Thursday, July 29, 2010

Memories of Grandma

We're on our way to Fowler for Grandma's memorial service on Saturday.  We decided to not wear ourselves and our dog out by making the trip in one day, so we drove halfway this evening, checked into a motel, and will finish the trek tomorrow morning.

My mom asked me if I'd like to read Grandma's obituary during the service.  I'm assuming it will be less of an obituary and more of a review of the timeline of her life (birth, marriage, kids, jobs, etc.).  I gladly accepted the offer.

I'm not sure it will have much room for anecdotes and odd memories, so I figured I'd list some of them that have been floating through my mind the past couple of days.

  • Grandma was (and probably will always be) the best cook I've ever known.  I was spoiled as a child by being able to eat her home cooking every Sunday.  After church the family would head to her house for a wonderful meal.  Some of my favorites include chicken and noodles (the noodles were handmade), meatloaf, braised ribs, and fried chicken (especially the drum sticks.  Major battles were had over who got the last one).  And her homemade blueberry pie will never be topped.  Also, a couple times a month she'd make me a bowl of "California Blend" which was steamed carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli (I'd later learn it was simply a frozen bag of the veggies from the Schwan's van that she'd microwaved, but to this day I've never been able to replicate how great her's always tasted.)  She always had a bottle of vinegar that I'd use to cover the veggies.  Odd, but I loved it.
  •  Grandma always had the best hand canned fruits and veggies.  Green beans never tasted as good as those that she canned.  I think it was the pieces of bacon that she put in them.  Yeah, it was definitely the bacon.  The woman was a genius with a mason jar and a pressure cooker.
  • I will always remember how her voice sounded when she'd answer the phone.
  • My first job was mowing her lawn.  She'd pay me $5 and give me a soda when I was finished.  I spent an entire summer mowing her lawn and used the money to buy my first stereo system.
  • I loved running through the clothes that she'd have hanging on her clothes line, especially her sheets.  They had such a distinct smell.
  • Grandma was always so tall.  I don't remember when I out grew her, but I know even then that I still looked up to her.
  • I remember as a youngster, the only place I was allowed to eat a bowl of dry Fruit Loops while watching TV was at Grandma's house.  I also remember watching Nick at Night at their house.  I would sit on their bed for what felt like ages watching Get Smart (for the longest time Grandma and Grandpa were the only people I knew who had a television in their bedroom).
  • I remember once Mom, Grandma, and I were playing Scrabble at our house.  It was Grandma's turn and she turned beet-red.  Finally she apologized numerous times because "sex" was the only word she could play.  It was hilarious.
  • One Christmas, my mom, my sisters, my wife, and Grandma all put temporary tattoos on their arms.  Grandma's skinny arm looked so funny with a heart tattoo on it, but she was so proud of it.
  • Grandma was always so embarrassed whenever we'd give her gifts for Christmas or her birthday.  Even the simplest gifts like a book or a sweater would make her get choked up and teary-eyed.  She was such a sweet woman.  
Those are the ones that stand out, and I know there are countless others that will come to mind, especially when the family gets together to reminisce this weekend.


  1. Thanks for sharing these. I might make use of some of them on Saturday.

  2. One of my most vivid memories of my own Meme was sliding back and forth in her bath tub. It had waves molded into the bottom of it. And the smell of Dove bar soap can take me back to that bath tub in the blink of an eye. The memories of your G-mas house will bring you joy all your life.I'm so glad to read these. Mom