March 1, 2007

A Visit With The Past

The kids and I spent the day hanging out at my parents house. Once a week we go over and visit with my 97 year old Grandma who lives with them, while they take a much needed and well deserved breather.

You don’t know how hard it has been to NOT blog about my Grandmother. But, in a moment of family loyalty I agreed to my Mom’s request that I wouldn’t share all the funny details of my Grandmother’s current life. And even now it’s just killin’ me. But I will tell you this. She is one spunky lady!

So I’m going to attempt to blog about Grandma without actually telling you any of the tasty little tidbits and hilarious anecdotes that are her life now. But it’s just killin’ me.

KILLIN’ ME!!!!

Going to Grandma’s house as a kid was always a treat. The usually ritual was to greet her and Grandpa at the door with hurried hugs and kisses while running past them to the freezer in the laundry room. Grandpa was known for his sweet tooth and always kept a gigantic bag of candy and hostess snowballs (those pink coconut-marshmallow things that were a cavity waiting to happen) in the freezer for our visits. Then Grandma would proceed to give Grandpa a fierce tongue wagging for feeding us all candy. Now I understand she just didn’t want us hopped up on sugar while we were at her house, but then, it was just a comforting tradition to watch Grandpa grin at her in glee while he was being berated by this 4 foot 11 inch ball of fire. Grandmpa would wink at us while diverting Grandma from our binge and the fact that the freezer door was still hanging open.

Grandma was the most stubborn, independent and determined woman I know. She wouldn’t accept a lick of help from anyone because she just knew she could do it herself. But she was always there to help everyone else. She had something like 11 brothers and sisters and was the oldest of the bunch. So she started being responsible at the age of 3 as all the younger kids started coming along. She would help cook and clean, dress and watch the younger kids and to this day the ones that are still around look at her as something between sister and mother.

After Grandpa died and Grandma lived alone we would come over to her house for a visit and find her moving the refrigerator by herself or climbing up the ladder to the roof to do some kind of maintenance. Now keep in mind that she is just a little shrimp of a woman and must have been in her 70’s – 80’s at the time. You can probably imagine my parent’s reaction at finding her doing all this dangerous stuff at her age. But for me, I was just proud and hoped that I would grow up just as feisty as her.

Nowadays, every time I see her she always reminds me that she’s almost 100. I’m convinced that she’s determined to hang in there until that time. And she’s just stubborn enough to do it too!

It’s been really fun for me to take the kids over to visit Grandma and let them listen to her stories of growing up. It started out as a time to give my Mom and Dad a break but it’s really turned into a living history lesson as we learn about 1st hand accounts of what life was like before cars, television, pre-package foods, and plain old convenience. A period of time that seems like a fairy tale to the kids.

So even though I couldn’t share the funnies of today, the memories of yesterday have been a good thing to revisit.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

What a great post! What wonderful memories you have of your Grandma.
Smiles!

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