My grandma was one of my favorite people as a child.
I miss spending time with my grandma. She is currently in hospice care in Ohio and I live in Vermont. Due to coronavirus concerns, I have decided not to put my family at risk, so I can’t go visit. However, I can focus on my fond memories of my grandmother and remember all the good times I had with her while growing up.
I liked days when my teacher mother had in-service days. That meant I got to spend the entire day with my grandma.
The day always started off with a breakfast of eggs and toast served in the recliner in front of the television. I ate while watching Nickelodeon shows, such as Double Dare and Legends of the Hidden Temple. After breakfast and television time came playtime. My favorite activity was using the entire coffee table to build domino tracks. Paper dolls were my second favorite activity. My grandma kept a shelf of toys specifically for the times when her grandchildren came over to play.
Lunch at my grandma’s house typically involved a frozen pizza. They were special because my grandma bought a different brand than my mother. Hi-C was the drink of choice. If I was lucky, the afternoon brought a trip to the nearby shopping mall. My grandmother never learned how to drive, so this trek involved crossing a busy road by foot and then cutting through a residential neighborhood. It was so much more exciting than simply driving to the mall. I remember one day when my grandma bought me markers at the mall and I felt like I was the luckiest kid alive!
Thanksgiving was always held at my grandparents’ house.
Everyone ate on a long series of card tables set up in the living room. We chatted and watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while trying to keep my grandfather’s obnoxious Dalmatian, Pepper, from stealing any of the food. The food was the same every year, and I always looked forward to our family traditions. I knew my grandma would make two different stuffings because no one agreed which version was the best. When Santa appeared on television at the end of the parade, that was our cue to start eating.
Christmas was also celebrated at my grandparents’ home.
There was always plenty to eat. I particularly enjoyed the orange cookies that my grandma baked. Now I bake a batch myself every December. Frosted sugar cookies were also a favorite treat. I enjoyed the predictability of seeing the same decorations every year. The only thing that changed was which Christmas present the dog chose to chew up. I always hoped it would belong to someone else!
I admired my grandma for remaining calm in the face of calamity.
I’m fairly certain that she is the only member of my family who has never raised her voice in my presence. If a problem came up, my grandma would quickly find the best solution and then just get on with it. I swear that nothing fazed her. She was not the sort of woman to run screaming from bugs or rodents. I always felt like she was the glue that held the family together.
I remember my grandma being there for me.
I knew that she would be in the audience of every one of my dance recitals. When we needed someone to beat us at miniature golf or bowling, my grandma stepped right up. I felt so special when I got to ride in the truck with my grandparents and go to dinner, just them and me. I got to enjoy exotic treats, such as French vanilla ice cream. I envisioned myself as a sophisticated grownup on these trips.
As a child, I thought that being a grandma was the best job in the world.
I liked that my grandma could leave a jigsaw puzzle set up on a card table in front of the picture window whenever she wanted. She had time to cook whatever food she wanted. She got to spend lots of time with us grandchildren, but got to send us back home at the end of the day. She could watch The Price is Right instead of being stuck at school. I looked forward to becoming a grandmother someday.