Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What did you call YOURS?

I am reading an anthology, For She Is The Tree Of Life, Grandmothers Through The Eyes of Women Writers, edited by Vakerie Kack-Brice.

The stories are fascinating and revealing, heart warming and heart wrenching... honestly capturing the essence of a family matriarch.

When I was little, I said it the way I heard it: "lawn-a-mower" and "GrammO." Her front porch steps were as steep as a mountain in my child's eye. When I drove by that house many years later, they were merely standard wooden steps leading into her kingdom, where matronly Miss Frances from the original Ding Ding School taught me lessons via televsion and Howdy Doody and his side kicks ruled. Where a glass of milk was always accompanied by two thick, store-bought, devils food cake cookies with that hard shell coating and a thin film of white icing underneath, or else two Hydrox cookies... no Oreos for GrammO.

Those towering steps led me to a woman who was proud to tell a stranger that I was her first grandchild. Sometimes she told me I was her favorite. Always, she told others. My mom's mother made me feel special.

Not all grandma's leave those impressions. My kids had two grandmas, one loving and kind and one unable to be. They both left their legacies.

Will you share with me a memory you have (or if you never knew her) have heard about your grandmother/s?

47 comments:

Bookie said...

Linda, this is timely. Are we reading each other's mind? I just put a wee bit up on blog about grandmothers. I want to write more...my writing mind is stirring today if I can just corner it, settle it down, etc. This books sounds like something I would really like!

Rae said...

I loved this. What a wonderful memory of your GrammO. You have triggered a few of my own special memories. I will be happy to share some things in one of my blog posts.

Daisy said...

We went to visit my Gramma on my Mom's side almost every Sunday after church. She loved having us come for lunch and never wanted us to leave. She gave the biggest and best hugs ever.

Sweet memories of your Grammo, Linda. Lovely post.

thisisme said...

Love this post about grandmas. My dad's mum was my favourite grandma and I always loved being with her. It is my hope that my grandchildren will have loving memories of me when they're older.

Sioux's Page said...

My grandma would knit socks or mittens or slippers for us for Christmas, and wrap them separately, so we'd have more presents to unwrap. She made the best gravy and baked the best rolls.

When she was pregnant, she was told by my grandfather she better have what she wanted, because they could only afford one kiddo...and she did. She had a daughter, and they were always partial to girls for the rest of their lives...

Merlesworld said...

I remember my grandma fondly she lived in a granny flat out the back of our home.
We often had saturday lunch at her place and she had all her main meals at our house, as a kid I would often play cards at her little flat after tea till bedtime and she would tell me stories of olden times, she was 95 when she died so she lived a long and happy life.
Merle..... ....... .......

Susan said...

Hi Linda. I feel blessed to have known both of my grandmothers. My mother's mother was from Poland. Her faith inspired me for life. She was a fabulous baker, too, and I can still see her kneading Polish babka with golden currents in it.

My father's mother was Lithuanian. She was also a consummate homemaker. She grew flowers, raised chickens and had the bluest eyes ever. She adored her grandchildren.

Both grandmothers gave me tremendous love and I am very grateful to have their memories live safe and warm in my heart.Susan

Susan said...

P.S. By the way, Linda, I called both grandmothers "Grandma." Susan

Val said...

Well, being a straight-laced youngster headed for a future valedictorianship, I called both of my grandmothers "Grandma."

When I was sick enough to miss school, I was shipped off to my maternal grandma's house. She bundled me in a quilt made from enclosing a scratchy green army blanket brought home by my uncle in soft white flannel with colored yarn tufts poking out.

The quilt wasn't enough to sweat out my sickness. Grandma pulled a chair in front of the fireplace, where I roasted the left side of my face while watching TV. Grandma laid down on the couch nearby to nap, having worked a full night shift at the local state mental hospital.

I hollered to rouse her every time a flaming ember popped out onto the braided rug. Thank goodness one never landed on me, so tightly wrapped in that heavy quilt that I was immobile.

Starry Dawn said...

Hi Linda,
I am your new follower.
I am so glad to have found you.
Thank you for posting a lovely comment in my poetry corner!
I love your wonderful blog.
Your writing is very interesting.
My maternal grandmother was Northern Italian from the Port of Genova. She lived with us, with my mom, her daughter and my dad.
I have remarkable memories of her.
My paternal grandmom was from Vienna, Austria. She passed away when I was 3 years old.
My father told me great stories about his dear mom...
Grandmothers fill up our hearts with so much love, if we are lucky to have them.
God bless you, Linda, family and loved ones. Welcome Aboard!
Greetings from Starry Dawn.

Starry Dawn said...

Well, Did I say that I am a grandmother of my 3 New York grandchildren? I love them!

Debora said...

My grandma was a stern, intimidating woman. We weren't close. That said, she had a beautiful home and could cook...oh my how she could cook. I loved eating there at her beautifully set table replete with white linens, polished silver, and fine china. I choose to be a more accessible grandma...lots of hugs and fun!

Linda O'Connell said...

Thank you all for your visits. I so enjoyed reading your comments. Let your memories trigger a poem or an essay; build upon it and perhaps you will have a memoir to present to your family.

River said...

I never knew either of my Grandmas, we left Germany when I was six months old. I've heard absolutely nothing about my Dad's mum, and until I was a parent myself almost nothing about Mum's mum. I knew she was domineering and commanding and selfish, when I was 17, grandma insisted mum visit her, so off mum went to Germany. Grandma gave mum a box of letters, cards and photos that she'd kept for years, saying mum might as well take them back because she (grandma) didn't know these people. They were letters and photos mum had made us send for Christmas and birthdays all through our childhood. Some of the letters weren't even opened. Grandma didn't care enough to have someone read them to her. (we wrote in English, not knowing any German). It was then I found out that the Deutschmarks we'd received each Christmas weren't from Grandma at all, mum had got them from the bank here in Australia.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I called my paternal grandma Grandmom. She lived far away and we saw her very infrequently, giving her an aura of mystery. My maternal grandma was Mama. We lived with her everytime my dad was on a 9 month deployment (Navy). She helped to shape my life. She represented security to me as a young child. It was her name I called for when I was scared in the night. Because of her I learned to sew when I was 14 and discovered my happy place!

Lynn said...

I didn't have a grandma... wah. I hope those who do know how special those women are... and how blessed they are to have them.

Kim said...

My mother's mom was small but mighty raising 4 children while her husband was a long distance truck driver. She had breast cancer at a young age and I remember walking her around the bottom of the bed because she was in so much pain, she couldn't bear to just lie there. She was so frail, as a child of 6, I could manage holding her up. At the age of 47, she was gone. The home that I remember as chicken, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, homemade applesauce, cucumber slaw, rolls and plenty of wonderful desserts with people coming in and joining the crowd to stuff the dining room was gone forever. She taught me to not kill crickets (bad luck), through salt over your shoulder if you spill any and every children's Sunday School song I know. She was my teacher every Sunday. At church, she would always have peppermints to share and at home, Teaberry gum. As the oldest of the grandchildren, I am the only one that remembers the smell of her kitchen, the feel of her sofa next to the dial telephone, the warmth of her hugs and kisses every time we said goodbye already eagerly awaiting for our next visit. I miss her but feel awfully special for knowing her.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Love this post, Linda. I'm glad you have sweet memories. My Grandmother was Nat, and my Great Grandmother was Effie. One taught me to knit, one taught me to quilt. And Nat had a big stack of the "The Enquirer" that taught me all kinds of weird stuff:-)

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