And Ode to Grandma and Grandpa

grandparent Happy Grandparent’s Day. To celebrate, I thought I would let you know a little bit about my grandparents. I grew up knowing all 4 of my grandparents and had them with me until I was in my early 20s. It seemed like they were taken from me too early, but I cherish the memories I have of them.

My mom’s parents spent a big bulk of my childhood living far away from me. But this did have an upside. My grandpa was a pilot of a little two seater plane that he would fly in to visit us. Which meant, we got to ride in it. When I was young this was just the coolest thing. My grandpa would let us sit in the co-pilot seat and “fly” the plane. Of course, it is like a driver’s ed car and he has the controls the whole time, but as a kid I didn’t know that. I thought I was flying a plane. The other cool thing is every time he flew off we would stand and watch anxiously as his plane took off. Not scared, but excited because he would always tilt his wings back and forth to “wave” at us as he flew away. We loved it!!

My grandpa was a man who wasn’t afraid to show his emotion. He would cry everytime we left his house. And not just like a trickle of tears, but like sobbing. You never wondered if he loved you. His hugs were some of the tightest around. He used to take a nap every afternoon in his mauve lazy boy. And until I was probably way to old to be doing so I would curl up on his lap and nap with him. He was a smoker for a long time of pipes and would keep his tobacco in his pocket so the smell of fresh tobacco still is one of my favorites cause it reminds me of my grandpa. And I pay tribute to him many days a week by napping in his honor ;)

My mom’s mom was an amazing women. She had polio when she was little and was quarantined from her family. This left her with one leg significantly shorter than the other for which she had to wear special shoes for her whole life. Never did I hear her complain or slow down. My grandpa traveled a lot when she was a young mom and now that I am a mom I am stunned that she raised four kids without a lot of help and a handicap. I wish she was around to call on those days I am at the end of my rope with only two. In true impressive housewife fashion, she cooked, she sewed most of her kids clothes, the house was always spotless….apparently her genes didn’t get passed all the way down.

I have the best memory of staying with my grandma for a week one summer when she “taught” me how to sew. I put that in quotes because I am hopeless at sewing. I am a wannabe sewer, but I can barely make a pillow. I cook, I guess. My housekeeping? Barely passable. And I complain up a storm when I get a paper cut. But my mom’s parents passed on something far more important. A legacy of a solid, loving marriage and a strong faith in God. For that I am forever grateful.

Still with me? My dad’s dad wasn’t the most fantastic guy in the world. There is no need to pretend otherwise. But until I was old enough to understand that he wasn’t nice to my grandma or really to his kids, I must say I never questioned that he loved me. So I guess that is something. My grandma on the other hand was never short on love for anyone. Her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids were her life. And she had a ton of them. My dad’s side of the family was huge and every year there were a few new babies added to the mix. It was always a bit chaotic, but she was in the middle of it taking care of everyone.

My grandparents owned a diner when my parents were growing up. And my grandma continued her diner ways in her tiny galley kitchen long after the diner was closed. When we visited her house she would ask us what we wanted to eat and we all would say different things. So she would make them. Homemade chicken and noodles, hamburgers and homemade french fries, you name it. But her specialty was pie. And she served pie the same way. Cherry for my dad, raisin creme for my mom, can’t remember what my brother ate, but I always asked for french silk. And we each got our own pie.

When my grandma died my mom’s best friend gave me a recipe card with one of my grandma’s pie recipes on it. In her own writing. I love having it, but have never even attempted to make it. First of all, I am positive she never used a recipe for anything. And second I know it wouldn’t come close. But I love having it anyway and just knowing that some day if I got brave I could make “her” pie.

I still miss my grandparents so much. I am sad they aren’t here to meet my hubby and my kids. But their legacy of love is a big part of who I am today. I am incredibly blessed.


  1. You are indeed blessed! I didn’t have grandparents around to speak of, other than one grandmother and one great grandfather. But my son will definitely have a legacy like the one you spoke of (knock on wood) as he has wonderful Christian grandparents and still most of his great-grandparents (on my husband’s side).
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..California Girl Adventures =-.

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