I Don't Know Why This is Harder
I have lots of good memories of my grama, my dad's mom. For whatever reason, it's been a lot harder to put them into words.
So the heck with trying to get this mess to cohere, I'm just going to put down the bits and pieces that come into my head.
The first handknit socks I remember seeing were knit by her for my dad.
When I was a teenager and she and my grampa started taking their camper out to southern California and Arizona for the winter, they pared down their household possessions, and she gave me some things.
One was the orange lustreware tea set I posted about several Januaries ago.
Another was a set of sterling silverware. Between the two, I could set quite a nice little tea party table, and it drives me wild that the phrase has been taken away from the event where the table is covered with an ironed linen cloth, where there is a bunch of sweet violets in a vase, where the crusts are cut off the triangular sandwiches.
She had the most awesome bubbling chuckling laugh. You could never mistake it for anyone else's.
When I was a little girl, we went out to their house a lot. My dad had a garden in their back lot. I remember the smell of the hot sand and the brambles - my own back lot smells like that.
Another reason we went out there was that my dad's mixed-breed hunting dog, a long-legged hound mix called Zip, lived out there until I was about five. (We were renting a house next to a church, and Zip howled when they sang the hymns, so he had to live at Grama and Grampa's.)
For years their dining room was dominated by a spindly orange tree she told me my dad had grown from a seed. There were two great little kid-sized rocking chairs (I have one of them), and we used to sit in them and drink Sprite while the grown-ups talked, after it got too dark and mosquito-y to play outside.
We used to cram their house at Christmas Eve, until there just got to be too many of us to fit. They always had a live tree, a prickly blue spruce, in a huge pot to plant outdoors after Christmas.
I remember my grama doing the newspaper crossword puzzles in ink. I thought that was amazing.
And I miss them both so much.