As I was focusing on all of the blessings God has given me and how faithful he has been throughout my life, an image of my grandmother came into my mind and wouldn’t go away. I’m taking that as a sign that she’s supposed to be the focus of my writing today.
Ruby Kelly was my maternal grandmother who I spent a lot of time with during my younger years. I loved going to her house! It was always an adventure. She had this child sized set of blue willow china that we would use when we had tea parties, complete with bite-sized hors d’oeuvres. Such fun for my sister, Lisa, and I! I can’t recall if my brother, Brian, ever was part of these tea parties or not.
Grandmother was an avid crossword puzzle junkie and she loved to play games. Scrabble was one of her favorites, but with all the crossword puzzles she worked, it was tough to beat her! We did play some card games, too. Spite and malice, an older version of Skipbo, kings on the corners, uechre, and canasta were the ones we usually played. She didn’t like to lose, although as I recall, this became the case as we grew older. When we were kids, it was okay for us to win. Maybe this is where we all got that competitive edge that was essential to the sports we all competed in!
She was a great cook. Many of our Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners including the extended family were spent at her house. She always had a roll of homemade oatmeal cookie dough in her refrigerator for when the grand kids came over so we could have them straight out of the oven. Yum!!!
Her gardening skills were beyond mine, for sure. She had beautiful rose bushes and her house had flowers and potted plants in many of the rooms. She could turn a piece of a plant into a full grown plant. She just had that touch. I think she passed that gift on to my cousin, Thomas. He can do amazing things to save the plants that seem near death.
Grandmother also had a love of birds. She could tell you the names of many of the birds in our area and recognized the calls of many of them.
Crocheting was another gift she possessed. I remember her telling me about the slippers that she made all of the time. When my mom and her siblings were young, she decided she wanted to make slippers that were shaped like moccasins. They needed to be the right sized for one of her children, so as she got the bottom done, she took one of their feet from under the covers and measured it against their foot. She made these slippers for everyone in the county that she knew. Whenever someone was in the hospital, she’d take them a pair as a gift and always had extras for their roommate. She got orders for these slippers all the time and if she charged for them, it was a minimal amount to cover the cost of yarn.
These are all things that made her unique, like no one else I’ve ever known. And these are the things I choose to remember, not who she was after Alzheimer’s claimed her life. So many happy times spent in that big old farmhouse she lived in. Good times! If you knew her, share your favorite memory in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!