Hitting the (Grand) Mother Load


I like to think my maternal Grandmother and I kindred spirits. I’m pretty sure she felt similarly – if not exactly – the same. When she passed away in 2008, I went numb. Finally in a fit of holiday/end of the year nostalgia for the first time since she passed, I pulled up her beautifully written eulogy (from a close friend and colleague when she was a college professor, who of course was kind enough to email it to us after the funeral) to revisit the key notes that made her the kick ass grandma I remembered. Her friend noted her: “selflessness, kindness, courage and delicious sense of humor.” And yes, I enjoy that he used the word “delicious.” He gave wonderful examples of each attribute as only a drama professor could. And wrapped the whole thing up with an eloquent bow: that basically so long as those attributes lived within us, so did she.

After all of the Christmas presents were opened at my mom’s house and the holiday meal consumed, I was hanging around with the family and Mom asked if I wanted to come look at some a Grandma’s recipes. For a long time this wasn’t possible without tears (mine became happy memories before mom’s did – I think this will always be raw for her). It felt like a surge of gladness to see her handwriting, flip though her clip books and wonder what appealed to her specifically from each recipe she compiled.


Even on a just a first blush through, I saw recipes for childhood treats I didn’t even remember until I read the recipe again. It was like being hit over the head and unlocking memories just reading them. How did I ever forget that one? I can’t wait to make it again.  

And then in a move that referenced Grandma’s “selflessness, kindness and courage” Mom asked if I’d like to have them. Uh, yes!  I know they are very dear to her as well, but she knows right now that I’ll make more use of them and revisit them often. She just asked that I flag any she needs to know about/try out. Can do.

Of course, I also asked for Grandma’s little bench she displayed them on in her kitchen so I could put them on my desk in the exact same arrangement (my kitchen is smaller – office it is!). The thought of just being able to look to my right and see the same arrangement of books I saw when I sat in her kitchen throughout my childhood is more than I can put into words – and the fact that a mix of recipes I remember and ones that are new to me, but hand-picked by my grandma is over the top.

To top it off, I was also gifted the loan of a few envelopes featuring my great-great grandmother’s recipes. Whoa! Old school. 


One comment

  1. Frances Weatherson · · Reply

    Lovely thoughts of your wonderful grandmother. I know you miss her terribly, as does your
    Mom, and that goes for me too. We had so many good times together, and thank goodness
    for the memories. Thank you for sharing this with me, and thank you for the Retro Valentine’s
    Day card. You are a very creative person. Frankie

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