Tag Archives: grandma

Sharing My World 84

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Share Your World II 11-26-18

If your five year old self woke up in your current body, what would happen, what would you say?

I would probably look at my hands and think, wow, I have Grandma skin! Five year olds don’t normally look in a mirror unless they are carefully applying bright red lipstick in a circle from forehead to cheeks to chin just before leaving for church. Then I would be super excited that I could reach things without standing on tip toes. And finally I would find my mom and say “Hey! Look at me! NOW am I big enough to go to school?”

What is a relationship deal breaker for you? Whether you are talking about a romantic one, a friendship or a related to sort of relationship?

This might seem like an odd answer coming from someone who thinks she can tell very credible lies, but I don’t want to be lied to. Or taken advantage of. Or told to quit ending sentences with prepositions. I lie only if it keeps me out of trouble and doesn’t hurt or incriminate anyone else. So that’s a discriminating kind of fib teller I guess. As if there are degrees of wrongness about not telling the truth. Maybe I’m lied to all the time and have no clue, but if I see through a lie I’m doubly offended that someone thinks I’m dumb enough to believe them.

Is there something out there, a thought, an idea, a current event, or a fear that you find deeply unsettling?

Global warming and what sort of horrible world we’re leaving for our grandchildren. Consumerism could kill us all. We can blame the big environment destroyers all we like, but we are the idiots demanding the crap they produce.

And one that is a bit whimsical:

If you were arrested with no explanation, what would your friends and family assume you had done?

Having spent a large portion of my life trying to convince myself that what other people think is not my problem, not important, and none of my business, I am at a complete loss to answer this. So I asked W the question. Surprisingly he was pretty prompt coming up with an answer. He would assume some secret from my past had finally come to light. He used the word “clandestine”. He told me when I say I’m going to Michael’s for yarn, I could be doing something else entirely. How clever he must think I am to come back home in an hour or less with a Michael’s bag full of yarn to cover my tracks. Woman of mystery. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone or even lived with them, they can still surprise you. In our case, I guess that works both ways.

Finally

What were you grateful for this week? Something that brought some joy into your world?

My new keyboard for my IPad! Although my fat forgetful fingers are getting better, there has been a lot of fumbling and stumbling and wearing out of the delete button while I get back to what I think of as normal typing with all ten fingers. Its already getting better. Maybe blogging will start to feel like less of a pain again. You lucky blog readers.

The other thing giving me joy is crocheting. Like everything else, I go on binges. First it was slippers, then rugs that look like braided, and now suddenly it’s hats because I found a pattern. And bought a Pom-pom maker on one of my fake trips to the store. Life is good. And for all you know, I’m not talking about my secret one when I say that.

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Digest This, SoCS 1

The rules for this prompt were made for me!  It’s how I write 99% of the time – no plan, very little editing, and stop whenever you feel like it!  So here you go.

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “digest.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

My grandma, bless her heart and all the memories she left us with, was a big fan of the Readers Digest magazine.  She subscribed to it for years and years.  It was a great way for someone with a short attention span to learn a little bit about a lot of things. I liked the reader submitted “jokes” even though most of the time they weren’t even remotely funny.  When grandma was in her late eighties she was still getting renewal notices from the magazine and decided it was time to sit down and write them a letter.  She asked them if they thought a woman of her age should still be getting magazines in the mail and would renew or not renew her subscription in accordance with their opinion on the matter.

The reason we know the contents of her letter is because she gave it to mom to mail, and mom thought she’d better open it up and check what grandma was telling them, just in case.  You had to know grandma to appreciate the wisdom of this decision.

I don’t remember what happened next exactly, although I do recall thinking the readers digest people weren’t likely to agree that she was indeed too old to be giving them her money.

Is Readers Digest still around?  I could submit this for their “Life’s Life That” category of unfunny jokes.  Probably too many words though.  They were always such sticklers for brevity.

Grandmas Were Not Always Grandmas

imageThis is my maternal grandmother, born in 1887.  Isn’t she gorgeous?  I’m guessing this picture was taken in her late teens or early twenties before she was married.  In the right lower corner there is a ghost hand about which she doesn’t appear to be overly concerned.  We believe the original photo was cut in half , so whoever was sitting opposite her remains a mystery.

I love her tidy dark hair, the high collared blouse and her high-waisted skirt.  That pensive gaze rivals the Mona Lisa.

And here she is, some seventy years later.

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Still gorgeous, still smiling, but with a little less hair to pull back with pins.  She is posing with my brother, my sisters and me (on the right), four of her twelve grandchildren.  After this fleeting moment in time she had a lot more years of her life left to live.  An unforgettable lady.

“The more we love the more we lose. The more we lose the more we learn. The more we learn the more we love. It comes full circle. Life is the school, love is the lesson. We cannot lose.”
― Kate McGahan

The Little Red Hen

Another story from the 1920’s grade 2 Primer, written in cursive, so for that alone a true relic from the past.  I know that we had access when we were kids to these readers saved from my mothers childhood and although I don’t know who was responsible for all the underlining, I will plead guilty to the colouring.  That red hen was not red enough for me.

My grandmother was an avid reader, but I never saw her read a book without a pencil or a pen in her hand, underlining what seemed to me to be completely random words and phrases.  She would have loved hi-lighters.  Mom gave me one of grandmas “doctored” books as a keepsake.  It’s full of squiggly pencil underlining from beginning to end.  Maybe she passed this habit on to one of her kids when they were learning to read.

Anyway, here’s the story, underlining, bad colouring and all.  Sorry some of it is hard to see, but the pages have been around for almost a hundred years.  We should all look as good when we’re this ancient.

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Three Quotes: The Middle

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“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”
― Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Three Quotes in Three Days  (see yesterdays post)

I nominate three people out there who would like to complete this challenge!  You know who you are, even if I don’t!  Yes, that was a very lazy way of getting out of actually naming people.  No pressure here.  But I do recommend this book.  It’s wonderful and weird.

Hope you’re having an extraordinary summertime Tuesday.

Timeless

 

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If my spirit animal was not a sloth (sorry if I just insulted all sloths, some of whom in comparison to me no doubt look down right ambitious) I would have published this hundred and two year old treasure in a more timely fashion, on Christmas eve two years ago, when it was exactly one hundred years old.

Maybe I did, but I’m too lazy to check that out.

It is a letter written to my grandmother, by her grandparents.  Think about that for a minute.  My grandmother would have been twenty five years old in 1912, making her grandparents freaking ancient.  I’m also too lazy to look up their exact ages but it doesn’t matter anyway.  They were grandparents giving a Christmas gift to their grandchildren.  Time goes by and some things hardly change.

The gladsome time of Xmas has again come round and we the undersigned were young once but now are old.  We recollect the wants of  young folks and that often they must go unserved, therefore we thought it our duty to try to do a little for our young people, so concluded to enclose a trifle to each.  Providence having favoured more than normal we thought it but right to divide up a little of that with those whom Providence had used as instruments for our welfare.

Now enclose a trifle for you as a token of our love and esteem trusting that you will benefit in the same spirit as that in which it is given.

We wish you all the compliments of the season and many happy returns and may the Good Lord ever be with you to bless and comfort you. 

The transcription may not be perfect, but the sentiments are certainly clear.  Let me put that into “2014-speak”.

It’s Christmas!  Time for us old geezers (who surprisingly enough still remember what it was like to be young like you) to give you some Christmas cheer in the form of cash.  We’re doing okay, with some extra to share.  It may not be much, but it makes us happy to be able to help you out whenever we can.  Do some little thing for yourself that brings you joy.  Merry Christmas.  We love you and wish you nothing but the best, today and forever.

It’s been a long week off from all things bloggish, but this morning I made a pre-new years resolution to blog every day from now until the end of the year, thinking that was three blog posts, and then realizing it is in fact four.  Still, I think I can handle it.  Even though I’m ridiculously old and lazy as hell.  At least I don’t have to dip a fountain pen in an inkwell and compose something readable without spell check.  Horrors.

All the best of the season to you and yours.

Junk and Treasures

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Before bed she watches her grandma scurry about the house making preparations for tomorrow, putting what appears to be worthless junk on the kitchen table, although she knows her mother considers these things priceless family treasures and will be thrilled to have them.

In the  morning she is still disoriented and exhausted after her long flight across the ocean, the drive to the farm and her restless night in yet another strange bed, with nothing better to look forward to now than a two-day road trip on her long journey home.

With a defeated sigh, she throws her things back in to her travel-worn bag, wishing she could stuff her bad mood and all her worries in there right along with them.

Once she gets everything downstairs she simply can’t stop laughing at the sight of her funny little grandma, giant fork under one arm and enormous spoon under the other, declaring herself all set and ready to go.

And just like that, all the irritation disappears.

Five Sentence Fiction  is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. This week’s word: IRRITATION

Lillie McFerrin Writes
…and…
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Walking to Grandmas

 

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It is the early 1950’s.  Not a hundred years ago, but in this old head it feels like it could be.  Mom wipes some flour off her house dress, tucks a stray lock of hair behind her ear, and hands us a basket of apples with a handle big enough for two little hands to share.  She tells us to deliver this to grandmas house.  Together, remember, mom tells my brother.  Keep your little sister with you, wait if she gets behind, don’t walk on the road, watch for cars.  No stopping!  Grandma is waiting for you, so off you go.  Dad and I will be over for supper soon.

That’s  lot of rules and instructions, and I’ll never remember all of them.  Neither will my brother, but that’s simply because he choses not to.  He bends and breaks rules all the time or makes up his own.  I admire him greatly and trust him implicitly and will do whatever he says.

Grandmas house is easy to see from ours, even though it’s a bazillion miles away,  up a winding laneway at the top of a hill.   I love to go to grandmas and I’m thrilled to be big enough at last to walk there with my brother.  I like to keep my eyes on our destination as it gets closer and closer with every step.  I like how the dry gravel dust puffs up and coats my shoes.  Ron likes to stop and dawdle and kick things, and jump down into the ditch for an amazing stick or a funny rock.   I am on the look-out for big bad wolves.   If I tell him this he’ll just laugh at me, so I don’t.  I imagine the house of Red Riding Hoods grandma looking just like this.   It is made of stones and has big white pillars holding up the roof over the  porch where one corner points in and another juts out.  No one else outside of a story book has a veranda of such magnificence.

There are big white outdoor rocking chairs waiting to be climbed on, and the wonderful smell of flowers cascading from buckets and beds all around.  The last leg of the laneway is very steep  and the basket is ten times heavier than when we started out.  I am dusty and thirsty and hot.

Grandma always whoops and fluffs up her apron and acts completely surprised to see us when we land on her doorstep.  She says funny things like ‘land sakes’ and ‘mercy’ and is always calling out for Will.  That’s grandpa.  He never answers, but eventually he will show up from the barn or the field or the woodshed quietly going about his business.  Grandma is never quiet.  She’s the very opposite of that.  It’s always crazy and noisy wherever she is, with banging pots and clomping feet and non-stop out-loud thinking.  Years later when I learn about ‘inside voices’ I realize that grandma never had one.

She takes the apples and plops herself into a chair.  Fetch another sharp paring knife Will!  Don’t you children touch these knives!  Oh, the apples are grand! Apple Brown Betty for supper, there’s nothing better.   Will, fetch some kindling for the cookstove!   And the stove is where that stick you brought into my house is headed,  she tells my brother.  No sticks in  my kitchen, and empty those rocks out of your pockets young man, they belong outside on the road!  Here’s the dipper.  Go out to the pump and get yourselves a drink of water!  Run along now!  Shoo!

Ron and I escape back out into the sunshine, drink as much cold sweet water as we have the energy to pump,  and then go looking for garter snakes in the long grass.  Grandma thinks little people should be seen and not heard, but she talks so much that we never really have to say much to her, so that’s one rule that’s pretty easy to keep.

When night comes and I curl up in my little bed with my tummy full of sweet Apple Brown Betty, sleep comes easy.  The long walk on short legs, all the sunshine and fresh air, plus a head full of grandmas random exclamations have done me in.  I want to go again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that!  I want it to be summer forever.  I want to always have dust on my shoes.

Like a Stone

William Powell Frith - Sleep
William Powell Frith – Sleep

March 23rd Daily Prompt:  Mr. Sandman 

What kind of sleeper are you? Do you drop off like a stone and awaken refreshed, or do you need pitch black and silence to drift off to dream?

(I know this is yesterdays prompt, and I would have done it yesterday if I hadn’t needed to take so many naps.  It’s the only sane way to spend a Monday.)

I am a marathon sleeper.  If sleeping were an Olympic event I would be a high ranking favourite, a definite contender for the gold.  I have been in training my entire life.  When I was a baby my mother said her envious friends were sure she must be sedating me.  She could plop me down on any flat surface while she visited and drank tea and I would stay happily passed out until it was time to bundle me up again and take me home.  It was anyone’s guess what color my eyes were for several months because they were so rarely open.

I don’t remember ever being freaked out by bedtime as a child.  Or as an adult either.  So when I gave birth to a daughter who couldn’t seem to figure out how to sleep for more than four hours at a stretch until she was six months old, and then bumped it up to six hours between midnight and six a.m. until she was almost two – well that was enough to make me totally rethink the parenting thing, never mind my new zombie-like personality caused by sleep deprivation.  She was the kind of kid who would jump up and down in the middle of the room and sing and dance to stay awake.  After that I had a less confusing child who restored my faith in the existence of our family’s powerful sleep gene.  I never loved my son so much as when he would look at me with his forlorn little face at the end of the day and say “Is it time to go to bed yet?”

Although pitch black silence is nice for inducing sleep, for me it’s not a necessary requirement.  My grandma could fall asleep anywhere and so can I.  A loud noise or the phone ringing or incessant and annoying snoring (not mentioning any names here) will wake me up easily enough, but if I’m not sufficiently rested I will be ridiculously cranky until you shut up and go away and leave me alone.  Or give me coffee.  That also works.

Maybe I was a raving insomniac in a past life and in this one I’m making up for all that lost sleep. Sleep is such a lovely thing.  I don’t understand why we all don’t do more of it.  Although I’ve heard there are people who would like to do that and can’t.  That makes me feel like one of the lucky ones.   It’s like my brain has an off switch triggered by simply closing my eyes.  Is that a blessing or a curse?  I don’t know.  Maybe the mysteries of the universe can only be solved at 3 a.m., in which case I probably won’t be the one doing that.

But I’m sure this talent for dropping happily off into dreamland and staying there for hours has to be a true indicator of an untroubled mind, right?

Anyway, don’t think too hard about that.  Just agree with me.  You’ll sleep better.