When I hear about grandparents spoiling their grandchildren with toys, and trips, and all sorts of treats, I have trouble relating. My grandmother Sue had 23 grandchildren and very little money. In a good year, we might have received a silver dollar each for Christmas and a card for our birthday. Not very much by today’s standards. Yet—and I know I speak for all 23 grandchildren—we wouldn’t have traded Grandmom Sue for the world.
First, there was her sense of humor: dry, often aimed at one of us, but never mean or sarcastic; just funny. Then there were her hands: large, freckled with age spots, warm and comforting. Over the years, they had kneaded thousands of loaves of bread; wonderful, warm, yeasty bread. Bread that won the blue ribbon at New Jersey State Fair for 33 years in a row—except for one year. That year, my Aunt Alice won first place; Grandmom came in second.
One of my fondest memories was of Grandmom standing on her glassed-in porch waving as my family left for home. If it was dark when we left, she always flicked the porch light three times. For some reason, it gave me a warm, safe feeling knowing she was standing guard as we drove away. Warm and safe. Isn’t that what grandmothers are all about, anyway?
Written By: Colleen Appleby-Carroll