Sunday, January 2, 2011

99 years

My grandmother, turned 99 years old today. She was born in 1912. 1912!!
Can you imagine how different things were then?
This norwegian speaking, lefse making, master hand worker (all things quilting, crocheting, knitting, cross-stitching) woman raised three daughters.
She worked hard as a farmers wife.
She and my grandfather raised up good women, who went on to raise their own families with the strong values that were instilled in them. 
They were married for 57 years before grandpa died, at the age of 94.

I remember going to their house in the summers and playing croquet in the back yard, or strolling
down to the lake for a swim, walking by my mom's old school, and playing at the outdated playground. 
I remember winters in their dark basement on the hide-a-bed by the fire.
I remember playing cards and board games (Hoosker-Doo, anyone?)
and eating my fair share of casserole ("hot dish" in MN speak)
always with bread and butter pickles and bread and butter as sides.
They would say grace in Norwegian. 
Grandma would feed us silly and grandpa would squeeze our arms and say "you're gettin' fat." 
I remember the little tipi that was a lamp, it gave me solace when I felt afraid of the creaky, dark, damp basement. I remember the chest freezer that always held treats, like push ups and popsicles.
I remember that most of the food was home-made, but they did usually have pringles in the cupboard.
And always some kind of sweets. Always.

I have an afghan that she crocheted, and a hand-sewn quilt made by her.
I have some cross-stitched towels and frilly little doilies that she passed the hours working on.
I have really found that there are no better gifts that those you put your time, love, and talents into. 
They hold our essence, long after we're gone.

I've seen my grandma 3 out of 4 of the past summers.
I'm not sure I'll see her another summer, but one can only hope.
She's lived a good life. A long life. 
Happy Birthday, Grandma!


Sarah said...

Really?!?! 99 years! That's great! I love this post! My Grandpa just turned 95 and I love to hear his memories of his life, it's amazing!

Tessa said...

I know. It's just sad that it's sometimes not until we are an adult that we care to put the time and effort into building strong relationships (I never lived really close to my grandma). It makes me want to change that for my kids....perhaps I should start by considering relocating closer to my parents. ah, life.
Thanks for coming by!

Heidi said...

Happy Birthday to her!
Both of my Great Grandmas lives very long lives. 102, and 104 when they passed away. Can you imagine such a long life?
I have always looked forward to being older. Tasha Tudor is my spiritual mentor. She was amazing and said old age was the best by far and they she was having the time of her life!
All of the elderly women I know who were active in their later years give credit to drinking goats milk. I shall have to start.
Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful lady!I bet she is very pleased that you treasure her handmade handiwork so much, I know I would be.