If I had photographs in my hands of some of the memories in my head, these are the pictures I’d have of Grammy:
Sharing my bedroom with her whenever she visited; listening to late night stories of the “Get-Hot-Stay-Hot Girls” and their adventures on Catalina Island.
Collecting shells on the beach and collecting the prettiest rocks from the River to add to our “rock garden” behind the wash house.
Going out on the boat waterskiing in the morning & evening with Papa as the driver/instructor and Grammy as the cheerleader/flag-holder.
Swinging from the dock ramp in the River to cool herself off, before heading back to her homemade mesh deck chair in the shade with crazy flies everywhere, drinking beer in a can surrounded by styrofome insulation, talking and laughing with everyone, playing backgammon.
Sleeping under the beautiful quilt that Grammy made me from scraps of material she’d saved from all the clothing she sewed for me over the years.
Hair blowing everywhere as we drive back from Havasu in the Hornet with the windows rolled down (y’know, A/C against those 100+ degree days) and the coolers filled with food we’d bargain shopped & couponed for from 3 different stores.
Making dozens of batches of chocolate chip cookies with her, and still not being able to duplicate exactly the same yummy taste. Everyone always accused her of holding back a secret ingredient. I think it was just her love.
Watching Wheel of Fortune each night, always trying to beat her to solving the puzzle, which was, of course, nearly impossible. Grammy was a gaming, puzzling fiend. Agonizing & whining while tv wasted time with contestants spending their winnings on such treasures as the ceramic Dalmatian.
Getting up early to clean trailers in the cool of the day (y’know 98* instead of 112*). Hanging the sheets to dry on the line, knowing it wouldn’t take too long, and dreading putting back together those horrid bunkbeds.
Watching Grammy suck-up ceiling spiders and their ever-present webs with her hand-held vacuum.
Eating homemade cherry pie while calling Mom and saying “Mmmmm…..” So cruel.
Walking to Macs Market in the evening, knowing Grammy would probably spring for a popsicle.
Lingering over the breakfast table. Picking a coffee mug from the wall rack. Knowing someone in the park would always drop by and grab a mug and join us for a while. Grammy’s hospitality knew no bounds.
Playing cards morning, noon & late night. All manner of cards: Fish, Kings in the Corner, Gin Rummy, Rummy 500, Garbage, Spite and Malice, Hearts, Spades, Canasta … Knowing I would likely lose. Being careful NOT to sit in front of the mirror or the reflective window. Not that Grammy would cheat, mind you. But DJ might. ;-)
Crafts, crafts and more crafts. (which is funny, because I don’t really like crafts now. But I surely loved them then). Cross stitching, fancy yarn hangers, yarn potholders & placemats, hook rugs, yarn chairs (we went thru a LOT of yarn …), painted t-shirts…
Bingo over at B&B. In the days before they cracked down on minors “gambling”. Oh, those penny stakes …
Papa daily making Xerox copies of the crossword puzzles, because he and Grammy both needed their own.
Food. Always the FOOD. Food to feed armies. Spaghetti, chicken tortilla casserole, lasagna, enchiladas, green salad with Papa’s special dressing, cherry pie, jello-poke cakes, orange rolls …
Grammy always present for all the biggie events: all the graduations, weddings, great-grandbabies’ arrivals… Gosh, I feel like an era's come to an end. I miss her.