others.

I will have more to add later .

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