Recently my family celebrated my grandmothers 90th birthday and it has given me time to reflect on what my grandmother has done in those ninety years. When I was a little girl, my grandpa was my hero. He was fun, entertaining and a world class kid spoiler! He was a cattleman and loved sharing that life with his grandchildren. He would take my brother and I to the mountains to move our cattle by horseback, to town when he had to take sick animals to the vet, out on the hay swather and a dozen other errands, jobs and activities. He always had gum and Coffee Nips and was always ready to take me out to lunch at the local cafe or for pizza in town. Hanging with grandpa was a kids dream! Hanging with grandma however was different.
It’s not that grandma didn’t spoil me or give me treats but grandma did girl things and I wasn’t into girl things. She was always baking, or canning or cooking and cleaning something and was determined that I would do those things too. She was also determined that I would wear dresses and she would always say, “don’t you want to be a little lady?” To my young tomboy ears, that was a four letter word! Needless to say, her appeal was somewhat lacking. However, as I have gotten older and become a mom myself, my appreciation, admiration and awe for my grandma has grown.
When I had my twins, my grandmother would come visit and she would hold and rock those babies for hours. That was a treat for a worn-out, exhausted mom. When my kids were a little older and we would visit ‘great grandma’, she arranged elaborate tea parties for them with real food, ‘pop’ tea and games. Little by little, with every visit home, every phone conversation, every holiday, I began to see my grandmother in a different light. I started calling her for advice on cooking, gardening or whatever else I knew she could fix or help with and I soon came to realize that this woman who wanted me to be a ‘lady’ had always been my rock through thick and through thin.