Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Granny!

When I was a little girl, I would sometimes go and spend time with my Granny and Gramps who lived "in the country." "In the country" is Rosebud, Missouri, an idyllic little town where everyone knows everyone (and their business, good and bad), and most folks live on gravel roads and drive pick-up trucks. Gramps was a pretty typical gramps, and we kids loved him and I'm sure aggravated him while he puttered around in his workshop and fed the catfish in his two lakes.

My Gran, though, she is someone very special.

My Gran does all the typical grandma-type things like make awesome cookies and other baked goods, dishing up solid, hearty meals and always ready with a cold beer and a delicious snack (much to the detriment of many of our waistlines). She doles out hugs a lot, and always has a twinkle in her eye. She has the greenest thumb of anyone I've ever known, including those "famous" gardners on TV. My Gran could put them to shame, and can grow just about anything out of nothing at all.

But my Gran also wears Levi jeans and Keds, and is more active than me most days. In short, my Gran rocks.

One of my fondest memories from my childhood is spending a week or two (or three!) every summer with Granny in the country. She had an awesome little cabin that had all the modern amenities except a really good antenna to pick up KMOX. None the less, she listened to the Mighty 'Mox every morning, and whenever I hear a static-y AM station I smile and think about Gran and remember crawling out of a warm bed in the mornings and huddling by her wood-burning stove while she made me a yummy breakfast.

Gran always kept a little glass jar of lemon drops in her kitchen, usually by the stove. I think the combination of being near the heat and having only the two of us to eat them (my cousin Jen ate Reese's and my sister, later, ate yet another kind of candy) led to their usually being mushy on the outside and hard in the middle. That's still the way I prefer my lemon drops, but I can't quite recreate whatever it was she did to make them that way.

When I graduated from college, Gran gave me a little glass jar of my own with several bags of lemon drops. She told me to keep them on my desk at work and it would help me to "make friends." That was 10 years ago, and I still have the same glass jar on my desk, although the desk has changed and the jar has been refilled countless times (always, always with lemon drops). She was right: lemon drops do help you make friends! Unfortunately for my co-workers over the last 10 years, I've created a few lemon drop-addicts along the way.

Once, when I was young and visiting Gran and my cousin Jen was along, it snowed and everything froze and we got bored with our usual antics (which included hiding in Gran's clothes dryer, and on top of her storage fridge, and putting Milk Duds in her laundry detergent or stealing the onion she was going to use for dinner and riding it around on our fire engine...come to think of it, it's a wonder she ever let me visit again after that stuff...) and went outside to play. Gran sternly told us we were not to go near the lakes.

You can guess what we did. I'm not sure if we were stupid or just young (probably a little of both), but we both reckoned that the lake was frozen solid enough to hold both of us for a little impromptu skating session. I'm not sure how long we were out there, and no harm was done, but we smugly returned to Gran's cabin secure in the knowledge that we would never be caught. Later that afternoon Gran checked the lake and found all our tracks in the snow on the ice. See statement above about being young and stupid. Ooooo, we got in loads of trouble over that one and never did it again, and yet I honestly have no horrible memories of her disciplining us. She's just that good.

Lots of things have changed since then. She and Gramps sold the cabin and moved into town, then sold that house and moved up here to the Lou. Gramps passed away (he was the second husband she had to bury), and Uncle Kenny, too. Gran moved in with her youngest daughter and became GG, which is short for Great Granny.

However, Gran has remained true to herself (she taught my mother, who taught me: "To thine own self be true") and to her family, and is still a weensy little firecracker. You don't want to mess with my Gran...she's small but mighty. Her nickname years ago was Powerful Katrinka, and I can see why. She's always been one heck of a caregiver, and gives so much of her heart to her family that it amazes me to see her give even more when a new member like Zozo arrives.

I am so blessed to have Gran be my Gran, and now to be Zozo's GG. She serves as an inspiration to me daily, and has enriched my life more than she will ever realize. I get from her my love of laughter, my adoration for a good book, and my fondness for stories about the past. She taught me, probably without even trying, that history is important. Now, if I could only get that green thumb...

Happy Birthday little Gran! We love you!


Blogger Jen-Nay said...

I miss the lemon drops!!

6:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home