In Memory of Grandma

My Grandmother died a few weeks ago. Grandma and Me
While on the airplane, I jotted down a few of my memories of her.

When I think of Grandma I think of summers in Oregon. Sleeping in her “hobby” room that was stacked with paintings and sewing projects and the lovely orchids she propagated. I remember her handmade (and handpicked)
berry pies, learning to sew, toodling around in her yellow Gremlin which in my young mind was the coolest car ever!

I remember her bright red hair and pretty smile. She could name every Oregon wildflower that grew by the side of the road, and I tested her often on this as we drove to golf tournaments in Coos Bay, Bend or Klamath Falls.

I loved emptying her closets of all the pretty glassware – milk-glass and
cranberry glass. I would paw through her thimble collection (which was
extensive) and marvel over her camel collection. I also rooted through her
piano music collection and spent hours playing songs on her piano. She
never seemed to mind, even though I’m pretty sure I played “Roll Out the
Barrels” for hours and hours on end every summer.

I’ll remember the time we visited her in Oregon for Christmas and she had
chopped down a bush, A PRICKLY SCRAGGLY JUNIPER BUSH, from her front yard and decorated that instead of a Christmas tree. She was trying something creative and new, but in my child’s mind one does not mess with the Christmas Tree!!

I’ll never forget the time she visited us in Fallon and offended Mom by
ironing every piece of clothing in her closet! I thought it was pretty
funny to see my Mom getting riled up and acting like the daughter for a

And it is family legend the time she convinced my father to drive for
hours up and down the Oregon coast looking for the perfect Seagull statue
to go with a piece of driftwood she found. I think we spent about 4 hours
in the car with her saying, “Oh yes, I think I saw it at a shop that is
just around the next bend.” No one else could have convinced Dad to do

I think her greatest accomplishment was raising 6 fiercely independent,
intelligent, and kinda nutty kids who went on to raise wonderful families
of their own.

Even though Grandma is physically gone, she’ll always be with me – every
time I eat a blueberry, see a thimble, hang the Christmas stocking she
knitted for me when I was born, and every time I look at my family, where
I see glimmers of her spirit in each one of us.

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