Saturday, January 3, 2015

Memories of Grandma and Her House

I have such sweet memories of my grandma.  She passed away when I was only nine, but I still remember her. She was so humble and soft-spoken, always doing things for other people.

An early picture...

A picture of her not long before she passed away.

She would come and stay with us some during the winter. She quilted while she was there, but she also took time out to play. I remember coloring with her and playing UNO. My brother would cheat by looking at her cards through the reflection in her glasses. I loved to brush her hair, and the lotion she wore always smelled so good.

She slept in my bed with me. If I got too fidgety, she'd call me a wiggle worm. Lying there in the dark, she taught me to say my ABC's backwards. She said I was the only grandchild who learned.

Grandma had ten children. One was stillborn and one died as an infant, so that left her with eight children to raise in a little house. My mom was the youngest of them all. Grandma wasn't materialistic, and only had space for what was really important.



This is a picture I drew of her house. I don't have any pictures of it...my mom has some, and I need to make copies of them. This is the street view from Google Earth, so I went by that. I'm not an artist, so this is the best I could do. It gives you an idea of what her house looked like....I would guess no more than 1,000 square feet. The patio is drawn from memory. It may have been different from what I remember.

The tree to the left of the house was a tall cedar. At Christmastime I remember it being decorated with big colored lights.

The space between the cedar and the house was a flower garden. Grandma loved flowers and always kept things so pretty.

The house is made into the side of the hill on the left. The two windows on the left are to the living room, and the cellar is next to that. I remember it always being chilly and damp. Grandma had a garden, so the cellar shelves were lined with all the good food she canned. She made her own mincemeat, and it was so good! I'd love to have one of her mincemeat pies again.

In addition to all her regular housework, she also did odd jobs to make a little money. She would sew clothing for people, she even made Barbie doll clothes. I still have the Barbie doll clothes she made for me. She also cut people's hair and took in ironing. Whatever money she made would go into a canning jar she kept in the cellar. Mom would tell her she 'canned' money. :-) It would be there whenever the need arose for a little extra here and there.

Down the hill to the right is the main road. Further to the right is the river. One of Mom's older sisters remembers walking to the river to get water to wash clothes. Their well didn't work, so they would get drinking water from a neighbor's well. By going around the neighborhood collecting signatures, Grandpa was instrumental in getting the city to install water lines across the road.  By the time Mom was born, they had indoor plumbing. They still didn't have a bathroom though, only an outhouse. Grandpa passed away when Mom was twelve, and Grandma used the insurance money to put in a bathroom.

When the whole family got together, that little house could hardly contain us all! I remember one time I tried on a pair of my aunt's high heeled shoes, then one of my uncles snatched me up by my feet and swung me around the room!

My cousins and I loved being there together. We'd crawl under the dining room table and play. There was a special drawer in the hutch that was just for us. Grandma kept bags of candy in there. I can remember there being gumdrops, orange slices,  and marshmallow peanuts. Orange slices were my favorite, but I couldn't stand the marshmallow peanuts! Yuck! There used to be a porch on the side closest to the road, but it had been enclosed. Grandma kept her freezer back there, and she always made sure there was ice cream in it for us. I remember curling up in the recliner with the GRIT magazine and working the puzzles. My favorite was finding the differences between the two pictures. There was an old metal dollhouse to play with, and so many other things I'm sure I'm forgetting, but it was such fun to be at Grandma's!

Right after I finished fourth grade, I spent the week at Grandma's house. We had a great time. My parents came to pick me up on Sunday evening before church, and after we returned home that night, we received the call that Grandma had had a heart attack and passed away shortly after we left. Her son who lived up the road found her when he had come to pick her up for church. I was so sad and I still miss her, but I'm thankful for the time we had together, and I'm looking forward to seeing her again in heaven someday.

One of my uncles bought her house after she passed away. I haven't been back in it though. I'm sure it must look different inside now, and I want to remember it just as it was all those years ago.

Take care,
~Melanie

22 comments:

  1. It is lovely to have those memories to come back to Melanie. Both my grandmothers have passed, and I still remember them so vividly :) mari

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    1. Yes, Mari, it is so nice to have sweet memories. They will have to do until we're together again.♥

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  2. I have been back to some of our old houses. If you go, it will probably seem smaller. It is good that at least the house is being lived in by family, I bet she would like that. We both have wonderful memories of our grandmothers.

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    1. It's so nice to have the memories to go back to, Ginny. I'm glad you have good memories of your grandmothers too. :-)

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  3. Hi Melanie,
    What a sweet post. I lost my grandmother at an early age as well but do have some fond memories of her. Glad you can reflect!
    Happy New Year
    Karen

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    1. Oh, thank you, Karen. I'm happy that you have good memories of your grandmother too. Happy New Year! :-)

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  4. Wonderful memories you can carry in your heart all the time.

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    1. Yes, Felicia, I think of her often.♥

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  5. Such sweet memories! It's amazing how back then, many folks had large families and lived well in smaller houses than the two of us do now.

    I have one Grandma left--she is 93 or 94. Both grandmothers were always very resourceful and sweet Christian ladies that other people loved to be around.

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    1. Yes, Mary Ann, it is amazing to think of them all living in that little house! I think we just have a lot more stuff now than they did back then. Mom said she can remember having only a handful of dresses when she was growing up.
      I'm happy you still have a Grandma alive. All of my grandparents are gone now.
      My dad's mom passed away last year. She was 92 and had suffered with dementia for about 15 years. She was a sweet Christian lady too.
      I hope you will have a very happy and healthy 2015! :-)

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  6. Dear Melanie ... so heartwarming. I love the drawing of her home and how you have pictured it in my mind. So much of what you have shared here reminds me of my gramma who has been gone for many, many years. Such precious memories. I think that I will be sharing the memories I have of my gramma on my little space in the near future. Thank you for sharing. I hope that your Sunday is filled with sweet pleasures and simple blessings. ♥ Teri

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    1. Dear Teri~
      Thank you so much for your sweet complement. I am by no means an artist! :-)
      I've had such a nice time remembering little things about Grandma, things I hadn't really thought about for years. It's made me feel very close to her these last few days. I have a couple more posts in mind to share, so I hope to have them here soon.
      I would love to read what you share about your gramma. It's good to remember things and talk about those sweet memories so we won't forget them!
      I hope you will have a wonderful week, dear friend.♥

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  7. This was a precious post. I loved hearing the story of your dear grandma. She sounds like such a wonderful lady. I know it must have hurt you so deeply to lose her at such a young age. That was probably one of the best weeks of her life when you were there with her, and she died very much at peace, I am sure. Yes, you will see her again one day in Heaven! What a day that will be! God bless you throughout this new year, Melanie. Much love to you.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Cheryl!
      Yes, Grandma was very special...always doing things for others and never drawing attention to herself.
      It was so hard losing her, such a sad time. I treasured all the time I spent with her. I like to go into my memory bank from time to time and think of all those little things that made Grandma so special. I'm so looking forward to seeing her again in heaven and we won't have to be separated any more!
      I pray you and your family will have a wonderful year ahead, full of health and happiness.
      Have a wonderful week, sweet friend!♥

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  8. Sweet memories! Your story make me smile and brought back sweet memories of my own grandmothers. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much for your sweet comment, Wendi. I'm happy you have good memories of your grandmothers too. :-) Hope you have a great week!

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  9. What amazing memories. I can tell from your writing the love you have for your grandmother. I often wonder why God allows such emotion to stir in us when we remember our childhood. It's a time we won't get back. Sweet innocence. It makes me cry.

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    1. Dear Cheri~
      I'm so thankful to have good memories. I know a lot of people grow up having a hard childhood filled with abuse and neglect. I was blessed to have good memories instead of bad ones.
      Thank you for the picture. I hope you all will have a great year.♥

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  10. Such great memories of your grandmother, Melanie! Sounds like she was a very sweet grandma. My Nanny always kept a candy jar on her kitchen table for us. I think you did a wonderful job drawing her house.

    :)Vicki

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    1. Hi, Vicki,
      Yes, my memories of Grandma are sweet. I've been enjoying thinking about her and all those good times we had together.
      Thank you for your sweet compliment. The drawing turned out better than I thought it would. :-)
      Hope you're having a good week!

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  11. Dear Melanie ~
    It is such a blessing to have such treasured memories! Your drawing is wonderful!

    Sweet blessings to you!
    Sharon

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. I've enjoyed going through my memories this past week. I'll be so happy to see her again.♥ Hope you're having a good week. So nice to have you stop by. :-)

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