When I grow old I hope to be
As beautiful as Grandma
Her hair is soft and fluffy white.
Her eyes are blue and candle
And down her cheeks are cunning piles
Of little ripples when
by Rose Henderson
She taught me how to play cards, and the secrets to a number of impressive card tricks. We used to call her the Card Shark Lady.
She made bread & butter pickles every summer, and now I can't even eat pickles, because none can compare to the ones she made.
On Christmas Eve when I was a kid, Grandma often slept at our house, and since I had a bed big enough for two, we'd lie there together half the night, telling stories and jokes and having a fine time. My mom would yell up to the bedroom, "You kids go to sleep, now!" and Grandma would giggle like a mischievous little girl. In the morning, we'd sit around the Christmas tree and eat the cinnamon rolls she'd brought over the night before. A few years ago, I revived the homemade cinnamon roll tradition for our own holiday celebration.
She let us believe that she had two birthdays: one in September and the other in November, because really, she's not exactly sure when she was born anyway.
When she was in her 70's, she dressed up as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark for a Halloween party, and used empty jumbo sized margarine tubs to achieve a more busty appearance.
A keen quilter, in her later years she scaled down the size of her sewing projects, and soon earned a reputation as the Pot Holder Queen. My kitchen drawer pays homage to that legacy. She once asked me how the pot holders were working for me, and I told her I'd been using them as trivets but was nervous that they might get ruined. She said, "Oh, just flip them over and use the back side! Then you don't have to worry." So now I use them every day, because I don't dare to argue with Grandma.
"I made quilts as fast as I could to keep my family warm... and as pretty as I
could to keep my heart from breaking."
She loves the color blue and the scent of lilacs, and I think when spring comes, I will finally plant that lilac tree I've been meaning to get.
It's sad to watch my grandma's generation fade. They've seen and lived through so many things, and I think my generation could use more than a bit of their wisdom in the years to come.
Update: Grandma passed on January 20th, during her sleep. Dad brought home cinnamon rolls from the supermarket on the morning of the funeral. She looked very peaceful.