Sunday, January 6, 2008

In Memory

Who forgets drinking Coke and eating Oreos on the beach and then splashing in the surf while their parents are still sleeping away the morning? Not this great granddaughter. That is probably my favorite memory with my great-grandma, and it shows who she was. She loved her family dearly, she loved mornings, and she loved Coke and Oreos!

Almost every Sunday in my childhood was spent with GG. We’d bring Dunkin Donuts, or she would have some delightful thing cooked up and ready to go. I’ve never had Corn Chowder, Egg Custard, or Vegetable Beef Soup that tasted better than at Grandma’s. We’d look through the TV Guide and help her finish up any missing entries in the crossword puzzle and we’d play HiQ until everyone knew we were geniuses. We’d mix up potions in the back and side yards, and climb trees across the street.

On special occasions, we would all go out to eat. We’d either gobble down massive burgers at Red Top, snag some ice cream at Fat Man’s (GG was one of the few that still knew why it was called that), or head for something SPICY. GG was hot, hot, HOT! We’d have Hot Sauce or Hot Mustard wherever we went. Unless it was to the Cracker Barrel or Golden Corral for some down-home cookin’. When I was little, I remember my family’s pride as we wrote on the calendar… “The day we spiced out GG!” We went to Seis Salsa’s 6 that night and finally found one GG couldn’t handle—a victorious occasion!

Christmas. She was our Christmas Elf. Her light display every year was a winter wonderland that made me gawk in awe as a kid. Not to mention the cars that drove by just to check it out. The spread on Christmas was always amazing; homemade hot mustard, cream cheese rolls, summer sausage, ham, her famous beans, fudge of all sorts, peanut brittle, the works! And then came the tree. It overflowed with gifts lovingly purchased, or the best treasures, the gifts she made. You were the luckiest one that year if you got a handmade gift. They are works of love and art.

I’ll never have another “smooch” again. It’s bittersweet for me. There is nothing like a GG smooch. It is much more than just a kiss. She had that pucker power, and she’d plant one on you that you just knew was different somehow. I got my smooches in December, and so did my son, Nehemiah. I’ll always miss them, and he will grow up to know about them.

GG always had great stories to tell. Either the family history sort, or the world traveler sort. We learned we were related to Jesse James, Elvis Presley, and a guy who used to squirrel hunt with Abraham Lincoln. GG used to dance the night away in Oklahoma as the caller yelled, Di-Si-Do! I was privileged to wear her green skirt when I was about 8 years old to the father-daughter square dance for girl scouts. She wore the same skirt when she was in her twenties—what a tiny, pretty woman she was. I was so proud! We heard of her adventures in Australia, New Zealand, who could forget Fiji (and her lover), Alaska and the “I did a trod” dogs, Greece, and the Holy Land. I world traveled through her stories.

I know that my grandma was full of love, strength, independence, precision, efficiency, perseverance, fun, and good cooking! Quite the combination, but she was quite the lady!

I wish I could be there to say my final good-byes, but that would be more for me than for her. She held my hand in December, just before bouncing my nearly 20 pound boy on her tummy, and told us that she had to make it to Christmas so she could see us; all 5 generations of us. And I knew I had to make it to Colorado so we could see her. My only regret is that it was the last time.

1 comment:

brentandsarah said...

Your great grandma seems like a cool lady. Sorry for your loss.