As I gaze out the window at my Grandmother walking swiftly up the path in her backyard, I sit in awe and amazement of her. At nearly 90 years old, she is as vital as any of my peers. She has as much energy as anyone I have seen in their 30's, and she certainly does not look more than 50. She is an amazing woman.
Most of my fondest memories are of time spent with my Grandmother. The trip to her house always seemed so long I could hardly wait to see her. I would ask my mom every few minutes, "How long 'till we get there?" Once there, warm hugs would follow. I would look up at her face and her sparkling eyes, with her hair pulled back in a neat bun and I knew I was home. This was the home of my heart.
The smell of fresh baked bread permeated the air as I would rush to the cookie jar to grab a few of Grandma's cookies. The mornings were a quiet rush down the hallway into the kitchen, trying not to wake anyone else. The first child at the breakfast table, dressed and with their bed made was given the honor of using the Silver Fish Spoon. It was a time honored tradition that was passed on from her childhood. No other spoon could equal the taste of any food that was eaten from that spoon.
Days were spent watching her do her gardening, playing in the playhouse in the backyard, walking up town, dressing up in period dresses, playing with antique dolls and tea sets (each with a wonderful history that Grandma would tell), and learning to crochet.
Afternoon would find her playing the piano...Beethoven, Chopin, Joplin. I remember climbing onto the piano stool when I was 2 years old and watching her fingers glide across the ivory keys of her baby grand. She never said a word as I would try to mimic her playing on the upper register of that piano. Patiently she would play as I wrecked her masterpieces. I wanted to be just like her.
When I was a little older, I got an old tiny keyboard and I sat on the floor and we played our first duet, "Valley of the Dolls". I was so proud that I was playing a duet with my grandmother, that I could barely hit the right keys. She bought my first piano for me. An old upright. I played it day and night.
Evenings at her house were special too. She would read the paper in her chair by the wall and I would watch her turn every page. It would soon be my turn to sit in her warm soft lap and watch the pictures go by in the Beatrice Potter book she would read to me. "Benjamin Bunny" or “Peter Cottontail" to name a few. Then it was off to bed and off to sleep with the sound of her piano lulling me into sweet dreams.
She remembers the days when things were simpler. A happy time when there was no such thing as self-service gas stations; milk was delivered to your door in glass milk containers; people smiled and said hello to one another; and you could pick up the phone and order your groceries to be delivered to your home for no extra charge. For her the 50's are modern day. These must have been great times, if for no other reason then they were graced with her presence.
Things haven't changed all that much for me. There are still warm hugs and sparkling eyes to look at. The smell of fresh baked bread still permeates the air. The cookie jar is still ever welcoming, although my Grandmother says she has help from Pillsbury now. She is still helping me on the piano, cooking 3 meals a day, and running the house.
The only changes now are, the garden is a plush, beautiful jungle that captures the imagination, and I read "Benjamin Bunny" to myself. But with everything she is, there is still so much more that I am just beginning to discover. Now that I have become an adult, my awe and wonderment of her are only added to as I discover how incredibly intelligent she is. Who needs a library when I have her?
She is truly an amazing woman my Grandmother. I can only hope and strive to be the same kind of woman she is when I reach her years.
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Jaci Rae is a #1 Best Selling author of The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money and Winning Points with the Woman in Your Life One Touchdown at a Time. Book Jaci for your next show: and hit contact button for her publicist.
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