Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Another Good Memory
My mother's mother was born in 1893 in small town Pennsylvania. She was descended from early Quakers who were given a land grant by William Penn. I'm told that a Friends Meeting House for which Grammy's family donated land still stands. She was a beautiful, modest, auburn-haired, choir member when my Poppy first saw her in church. She had a charming upturned nose, absolutely gorgeous hands and legs [even in old age] and an enviable grace about her. Sadly, these genetic blessings seem to have skipped my generation. Poppy was a good-lookin' young gent himself and two years older. They never admitted it to me but I think they were smitten on first sight. Sunday church services became the highpoint of their week. They enjoyed a long, challenging and satisfying marriage. Four of their five children survived infancy and produced sixteen grandchildren of whom they seemed very proud. Poppy died at too early an age in my mind. He had heart problems which took his life one night in 1972. I'm grateful to have only fun, loving memories of my grandparents. During the long Thanksgiving weekend of 1983, Spouse and I took Grammy to the Old Post Office Pavilion to have a look around and to treat her to her favorite food -- iced cream. The whole drove down from Mom and Dad's in Potomac, I was picturing her digging into a luscious, cold confection in one of the handmade, sugar cone bowls. NOTHING could make her happier! It was a very cold and windy November day and we had to park far away. I was worried that Grammy wouldn't make it to the Pavilion, but she was game to give it a try. All three of us arrived wind-blown, red-cheeked and giggly. Thank God she was none the worse for our long trek! As I steered us toward the iced cream place, Grammy caught a whiff of the skin-on- french-fries. Granted, a cold, blustery day would not be my choice for an iced cream social, but Grammy LOVED the stuff! With a big serving of hot, freshly cooked, salty fries and Cokes, we climbed the stairs to the upper level and a table and chairs overlooking the cavernous space. Spouse nervously watched my frail-looking grandmother daintily chow-down on those fries. Between sips of Coke, she exclaimed how delicious they were. Spouse and I had been married mere months at the time. Being from Iran, he was used to worrying about and doting on his elders. My grandmother blew his mind that day. We enjoyed people-watching and each other's company. She had no problem with his foreigness or religious background. She just wanted to make sure I was happy. Watching us together, she could tell. When we delivered her back to Potomac, she gave both of us hugs and whispered that she was so happy for me. Yeah . . . I still miss her.