I'm thankful for grandmothers. My mother's mom,Grandma C., is the grandmother whom I knew best because she lived about 20 minutes away from us while growing up. My father's mom, Grandma G., lived in Arkansas, about 7 hours away. I had wonderful memories of both.
I loved visiting Grandma C. She was such a hard worker because she owned her own restaurant in a little farming community. She was up and at work by 5 every morning and then worked through the lunch hour. I rarely remember her taking a vacation, and now looking back, she probably had to close the restaurant (thereby losing her income stream during that time). I loved her stories of the different people who came to the restaurant because she knew everything that was going on in that little community. The thing about my grandmother, though, is that she saw the good in everyone and focused on that.
I also always felt such unconditional love with my grandma. I should note that my parents provided this, too, but at the time I felt that chores were such a punishment - now, I know that they are both necessary and a blessing. My grandma's house was just a place for total peacefulness - no phone calls, little TV, lots of time in the garden.
One of my first lessons in responsibility for my actions came at Grandma C's house - I broke a globe on her new chandelier when my cousins and I were playing catch in her house. My mom made me buy a new globe and it cost $8!!! Oh my goodness - 8 whole dollars. No more ball in the house for me...
Grandma C. also made me a beautiful quilt and gave me my set of good dishes. These may not be expensive from a cost standpoint, but they are priceless to me.
When she passed away, I inherited her dining room set. She worked so hard for it, and I cherish it. The table and chairs crashed and burn (not literally) a long time ago, but I still have the hutch. I would like to update it because it is totally 70's, and I think she would approve whole-heartedly.
Since my Grandma G. lived so far away, we usually went to visit her twice a year. When she was able to, she would come and stay at our house. She was born in 1900, but was quite progressive for a woman in that time. My mom tells a story about a time when she and my dad were first married and Grandma G. came up to visit. Mom and grandma went out shopping, and my mom said that she needed to get back to cook lunch for my dad. Grandma told my mom that it wasn't necessary because she had taught him to cook. Grandma's progressiveness with things like household chores was a great blessing to me and my family. My parents didn't have to fit into certain stereotypical roles, and it was my dad, in fact, who taught me how to bake. He also got up early to fix us breakfast when he worked the night shift because he wanted to be able to spend time with us.
In an attempt to figure out why my parents were so equitable with houseful chores, I asked my dad if his father ever cooked. My dad said that his father cooked breakfast every Sunday morning after church.
I have such wonderful memories of my grandmothers and grandfather, my parents and sister, my aunts and uncles and cousins, during the holidays. And of course, we focused on meals. And sometimes, those meals were in a fancy dining room or a kitchen or outside or a restaurant. But those meals were always the source of great memories.
To close this post, I wanted to leave you with some pictures of my fall dining room.
Who in your life are you thankful for? Nicole