Sadly, combined, Meghan and I have a total of one grandparent, my Grandma Jane. I only got to know my one great grandparent, Great Grandpa Gus, for a very brief time, but I really hope my girls get to know their great grandmother. She's 79 now and I hope she lives to at least 100. That way our girls would be able to go to her house when they're 21, and reminisce over an Old Fashioned. Yes, she's known to put back a drink or two.
She's an amazing woman. Back in the early 60s, she raised my dad and aunt from the time my father was 10. She's tall, beautiful, and so much fun to be around. When I was growing up, she always seemed to know the right things to say. I'm not sure where that quality comes from, but she has it. I lived in Green Bay until I was two, but I would always return each and every summer to make sure we got to spend a ton of time together. She still lives in the same house she did when my dad was born. Her house is full of memories. She taught me how to play cards when I was eight years old. Well, she probably started teaching me when I was younger, but we'll go with eight as the point at which I actually started taking her pennies and nickels playing poker. I don't think there was ever a trip to her house that didn't involve canned cherries, Cincinnati chili, pineapple upside down cake, Wyoming whopper cookies, or fresh strawberries and sugar.
Grandma, cooking up something good :)
I remember waking up each morning I was there, just waiting for to get up. I would have the cards ready on the table, just waiting for her to get her morning coffee, so we could start a game of poker, cribbage, or canasta. I think it went something like this while whispering ever so quietly, "Grandma, Grandma. Are you awake yet? I've got the table set up as soon as your ready to get up. I'll just be waiting for you in the kitchen." Of course she had a hard time saying no to her first-born grandchild, so she would stumble out of bed, make some coffee, light up a cigarette, and sit and play with me while I know she must have only been half awake.
Her other morning ritual has always been the Word Jumble and Cryptoquote. I know the Word Jumble is in most morning papers, but I only remember seeing the Cryptoquote in her paper. Basically, you're given a quote, written with a bunch of random letters. Each letter actually represents a different letter each week, but you have to guess and crack the code as to whether "b" equals "m" that day for all of the letter in the quote. She's become quite good over the years.
Grandma, with her coffee, the Word Jumble, and the Cryptoquote
I have so many other memories from her house, like Santa and his reindeer prancing on the roof, summers spent in her hot tub, going to feed the ducks at the nature preserve, riding the rides at Bay Beach. I could go on and on, but I also plan on telling these stories to my girls when they get a little older.
The House of Memories
This weekend, my Aunt Patty, cousin Becky, and Grandma Jane all came down for a quick visit.
My Aunt Patty
My Cousin Becky
Because of the NICU rules, only my grandma was able to come in and see the girls, but our nurse was nice enough to unhook Sophia from her leads and brought her over to the window for Becky and Patty to see. I hope I'm able to get many more photos of my grandma with my girls. Below, are just a few of the first ones.
Grandma, if you're reading this, which I know you are, I hope you know how much I love you and how many fond memories you helped create!