Sunday, November 25, 2007

Memories ...

OK, this post is more for my own personal therapy than for you, the reader ... but, if you want to read some stories about a completely amazing woman, feel free to read on:

When we were little my brother Jim and I were spending some time with my grandparents and we were at a cemetery ... my grandpa helped with ground maintenance. When it came time to leave, it became apparent that nobody had the car keys. Jim had shut the trunk with Grandma's purse - containing the keys - inside! So, as a small child I spent the better part of an afternoon in a graveyard with my grandma, while grandpa walked into town, and completely enjoyed myself. The best part was that nobody got angry or raised their voice, grandma & grandpa made the whole ordeal an adventure!

I remember that my grandma was an impeccable dresser - she never left her bedroom without her "face" or anything less than a complete ensemble on. If she found a pair of shoes that she liked she bought em in every color - because black, brown & white were not enough, the shoes had to match the outfit! I think I got my shoe fetish from her!!!

Grandma took me on a trip to Hawaii. We went on an inter island cruise. The ship we were on was old and grandma - a seasoned traveler - was less than impressed with our accommodations. I, however, was in Heaven. We had a cabin with a sea facing window - we actually watched whales outside our window!!!! Every night we dressed for dinner and made our way to the dining room where grandma would eat every bite on her plate and then order dessert. The funny thing was that she never liked the sweet taste to be the last thing in her mouth, so the first night she asked the waiter for one green olive - to "cut the sweet". The waiter obliged and after she told WHY she needed it, everyone at our table took great pleasure in staying at the table every night til grandma had had her olive. There was one evening when the waiter could not find an olive, so he brought her a pickle instead. I will never forget the look on her face, but she ate it, smiled and complimented him on his choice. The next two nights of the voyage he brought her both and let her choose. She ate both of them!!! The ship , it turned out, was the same ship that Lucy & Ricky traveled on in their European trip with the Mertzes!! Pretty cool huh?!
I was allowed to go snorkeling, horseback riding, para sailing, riding and whale watching. Grandma threw a fit when they would not let her go horseback riding because of her knees she was close to 90 at the time!!!!

I spent a week with grandma a few years ago and participated in her daily routine - she went shopping, picked tomatoes, got her nails done - where I convinced her for the first time EVER to put an actual color on her nails... she chose fire engine red! - and went to aerobics!!! I will never forget how angry she got when the doctor told her that she had to stop aerobics ... seems they can only replace your knees so many times and then not at all after a certain age. She had hit both limits!

One time on a visit Grandma took us to dinner at a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant she had heard great things about. The atmosphere was lacking, but the food was great!! They also served Coca-Cola products ... in retro red plastic cups that were the biggest I had ever seen. I told grandma that I liked the cup - I collect Coke stuff - and that she should put one in her very large purse. everyone laughed. Then when we were finished and went to the car she reached into her bag and pulled out one of those cups and said "here ya go sweetie" with a completely straight face! We were all shocked that she would steal a cup, but she said that they robbed us with those prices, so she was just returning the favor!

The last time I saw her was a couple of years ago and we were in Denver - Hubby, Hattie, Jim and I - to see her. Her computer had just died and she was severely distressed that she had no access to her email, her memoirs and her Internet! So she asked Steve to look at it for her. Turned out that she had a fried hard drive, so needed a new computer. We were off to Best Buy!! The salesman helped us pick a new one out and proceeded to ring us up. Then he tried to talk grandma into a lifetime warranty on the computer. She declined. He explained that if anything ever happened to it while she owned it Best Buy would happily replace it. She declined. He started to tell her how much money it would cost to completely replace her computer if anything like this happened again when she put her hand on his arm and in the sweetest voice you could imagine she said "sweetie, I'm 93 years old... I don't need a lifetime warranty, cause my lifetime won't be that long." He didn't ask again!

I had a million conversations with her about a million things and learned something new from every on of them - even if it was just that my grandma was one of the best women who ever lived. And live, she did! She was always running off somewhere and traveling - her last trip was in July to a wedding in California! She had a million friends and was loved by everyone who knew her.... me especially! She will be missed by all - me especially!

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