Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Jewel of a Grandmother

"The history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children's children. It is into us that the lives of grandparents have gone. It is in us that their history becomes a future." ~Charles and Ann Morse
One more week to enter my Scent of Lilacs Celebration Giveaway, so if you haven't entered yet, you still have time. Just send me an e-mail form my website or leave a comment here with a way to contact you should you be one of the winners. And tell me about your grandmothers if you want. 
I have had such a great time reading about the grandmothers who have blessed your lives and about the blessing you hope to be to your own grandchildren. I hope you're not tired of grandmother stories, because I have a wonderful story to share tonight. In Scent of Lilacs, there's an older character named Aunt Love who is anything but a loving grandmother figure. She's crochety and beginning to lose her memory. She drives Jocie crazy, but there are things Jocie doesn't know about Aunt Love.
That can be so very true about all our grandparents and great aunts and uncles. We don't know their whole stories. I'm not sure we can ever know anybody's whole story no matter how many of those stories they've shared with us. That's true with the story BH shares about her grandmother who experienced some hard times through no fault of her own, but her family loved her and helped her through her troubles. It wasn't until much later that BH knew more about her grandmother's story, but she always cherished the one visit she had with her when she was a child. A visit that it turned out her grandmother cherished just as much. Here's her story.
Never really having grandparents in my life, as my maternal grandparents had passed on in my early age leaving me, an only child, with only my paternal grandmother who lived in another state. My father was her only child.
A very reserved and quiet lady who never really talked much, she lived in the family home which was 150 yrs. old with my aunt and uncle who lovingly watched over her. She loved collecting costume jewelry and would sometimes take the necklaces and bracelets she received apart and restring them into new and unique pieces.
One Christmas my parents decided to take the long trip to Iowa and visit everyone. There were no young cousins or children around so I spent a lot of time with my dolly sitting on the couch with my grandmother watching her restring all her beautiful baubles. She amazed me with her smooth graceful hands and fingers and the way she made each one look so beautiful, never saying a word, just smiling with seeing what she had just created.

After a couple days of sitting and watching her, she asked me if I would like to make something. Of course I was thrilled but scared I might break her precious jewels. She slowly guided me on how to hold the needle without sticking myself and how to slide each gem and pearl into its rightful place.

That first necklace was full of many colors and I felt so proud of how beautiful it had turned out. In making it, I would look up at her and she would smile, never saying a word, but I knew she was pleased and that made me very proud of my new learned craft. The second necklace I made she told me I could have and take home. The first necklace I liked the best but she said she wanted to keep it. I wasn’t sure why and didn’t question her reason, just feeling happy that I could wear one and take it home with me.

Our stay was short and we never visited again until I was grown & married with our daughters. My girls loved our visits each summer back to Iowa and watching our Grammy restring her jewels.

When she passed on, my aunt gave me her old cedar jewelry box full of many pieces of jewelry. I noticed a couple pieces we had sent her for her birthday and Christmas that she had never taken apart to restring. Plus, there was that first little necklace I had made that Christmas. When I mentioned that to my aunt, she said the ones we'd given her were her very favorite pieces that she wore to church each Sunday. That really touched my heart to think she cherished those the most and had also kept that little necklace I had made while sitting next to her on the couch that Christmas.

To this day I can still see my Grammy sitting on that couch, restringing her beautiful treasures with that smile on her face and feeling grateful she and I had that short time to get to know one another and share her beloved hobby.

Thank you for letting me share a very fond and loving memory of my grandmother~

And thank all of you for sharing your grandmother stories with me. I couldn't share them all forward, but I hope you've enjoyed the ones I have shared. If your grandparents are still living and able to share their stories, I hope you will take time to enjoy the treasure of their memories.


  1. My grandmother fed her family from her garden and always had a sweet smile to greet me. She helped me succeed at sewing and I adored spending Saturdays with her when I was in elementary school. She remains an inspiration to me to always see the sunny side of life.
    Diane Kerchner

    1. Thanks for sharing about your grandmother who has shared her sunny attitude with you. Grandmothers are such fun and teach us to much.

  2. My Grandmother loved to feed people,if you went there you had to eat or it would hurt her feelings. She once told me why she always kept food available for when people dropped by: She told me when she was first married (sometime around 1927) one day her and Pa saw company coming in wagons, they could see them coming from a distance. She didn't have anything to feed company(back then company stayed a while, sometimes overnight). She sent Pa over to his dad's place to get meat out of the smokehouse and she managed. She told me that from that day forward she always made sure she had food to offer company. Ma sure could cook !her and Pa were married 73 years, he passed away 7 month and 3 weeks before she did. She lived to be 98.

    1. My husband's grandmother was like that, Lisa. If you didn't eat when you went to visit, then the visit didn't count. She was a sweet lady and I enjoyed her and my husband's grandfather too. She was the first and only person I ever saw flour bacon before she fried it. She was keeping it from curling up. It was different, but I floured it and fried it just the way she said.

      Thank you for sharing about your grandmother. She sounds like she was quite a woman.

  3. Ann, what a lovely story to tell!
    I always counted myself blessed I was raised by my maternal GrandMother yet my paternal GrandMother was often in the picture as well. Both were full of rich stories and meaningful experiences to share, yet with upbringing poles apart!
    My children knew their Great Grandmothers, something again to be treasured.
    I like the saying on top of your post (in the book!).
    Have a blessed Easter week,

    1. Glad you enjoyed this grandmother story too, Noelle. I think what you say about your grandmothers being so different happens in a lot of families, but that can be a blessing to grandkids too. So many different ways to love.

  4. Hi Ann, Happy Easter! Reading this post about the grand-daughter and her grandmother's love of costume jewelry brought to mind my grandmother always having to have 'ear-bobs' on (what she called earrings). To this day I will say to my husband...'oops I forgot my ear-bobs'! I can't believe that has stuck with me all these years as my grandmother has been in Heaven for many years. I also remember my maternal grandmother always saying on Christmas Eve "Merry Christmas Eve gift"! My mom and I remember that each year but have no idea what Granny meant by it! Thanks, Ann, for encouraging us to remember things about our Grandmothers. I keep them close to my heart! Have a blessed day! Linda

    1. I've heard earrings called ear-bobs too, Linda. I've also heard people say "Christmas gift." I always assumed it was a way of wishing you the best at Christmas. It's been fun hearing the different things grandmothers say. Maybe that's what I'll write about on here tonight. And I'll be wondering what my own grandkids will be laughing about me saying someday.

      Always fun to hear from you.


Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.