I was visiting with my sister this evening and she said she liked my piece about Grandma. She told me she had written something similar years ago. I read hers and really liked it so I asked her permission to post a copy here. Enjoy:
Grandmothers are very special people. No one else can combine the love of a mother, the knowledge of years of experience, the closeness of a friend and at the same time crack the whip and get wanted results like a grandmother.
The responsibilities of a grandmother are many, The head of several generations, all going in different directions. The chief cook of those memorable holiday fares. Reinforcing parents' rules with one hand and with the other slipping their grandchildren a cookie.
My grandmother fits this description completely. We were fortunate enough to live close to her as we were growing up. We always knew Grandma loved us. She told us often. Not being confined to the role of mother, Grandma could let down and be a friend.
Saturdays were made even more special when we were allowed to spend the night with Grandma. We sat up late, Grandma right there with us, just as involved in the late show as we were. There were walks in the hills on more than one occasion. Grandma was there, walking stick in hand, leading the way, opening our eyes to things we would have missed altogether if she wasn't with us.
I remember the dresses she made me during the time when my figure wasn't quite what it should have been. They were camouflage for my imperfections. Now I can look at the quilt she made and discover pieces of those dresses and the memory of quilting day when we all gathered on Grandma's patio, stationed around the quilting frames. Grandma, Mother and the Aunts would stitch and cut the threads. We kids followed along tying the knots.
My first bra was quite a big deal. Grandma saw to that. After living through her reaction I managed to see my first day back to school with little or no inhibitions about the possibility of someone noticing.
The knowledge one uneducated person can accumulate is astounding. I shouldn't say uneducated, Grandma was self-taught. She read constantly and shared her knowledge with us all. I guess that's where I and many of us got our addiction to books. When Grandma read a book the rest of the world did not exist. What else was there for us to do but grab a book and join her.
Learning from Grandma wasn't too bad an experience. Even if her constant motto was "If you're going to learn to do it, you may as well learn to do it right." And we did. She was the one who showed me the technique I still use when ironing.