My other Grandma, as I remember her, was very independent. For a very long time, she didn’t “have a man”. She eventually did marry again, but I don’t remember how old I was or how old SHE was for that matter. To me she was always old, even though she probably wasn’t. Wrinkles tend to make that impression on a youngster.
She had the biggest, most comfortable feather bed and that was where I got to sleep when I would spend the night. Sometimes Grandma would sleep with me. I was always glad that she was able to fit that big old featherbed in what I remember as a tiny room.
And she raised chickens and we had home grown brown eggs for breakfast. Teflon pans hadn’t been invented yet so our eggs were fried in REAL butter in a cast iron or steel pan. I don’t think that Grandma ever flipped the eggs over in the pan but they were cooked properly. Oh, they were so good. Maybe that is why yet today I think brown eggs are the best, but they don’t taste like Grandma’s eggs (might have something to do with using Teflon and butter flavored Pam). Of course, the toast had real butter on it too.
Grandma butchered her chickens herself. I don’t remember much beyond the point of when she cut the heads off and they would run around for a bit. I’m sure I made myself scarce after that part.
In the front yard was a plum tree and I had a tree swing on one of the sturdier branches. I remember swinging in that swing and sometimes Grandma would make a little picnic and we’d spread a blanket on the ground under the tree. The picnic usually consisted of butter and sugar sandwiches and I’m thinking homemade lemonade but I can’t be certain.
Grandma would sip her coffee off and on during the day. And by sipping, that IS what I mean. She had a bright yellow cup and saucer (and it could be that her dish set was that color but I can’t remember) that sat on a shelf above the stove and she would sip that one cup of coffee off and on. She also occasionally had a little sip of Mogan David wine. Is that wine still made?
When the newspaper arrived in the mail, after Grandma had a chance to read what she wanted to read, she would let me sit in her lap and she would read me the funnies (AKA comic strip). The ones I remember her reading to me were Blondie, Alley Oop and Lil Abner.
When it was going to be a “scorcher”, Grandma would “draw the blinds” in every window of the house. She had these dark, green blinds but maybe that is the only color they came in at that time. But regardless, it did the trick. Then her next trick was trying to con me into taking a nap with her. Poor Grandma. She spent more time trying to talk me into going to sleep than she did sleeping.
We had a lot of Amish in the neighborhood and Grandma would give them rides to the store or maybe they just needed to get to someone’s home. I remember a story about my Grandma and her giving an Amish man a ride….see, Grandma smoked at times. As she was driving down the road, with the Amish man in her front seat, she decided to have a smoke. Being the polite kind, she asked him if he would like a cigarette. He replied “Dear woman, if the good Lord had intended me to smoke, he’d have put a smoke stack on my head.” Not missing a beat, Grandma stopped the car and said “And if he’d intended for you to ride, he’d have put wheels on your heels” and told him to get out.
I always thought of my Grandma as being very prim and proper. And I’m not saying she was NOT prim and proper but she said and did things sometimes that would surprise me. And the biggest verbal surprise came when I was about to get married. Grandma asked me what we were going to use to prevent a pregnancy…THAT in itself surprised me. I told her that I was on the pill. She said “You should use salt peter….you take the salt and leave the peter out!” I CAN’T REMEMBER IF I SAID ANYTHING OR JUST LET MY JAW DROP, but I do remember she said “You should see the look on your face!”. I do remember that we had a chuckle about it…after I recovered from the shock of it all!
Yep, that Grandma could be a corker!
- Cathy Clementz
- A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!