*My grandma taught me to play board games and card games.
She taught me to play Kings on the Corners, Gin (5 and 7 card), Pinochle and Oh Hell!
I went to her house every day after school some years-and many days in the summer and she played games with me for hours. I never thought about all the time she devoted to me just playing games with me. She taught me to win and lose graciously and never cheat.
*My Grandma taught me to love books-especially mysteries. She introduced me to The Boxcar Children, The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames, Student Nurse.
I was allowed to sit on the library's counter (where she volunteered) even though there was a sign clearly prohibiting it.
*My Grandma made the best coffee cake and the best Plum Cobbler.
She, along with her mother who died when i was 17, made the best Custard Pie, Stollen (German raisin bread) and home made noodles. I remember from before Thanksgiving to Christmas her living room was set up with tables for noodle drying-and how I would run in and snatch a few to eat.
*My grandma took up painting in the 70's. She gave me her first painting ever, a seagull, which hangs in my hallway. I have other of her paintings-they are treasured possessions in my family-and guarded with all the fury a mother cat guards her kittens (through no fault of his own-my brother came to think the Seagull picture was his as it hung at my Mom's house for years when I was in college and early adulthood and he has tried to steal it from me (hopefully as a joke).
*My grandma taught me to love flowers. The things she missed most when they moved to a retirement village was her flower garden. So, she became the head of the Grounds Committee (a volunteer position)-in charge of landscaping, hiring and firing of garden personnel for the entire complex. I remember how many years she tried to get a hillside to grow wildflowers. Through multiple planters-making them each reseed when they, yet again, failed to grow. She would take me out on the balcony and tell me the latest development. I am not sure that hillside ever bloomed.
*My grandma took me on many vacations with her (and grandpa) to visit family in other states. I am the oldest grandchild and the only one who experienced this-except my brother once got to go because they drove me out to visit my Mom and brother when they lived in Oklahoma-and he drove back to Pennsylvania with us so he could stay with me and Dad for awhile. I am the only grandchild with memories of her sister (Aunt Glad) and her children, and their children (my cousins) who are around the same age. I am also the only grandchild that saw her tipsy-once-after her Mom's funeral at the restaurant after 1 or 2 glasses of wine.
*My grandma, as a young woman, once worked for a judge as a secretary. She was bored one day and decided to organize his accounting books. She discovered along the way information that led to the discovery that the judge's business partner was embezzling. She had to go to trial. The guilty party issued a death threat in public towards her. I get my constant seeking out information from her. I can't ever let my mind just sit still.
*My grandma once let it slip that I was her favorite grandchild. She told my husband when we were leaving to go home to Florida how he was taking "her favorite" away. I know what she meant. She loved all her grandchildren equally. I just happened to be the one who spent the most time with her-the one she saw daily some years-the one who lived in the same town. The one who grew up in front of her-rather than in fleeting visits or photos.
*My grandma died today. She lived a full life well into her 90's. I know she is finally at peace and free from a body and mind that for the last years trapped her inside and made her a mere shadow of herself.
*I miss her so much