My grandmother always taught me, "If you don't have a home, family, and church, you don't have anything." ~Jennifer Hudson
See the beautiful grandmothers here. At my book event today, I asked the grandmothers to raise their hands and almost everybody there did. Well, there were a couple of guys in the back who didn't. But I love grandmothers. Often when I'm at a book fair or festival, young people will stop at my table and buy my books for their grandmothers. While I happen to think my books are good reading for anybody, I'm fine with grandmothers reading them. And I was fine with having so many wonderful grandmothers come to my book event today. Thanks to all of you and to the rest of you who wanted to come, but too many miles or other circumstances kept you away. Maybe I'll have another book party in the summer when Small Town Girl is released.
Now on to a couple of grandmother stories. The first one is from Diana.
Grandmothers are very special. I only had one growing up. I remember her walking over 20 miles one way to work to support her family. The laundry was done by a wringer washer and I would get to help hang the clothes up on the line. She smelled of peppermint and in the spring her home smelled of fresh lilacs which is also my most favorite thing. When I smell those things I think of her. I have a picture of her, probably one of the last ones taken of her, sitting and reading her bible. O, it is so precious to me. Loved my grandma B so much.
Another thing I can remember is as we were growing up she would teach us our ABC's. Only her version was we had to learn them backwards. I must say I never got it. She went to be with the Lord in 1998. But the day she died I had visited her. I think it was the holy spirit that told be to visit her that day. For it was our last time together. Now grandma hadn't really talked at all much in the last couple years of her life. But this day while I was visiting, she said Diana, have you learned you ABC's yet? I said sorry I had not. She said ok let's do this one more time. I said ok. So she starts to say them and she said them the right way not backwards. My grandma had alzheimer's for a lot of years. So I know God was there for her to have one good day with us. My grandma B went to be with the Lord that night. I miss her. But I'm always reminded of her in the smell of lilacs and her peppermint candy.
Thanks, Diana, for sharing about your Grandma B. I love that you had that last time to get the "ABC's" right, even if your grandmother had to change the way to do that. It's interesting how smells can lure us into the past and take us back to times with our grandparents or loved ones.
Sue has a different kind of grandmother's story, but one I think will make you smile. She said her grandmother had a little trouble with left and right. I was one of those slow learners about left and right too. Who had time to think about all that when there were Jacks games to play? I was really good at Jacks. I did finally start getting the left and right bit straight in the 3rd grade when I got a ring to wear on my left hand. Sue says her grandmother was even a bit slower on the direction finding than me. Here's Sue's story.
When I was a kid, my official job was navigator when we took long trips. I would give my grandmother ample warning when we were going to change directions, because she could never remember which hand was left or right, and she told me not to point, that she had it under control. (HAH) So on one trip, after turning the wrong way and looking for somewhere to turn around I got pretty upset and said, LOOK, I'm gonna straighten you out once and for all. Your RIGHT hand is the one you WRITE with and your LEFT hand is the one LEFT over, GOT IT? She said she would be able to remember that and off we went. After another half hour or so, we had to make a turn. I told her way ahead where to turn, so she could think about it awhile. I had told her to go left and sure enough, we went (you guessed it) right. When we stopped to turn around, I got out of the car and said I was just going to walk, I would get there faster. After that, she let me point the way without complaint.
My grandmother lived on the next farm so it was our custom to run across the field multiple times a day to visit. Nany taught us to make cookies, told us stories, and watched tv with us. She died at the age of 93 in 1990. I think that I will miss her for the rest of my life.
And her grandmother will always be alive in her memory. Thanks to all of you who have been sharing your memories. If you haven't entered, there's plenty of time. The deadline for entering in April 1, and we'd love to hear your grandmother stories too, with your permission, of course.