She made sweet tea as thick as syrup. Biscuits like no other I’ve ever had. There was always an egg custard pie in the fridge. The fridge outside was always full of ice-cold bottled sodas from the coke man. She hugged the life out of you. Literally. She would hug me so hard I couldn’t breathe during those 60 seconds. She talked a lot. She was a bit of a hoarder. She loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to pieces. She was always so glad to see you and sad when you left.
It has been just over a year since my Grandmother passed away. She was 91. By far she was the most influential grandparent I’ve had. We lived way out in the country and they lived a short distance from us. My dad was a farmer so more often than not I would be at NaNa’s and Granpop’s piddling and playing. She let me get into every nook and cranny in that house. All the drawers, all the closets. I played with games that were my dad’s when he was little. Old horseshoes, pick-up sticks. I watched her cook and bake. She let me help make the meringue topping for the lemon meringue pie, make my own cookie recipe, taught me how to make her infamous strawberry shortcake. The talents of this woman were passed down to all her children. A lot of creativity thrives on this side of the family.
NaNa was a strong, stubborn, fussy and mean at times, but all together a sweet, loving woman. She was super crafty as were a lot of women in her day. Very talented. She crocheted, sewed, quilted, decorated cakes, and worked in the yard. This woman was ALWAYS in the yard. Not gardening vegetables, mind you. Flower and plants. Weeding and Pruning. Landscaping and un-landscaping. Planting and digging up. Whenever we came to visit she was in the yard in longs pants, a long sleeve button up shirt, gloves, tattered slip-on shoes and a worn straw hat. She always showed me her flowers and what she had done in the yard lately. Then shooed me in out of the heat to get a drink for myself.
She WAS the only grandparent that would get on the floor and play with my kids. Always, even at 90. She always wanted me to leave the babies with her. It surprises me she only had 4 children she loved babies so much. I miss this woman terribly. Toward the end most of the time she didn’t know who I was. This was very, very difficult. I think of her daily. And I hope my children will always remember her. I have so many memories of her to share with them.