When I was growing up we moved a lot. I never lived in the house my parents now live in. When I visit I feel at home because they live there, but I don’t have a lot of memories there like others who go back to the home they grew up in. But when I visited my Grandma, many memories came rushing back. She lives in the same house that she lived in since before I was born. I was born in California and used to live there (off and on) until I was in second grade. I realized when we were there how different the visit was for me than for my brother. He is nine years younger than me and never lived in California. He only visited a few times and didn’t know our grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins well while growing up. A lot in the neighborhood has changed, but Grandma’s front yard and house inside look the same, just some different plants and a new fountain that my two of my uncles made for my Grandpa not long before he passed away.
My Grandma Fannie has a huge garden with lots of different kinds of trees, flowers and plants. She knows the name of all of them. I sure didn’t get her green thumb!
Grandma Fannie has crocheted for many years. She made an afghan for each of her grandchildren when they were born. My mother continued that tradition and now I’m next to carry it on, but I can’t crochet more than a line. I do have some time to learn, luckily. Grandma made me pot holders and slippers for me, Elisa and Sabrina. It was so fun to get something that she made!
My grandma is also known for her great cooking and baking. Along with the delicious roast and side dishes she made for us the first day that we visited, she served these cute sandwiches that she made.
She told me that when she and my Grandpa Bill were married, they didn’t have enough money for a stove so she had to cook over fire. It would get so hot in Illinois that cooking was not easy in the summer. So after a while, she told him that if he would buy her an oven, she would bake for him every day. He saved money and bought her the oven and she kept her word, baking every day, along with the cooking. After many years of this, Grandpa told her, “You don’t have to keep that promise.” But she enjoys baking so she usually has some kind of dessert on the table for family and visitors to munch on.
I’ve always heard that in 1959 my grandpa was on the TV show “Queen for a Day” on a special “King for a Day” version and he won. Among his gifts he asked for were a talking Bible and a record player, both for my Uncle Mike who was mostly blind due to tubercular meningitis that he had when he was around 5 years old. My grandpa, a mail carrier, also was chauffeured around his route in a Cadillac. I got to see a few newspaper clippings of it that I don’t remember seeing. Since my grandpa just passed away this summer, it seemed hard on my grandma to talk about him, but at the same time I think she wanted to. It was fun to hear stories about them.