All these anticipatory thoughts of becoming a grandmother for the first time have, not at all surprisingly, led me down the nostalgic path straight to my own grandmothers whom I loved dearly. I loved spending time with my grandparents and learned so much from them. Unconditional love being first and foremost.
I developed a love of reading from my dad's mother. She was the town librarian in our small town and I bet I read every single book in the children's section when I was coming along. I also developed a love for the color red from her. And a love of cardinals especially the vibrancy of their bold color against a backdrop of white snow. She also taught me to not compare my children with one another which I have never done and it is from her that I learned to appreciate the time spent with friends and family during game nights.
While I loved my dad's mother, I was closest with my mother's mother. Grandmother and I spent many weekends together and time during the summer as well. I most remember our time spent in the kitchen where Grandmother proved what an artist she was. And, while I might not be near the artist she was in the kitchen, I did receive understanding from her of the importance of the kitchen. A place for sharing words of wisdom. A place for singing. A place for telling secrets. A place for spending invaluable time with those we love.
I learned that:
- the bird whose singing sounds like it's saying, "Pretty girl, pretty girl," was singing to me.
- you follow the grain of the wood when dusting the furniture
- flowers are beautiful and meant to be appreciated outside instead of cut and killed to be brought inside
- you can serve pimento cheese sandwiches with a silver tea service as long as you cut the bread into pretty shapes, without the crust
- the best places to shop are the little out of the way shops in small town America
- decorating the Christmas tree is the most fun thing EVER
- holidays are the best times of the year
- gardening is therapeutic
- there is always time to clean the house AFTER spending time with those you love
- you do for family
- peeling an apple without breaking the peel is so dang cool
- cooking from scratch is the only way and a recipe is nothing without your own special touches
- you have to do a wiggle dance to don a girdle
- 'putting up' food is a lot of hard work but well worth the effort
- bible verses hold truths
- humming old hymns in the kitchen is comforting
- nobody loves you like your grandmother does
Or maybe, having these amazing women as grandmothers prepared me for this wonderful relationship more than I know. Actually, I'll be happy if I get anywhere close to their grandmothering abilities.
What did you learn from your grandmother?