Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

July 26th is my grandma's 94th birthday. Wow! I can't even imagine.

Grandma still lives at home, but she has someone with her at all times. I have no doubt that if she were in a nursing home she would no longer be living, not because of poor care, but because of the simple comfort of being in her own home. I am truly thankful that she is able to be there still, knowing that at some point it may no longer be possible.

My grandma is very frail, and honestly we're all surprised her heart has made it this long. She suffers from dementia, and most of the time she doesn't really know what's going on around her. She just sits and watches the world go by.

Grandma grew up during the depression, and the effects of those lean years could still be seen in her home when I was a child. One thing in particular that I remember is a jar of rubber bands that she kept in the kitchen. It was one of the large mason jars, and every day when the newspaper came with a rubber band around it, that rubber band went in the jar, because you'll never know when you might need a rubber band. She would also wash out her tin pie plates and plastic baggies to re-use them. I think all of this was the precursor to us becoming a greener society.

Grandma was an excellent cook. I've never had fried chicken like hers. She used to make me peanut butter cookies when I was in college, and boy, was it hard to ration those! When Hubby and I would go back and visit, Grandma was the one person who would cater to my quirks. She would always give me a couple of extra little bitty bowls for my runny stuff so nothing had to touch. Sometimes I'd even get an extra fork. Because I'm weird that way. She also taught me how to make the gravy for our traditional Christmas dinner, Chicken Pie. She and I used to spend all morning in the kitchen making it and the biscuits for the top. I have fond memories of those days.

I asked Hubby something he remembered about Grandma, and after he got over being silly for a minute, he said, "She always turned the light on when I didn't want it on." Because you know, you can't read without proper lighting. If we were sitting in a chair reading and didn't have the lamp on next to us, she'd come by and flip it on.

Grandma couldn't stand this picture, her engagement picture. She hated the dress. She told me it was blue. I'm sure I would have loved it! (And my scanner is not working, so I had to take pictures of pictures, so the flash did funny things to these.)

This is probably my favorite picture of my grandparents, which you may have seen when I've talked about my grandpa before. I just had to show it again since I love it so much! It was rare to catch her in a picture with an open smile.

Grandpa left for WWII when Grandma was expecting her first child, my mom. Here they are, with the back of the picture showing that my mom was ten and a half months old. I like this picture because it's rare to see older pictures where people aren't posed, and this seemed to be almost an 'oops' shot.

One of my grandpa's WWII army reunion group wives wrote a book about him. She had been gathering information from all of the veterans to compile a book about their time in Europe, and we had so much stuff on Grandpa that she wanted to put it into a book about him. This is Grandma with a copy of the completed book a couple of years ago.

My mom and my aunt make sacrifices to keep Grandma comfortable and in her home. I hope they know how much I appreciate what they do for her. It doesn't go unnoticed! Thank you, and I love you both.

And I love you, Grandma!


Mari said...

I loved reading about your grandma. I love the pictures too. I can see something of your boys in your Grandpa, although I've always thought they looked like your husband!

Demara said...

wow i just read another fellow blogger's post about her Grandpa, celebrating his birthday if he were still with her and now i read this about your Grandma STILL with YOU!

i LOVE seeing those old photos you posted!! SO COOL!!! and such history you it:)

MomE said...

Her smile and your! That's so neat!!

Christine said...

I love it when someone talks so lovingly about their grandparents.
I pray that someday our grand daughter will say such wonderful things about me.
Bless you!

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