Friday, December 31, 2010

on her 97th birthday

This is my grandma.
Today is her birthday.
She'd be 97.

I made cupcakes.
I wanted the kids to celebrate a little.
I figured cupcakes would do the trick.
(I would have taken the kids to the cemetery to visit her
but I'm not sure it got above 20 degrees outside today.)

A few memories of my grandma on her 97th birthday
{in whatever order they happen to pop into my brain}

Growing up, my sisters and I referred to her as Grandma in Utah.
Not Grandma Helen.
Not Grandma Clark.
just Grandma in Utah
(our other grandma was Grandma in Canada)
When talking to her, we called her Grandma.
When talking about her, she was Grandma in Utah.

She ironed pillowcases and sheets before folding them and putting them away.
I always thought that was strange.
I still do.

When I was a little girl, she gave me tomato soup for lunch once.
I do not care for tomato soup.
Not then, not now.
I didn't want to tell her I didn't like it so I filled my bowl with oyster crackers and ate those.
Slowly but surely the soup got eaten too.
I must have gone through the whole bag of crackers.

When I was in college I used to drive her to ZCMI to go shopping.
We'd eat lunch at the restaurant on the top floor.
It was called The Tiffin Room.
She always ordered a half cup of chicken noodle soup.
I always ordered a grilled cheese sandwich.

She kept a small clipboard under the driver's seat of her car.
When she had the car gassed up at Powell's Gas Station,
she'd pull out that little clipboard and write the check.

She had beautiful handwriting.

She didn't like chocolate.

My grandma liked Avon and Tupperware.

She saved things. Lots and lots of things.

She kept a small sack for garbage inside the kitchen garbage.
It hung on the inside of the garbage can.
When it got full, it got taken out.
She hardly ever filled up the actual kitchen garbage bag.

She put small bags of garbage into the freezer.
I guess that way it wouldn't stink when it was outside in the garbage.
That one's a mystery to me still.

She liked things to be neat and tidy and clean.
If it's possible to inherit a trait from your grandma, I certainly did.

It's possible that she had the best kept yard on the entire street.
Maybe in the entire city.
Flowers, flowers everywhere and nary a weed in sight.

If she knew you were coming she'd've baked a cake.

She didn't drive on the freeway.

She liked to watch the news.
Morning, noon and night.
News, news, news.

She watched The Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday nights at 7:00.

She loved Donny and Marie.

She read the obituaries every day.
She said she was looking to see if hers was in there.

She ate cottage cheese with a few slices of pear on top.
I used to think that was disgusting.
Now I quite enjoy it as well.

She had two sons.
No daughters.
I think that's why she and my mom got along so well.

My mom and grandma used to make each other laugh so hard that they'd both pee their pants.

My grandma wrapped her hair with toilet paper before going to bed.
I guess that preserved the perfectly back-combed curls until the next hair appointment.

She liked to cook and bake.

She liked to take pictures.
I'm glad she did.
Even better, she wrote names and dates on the backs!

Here's a few of my favorites:

my dad with his baby brother (11 year age difference)

my dad (in front) and his friend, Merrill

my dad

Dad and Merrill

my grandpa and dad

two cute little cowboys
(my dad on the right)

one of my favorite pictures of my dad

Grandma's parents
(how many people have pictures of their great grandparents actually smiling?)

my mom
(you thought it was me, huh?)

my mom and dad

I'm not sure who took this one but it's my favorite.
My grandma and grandpa smiling and kissing.

Happy birthday, Grandma.


Bec and Doug said...

Today's my mom's birthday too... Must be a good day for wonderful ladies to be born. I remember staying with your grandma after our mission reunion that one year before I actually moved out to BYU.

Dan said...

I love this post!
I did not think it was you.
Why is that cute little girl wearing a dog dish on her head?
You need to show these to the Carsons.
I can't believe Grandma kept a picture of herself kissing like that!
I thought it was sad that Grandma didn't get to read her own obituary. Do you think you can put an obituary in the paper before someone dies? Then you could read your own obit. Would that be fun or freaky?
Your great-grandparents are cute!

Snoopy said...

I came across your blog trying to get an idea of a birthday present for my Grandma who's going to be 97. Just want to say you created a wonderful rememberance of your Grandma, what a beautiful way to honor her! Keep up the good work!
p.s. You have a beautiful family!

Arlene (CO Kid) said...

I see where Danny gets his sweet smile from.

That was an awesome post. I hope there are blogs in Heaven so your Grandma read it.