Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Fooling...

I was going to try to think up some goofy little bit to post today in honor of April Fool's, but I've decided to take it in a completely different direction.
My paternal grandmother, Leah, would have been 90 years old today. Sadly, she passed away just before my birthday in 2008. But don't fret - this is not meant to be a tear-jerker, it's meant to honor her and all of the things she imparted to me in the 25 years she was in my life.
The first of these things that she contibuted - my name. Her middle name was Rachel, and this was one influential factor in choosing such a swell name for me.
Secondly, and this is good or bad, depending upon how you look at it, I'll credit her, in part, with my caffeine addiction. When I was little, she called me her "Coca-Cola Kid". She drank soda constantly. Forever. And she started me on this path at a young age, allegedly giving me Coke in my bottle, though I obviously don't remember this. Her drink of choice was Coca-Cola until I introduced her to Dr. Pepper when I was 11 or 12. She was hooked after that! And say what you will about soda/caffeine, she lived a long and (almost all) healthy 87+ years!!!
Next on the list - my craftiness (and by this, I mean my propensity for handicrafts). She used to quilt by hand with her sister and friends on a large frame hanging in her screen room. I started pitching in no later than age three. Who knows how many quilts are floating around that have little patches obviously done by a toddler! But she was nothing but supportive and encouraging in the process. And she taught me how to make little Barbie clothes around the same time. I wish I still had some of those fashionable little items!
The next one took quite a long time to develop - my green thumb! She worked in her several (large) gardens every day, weather permitting. And I mean, EVERY day. I hated it when I was little because I couldn't stand being out in the heat that long. She was in her 60's and 70's and she could run laps around me through the garden! All the while growing enough food to feed the family and a ton of other people who couldn't provide for themselves. And what she couldn't eat or give away, she canned, so no one was every without tasty fruits and veggies. About the only thing that I was good at during this time was string peas and helping her dry out seeds. I had a tendency to kill anything I tried to grow until I got a hearty bonzai in college. The last time I talked to her when she was at all close to 100%, I told her she had inspired me to start gardening. And I've done just that. There are half a dozen cherry tomatoes on my plant right now that survived a dozen freezes this winter. I have to contribute that to her handing down some good genes and sneaking in some gardening knowledge despite my protests!
There are all kinds of other, intagible things that I feel like I got from her - my desire to help others, my sense of humor - but I don't want to get too sappy. I'll just say that I miss her and I am lucky to have had the best gradmother of all time.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

That is so cool. I love both my grandmothers. One is still living. The other, my Grandma Jean Madsen, also contributed to my caffeine addiction. I lived with her for about a year when I was 14 and we would drink coffee together all day.

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