Gran is what I called my grandmother, my mom's mom.
This woman was my idol. The more I look back on her life and truly appreciate all she did and accomplished in her life the more my respect grows for her.
She was raised by religious extrememists who bordered on cultish behavior all in the name of Christianity. When she had children she allowed them to make thier own choices and never pushed anything on them. Luckily for me my own mother took that lesson and transfered it down a generation.
She raised 3 kids while married to an abusive alcoholic. She could hunt, fish, garden, process anything she caught or grew, spin, weave, dye, knit, sew, etc. She was truly a self sufficient woman. She was also smart and had a head for business.
Some of my most amazing memories of visitng her were the fact that if we screwed up and got in trouble she would give us the consiquence and it was done. It was never brought up again. It was not hung over our heads when our parents returned. It was just done.
She would make fresh cinnamon buns every Christmas morning - she would get up at the crack of dawn so they were in the oven for when we were all waking up to the amazing smell.
The little pill bottle of pearls she had found in the oysters off the beach in front of her house.
Polishing and dusting her bell collection.
Beachcombing with her and bringing buckets upon buckets of shells and sealife home to try to beg our parents to let us bring home as pets (we lived on the praries).
Picking vegetables out of the garden for dinner every night.
Deciding the color of the hydrangea bushes every spring by the amount of lime she would add - and it always worked! I was allowed to walk around with her and tell her the color I wanted them. She seemed magical.
One year she helped us preserve a bunch of star fish to take home to our friends on the praries. She set up this huge black caulren over a fire on the beach and set up a dye vat. We collected a bunch of starfish and she would set up this concotion over the fire of preservatives and dye that we would drop them into. She would stir it up and then we would lay them along her seemingly endless driveway to dry. When done they were stiff and safe to take home. The visiual reminds me of a witch on the beach making potions!!!
When she was dying of cancer, and finally had to admit it, she never once lost her sense of humor. She was a totally amazing woman. She was the glue that held our family together.
I treasure her memory and have begun to learn all the skills she had so that I can honor her memory and her life.
One day I hope to be an amazing grandmother who gets her grandkids in lots of 'trouble' excpet I will still have piercings, sagging tattoos and probably pink hair . . . I also have a grand plan to become just eccentric enough to make my kids feel like I do at them moment trying to raise them as teenagers!!!