Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Grandma Connection

Saturday morning before the calm disintegrated:

How Much is the Grandma in the Window?

I have had a couple blog posts in mind over the last three days, but they've all been robbed by my weekend walk (8 miles) and grandchildren. One of the posts I thought of was about my grandmothers. This post was born when I was at the grocery store early Saturday morning and it felt different than it feels now because I was pretty fresh into my weekend, but I think they're both parts of the same thing. Therefore, here we go.

I was at the grocery store trying to find juice for the children that wouldn't make me feel like I was pouring sugar down their throats all weekend. Even 100% juice makes me feel that way. I found a V8 fusion I thought they'd like (they did; they drank it all) and then I deliberated over what sort of treat I would make for the weekend (Shutemup Cookies from the I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken; completely consumed). As I walked up and down the aisles, it occurred to me that maybe my grandmothers did this same thing in anticipation of my royal presence for an overnight visit.
It made me feel connected to them and then I wondered if maybe they had moments like that - a moment when we made them think of their own grandmothers. I thought that when Grandma Betty taught me how to make candles, she just pulled out her supplies and we made candles on a last-minute whim.

I thought when Grandma Kier made me those tiny little pizzas that she always kept them in her freezer. I never thought about all the work Grandma Betty put into gathering the candle supplies to offer me a selection without too much selection and the anticipation that went into showing me something she was really good at.

I never thought about Grandma Kier standing in the aisle at the grocery store with Grandpa looking on while she deliberated over the pizza or (can you imagine?) getting Grandpa to drive to the store because she had to get the pizzas and tossing them into her cart just because I was coming.

Just because I was on the way for an overnight visit. It gives me shivers.

Now that everyone has gone home, I think about how I didn't consider either grandmother's feelings when I made a candle for Grandma Kier when Grandma Betty was teaching me. The candle was in the back bedroom where I slept for, like, forever. My grandmothers had about 3 things in common: me and my two brothers. You savvy?

Betty: Oh, nice. She can't make a candle to keep? One for her mother?
Mary: Oh, nice. Betty is teaching her crafts again.

The above comments are completely imagined in my adult brain. I never realized my grandmothers were anything but MY grandmothers (you know, like they were actually people?) until I was in my 30s.

God love 'em. You know what else my grandmothers never did? Strangle me. Starve me. Lock me in a closet.

Not that I had any of those urges this weekend. No, nothing like that. My cupboards are now bare, which just proves they were 1. able to swallow; 2. well-fed; and 3. only in the closet long enough to pet and kiss the cat.

This weekend wasn't particularly easy with the kids and I stopped by 1972 on the way home from church and picked up a huge package of "get back outside and stay there." I didn't let them in the house for anything but potty and eating supper. I ended up doing 100% of the work, which is not only tiring but also aggravating. One was super tired and the other was constantly hungry. I actually ran out of food for him because when I suggested a leftover cold hot dog he pulled back in horror. Melodramatic horror, too. I was too tired by then to think it was cute and I considered telling him he could gnaw on a twig like Euell Gibbons.

Instead I called Domino's. True story.

Nothing that happened was out of the ordinary or horrible. They were just being kids - active, starving, demanding, whining, charming, loving, laughing.

I must have spent too much time on nostalgic daydreaming and not enough in preparatory napping.

Also on Saturday I made the decision to buy ferns for the deck. That's them up above in the photo in which I show you how I inadvertently took a photo of my lovely self.


Rose said...

Oh, gosh, I cannot get enough of posts like this. I had a grandmother, seen her maybe twice a year and she had nothing to say to me. Not that she was mean...but I so want to do all the normal grandmother things with Lorelei...I always feel like I missed out on the grandparent department.

Anonymous said...

The ferns were the first thing I noticed about the picture - lovely!

Then I noticed the cat. Then you. I'm so observant. (Hey, if I were really good at noticing things to cry about would I be sobversant?)

Glad you survived the weekend with the darlings.

Anonymous said...

Oops - sobservant. Lesdyxia.

walk2write said...

The Grandma in the window is priceless, and one of these days those GKs will realize it. Thanks for a reason to smile on a Monday.

Caron said...

Walk, I'm so glad to make someone smile!

Rose, you are a fabulous grandmother. It's so obvious now and just wait until Lorelei is older. You'll have a blast.

Juice, I liked sobversant as much as sobservant, but sobversant made me think harder!

Anonymous said...

Until we moved from Independence when I was 12, I would spend almost every Saturday night with my grandma (and go to church with her the next day). My parents would drop me off and IF I WAS LUCKY, the PINK sheets would be on the bed. Grandma would alternate those with some avocado green, teal and blue sheets that I didn't like NEARLY as much.

Depending on what week in the month it was, we would either go out to dinner (only once a month, mind you, since Grandpa worked for the Rock Island) or stay home and make something. Usually, it would either be potato soup (which I still make) OR hot dog pizza. I know it sounds weird, but she would get one of those Chef Boyardee pizza kits and then cut up hot dogs on it. We would always make sure to save enough for Grandpa for when he would get home from work around 12:15 AM.

After dinner, we would ALWAYS watch, "Hee Haw", "Emergency!", "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", "The Bob Newhart Show", and "The Carol Burnett Show" during which Grandma would always fall asleep, sitting up on the sofa. We always had popcorn (the one in the popper that had the thing on top that would supposedly melt the butter and let it drip down on the popcorn, but never quite did it. I still have and use the popper) during "Emergency!" It was just routine every Saturday.

I would then go to bed to read (I still do that too) until I fell asleep with the light on and Grandma would fall asleep on the couch. When Grandpa would get home, he would come in and make sure I was covered, turn off my light, and go and eat Lucerne red-wax Longhorn cheese and crackers and drink a beer or two. I tried my darnedest to stay up until he got home, but I only did that three times in all the weekends I was over here.

They are both long gone now, but I still remember all the good times I had on the weekends. I don't think I told either of them that, but I'm sure (at least I HOPE) they knew. As will your grandkids. Believe me.

walk2write said...

Anonymous, please don't remain so, or at least don't give up on the story-telling. I want more, with popcorn, please!

Rambling Woods said...

I love your posts Caron..You say what we all think and don't blog about it....

Caron said...

Yes, Anonymous, come on out and do a guest post! What a great idea. She's a friend of mine.

Michelle, I'm so glad you enjoy what I write. Now whenever I see someone with super ugly shoes I think of you because you laughed when I wrote about that. :o