Tag Archive | grandmother

Come Grow Old With Me (If You Dare)

I no longer bound out of bed these days. I pray my way out of bed these days. I slowly sit up and throw my legs over the side of the bed. I sit there for a few moments to meditate on whether I should even try to get up. I must daily choose not be defeated by any geriatric state of mind so I slowly rise to stand even as cranky joints grudgingly respond to the call of the brain, “Get up, get up, GET UP!!! Slowly, inch by inch, I will myself up to my full height, whatever that looks like these days because as we age, we shrink, I think. I wobble into the bathroom for my thousandth visit since I lay down to sleep the evening before (I blame the blood pressure meds). I stare in the mirror and note the bedhead state of my hair. I can see clearly now since cataract surgery and I stare into a face that will greet me every morning from this day forward. I really did not understand just how diminished my vision was until the day after the surgery on the first eye and my face came into all its glorious focus. It took me more than a minute to recover. All I could think was a line the character Aunt Bee had in an Andy Griffith Show episode about aging, “You’re no spring chicken any more!” No spring chicken anymore. Nope, not anymore. My snapback has lost all of its snap and refuses to come back. It just limply lies there waiting for someone, or something, to push it back into place. My hair grows in gray and rallies agains any hair dye that tries to encroach on its territory. Crows peck at the outer corner of my eyes and chin whiskers grow at the speed of light as they defy tweezers. People tell me I don’t look my age, whatever they think my age may be, but my hands will not lie to save face. Birthdays insist on adding up and they refuse to stop showing up every year with another reminder that time marches on. My 18 year old mind is confused about my physical state of affairs and keeps sending out orders with which my obstinate body refuses to comply.

Still, grace continues to somewhat ameliorate the effects of growing older. I am still here, present enough to laugh with daughters, love on grandchildren and celebrate small victories. Ice cream is still a treat (always in moderation as is everything these days) and the hint of Autumn in the air wraps me with warm memories of yesterday. I move forward in the assurance of my faith which reminds me God still cares for me and He will take good care of me. I celebrate today because everyone, young or old, knows for sure (especially these days), that tomorrow is not promised to anyone of any generation.

“Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

~excerpt from “Rabbi Ben Ezra” by Robert Browning

The fact of the matter is that everyone is aging no matter their age. We may not always be able to grow old gracefully every moment of every day but grow old we shall so come grow old with me — it’s all about mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. I’m good with that.

MY HEART, HER HOME

I was going through some old pictures last week when I came across one I had not seen in some time.

Someone decided to bend the top portion, perhaps to put into a wallet, I don’t know.

I thought, “I will have to get it restored because of that crease that runs right through the  face of the person in the photo.”

It is a picture of my grandmother. She died in 1964. It is the only picture I have of her, full body.

I loved my grandmother. I still think of her often. My sister and I lived with my grandparents for three years.

It was the country and the living was neither easy (for them) or fancy.

I loved it, was not even mindful of what they did not have.

I just loved being there, being with them.

Well, more my grandmother more than my grandfather who was rather taciturn and rarely interacted at any length with us kids.

My grandmother was not beautiful. She was not pretty. I’m not sure you would even call her handsome.

I see that now. I did not see that then.

I only saw her, only heard her laughter, enjoyed the food she cooked, especially the steak and gravy with rice or those fat red sausages served for Sunday breakfast after Grandpa’s Saturday trip to the  market.

They lived in the country with very few modern conveniences.

No indoor plumbing, no electricity or gas, chickens on the yard, wood stoves, tin roof, well water.

I do not remember ever being bored.

This picture takes me home.

After all, home is where the heart is.

All these years later, my heart is still her home!

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LOVELY DAY: Another Flight of Fiction

She thought the rain would never end.

Day after day after day of rain, rain, rain.

She even tried her childhood chant,

“Rain, rain, go away; come again some other day.”

It didn’t work.

The rain continued.

Day after day after day of rain, rain, rain.

“Catch some of that rainwater, gal?”

Her grandmother’s voice spoke to her from the past.”

“Nothing like rainwater for a hair softening shampoo. It’s God’s fresh water gift to us and the earth. It’s just downright refreshing!”

God’s fresh water gift did not enthrall her now as it had all those years ago when she had gleefully run out into a rainstorm to try and catch it all in her little metal bucket.

She stood and peered out the window.

“Rain, rain, rain, here to stay; I came outside just to play.”

The little girl wore a black and white polka dot rain coat with matching hat. Her rain boots were bright red.

Her round little face was turned upright, mouth wide open as though she was trying to catch every drop of rain before it hit the ground.

Her mother walked behind her, a smile on her face as she watched her little one celebrate the downpour.

When did childhood joy turn into adult angst?

Her husband was more than a little surprised to look out the upstairs window and see his sixty-five year old wife in a black 30 gallon garbage bag and a supermarket plastic bag on her head wearing her old cowboy boots splashing down the street in the rain.

So were the neighbors.

She did not care.

“Rain, rain, here to stay; I just came outside to play!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY MUSINGS: Blank Book Gold

I am a blank book junkie.

My bookshelves are filled with blank books of all sizes.

Some are completely filled with my writings but most are not.

This weekend I ran across one of those blank books, one that is completely filled with my writings.

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Musings from 2004.

Different thoughts from a different time.

At the very beginning of this re-discovered blank book are my musings about my grandson and my granddaughter.

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Blank Book Gold

“There is something to be said for a big-eyed, toothless welcome one receives from an eight month old granddaughter, or when one is the recipient of a delighted hug from a five year old grandson.

I call him Ganny’s man. She is Ganny’s girl. Woman just sounds too womanish for a girl and Ganny’s boy sounds like . . . well, boy is a definite no-no for this offspring of the Jim Crow South.”

He calls me “Ganny,” the growling “r” having been kicked to the curb by his grandmother. His big blue eyes (or, are they grey?) draw me into their depths. He is “all boy” (as my late husband used to say). My girl rearing instincts (three daughters) keep me jittery as he dashes around corners and jumps over hurdles.

‘Mom,’ my eldest reminds me (with just a note of exasperation), ‘He’s a boy! He will be alright.’

How did she make peace with this rough and tumble mass of energetic excitement, she the oldest of three girls?

Oh, yeah, twelve years of teaching a class of Kindergarten boys.

Ganny’s girl is all smiles and chortles. The dimples of her late PaPa run down the sides of her cheeks when she smiles. I make funny faces just to recall their delight.

She crawls across the floor like a wired whirlygig. Everything captures her attention and everything has to be experienced through her mouth. I watch her like a hawk but she still manages to pop something in her mouth, then gives her secret away with her “cat who swallowed the canary” look.

She is so curious, tuned in to everything that goes on around her. Sometimes, it looks as though her head is on a swivel, she turns it so fast to try and take in everything. She is going to be a talker. She talks right now — we just can’t understand what she’s saying.

One day we will and when that happens, I will tell her about PaPa and his dimples that run down the side of her cheeks.”

Blank Book Gold!

Priceless!