Dedicated to Grandmothers

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Mommy’s Mommy Moments

By Melanie Lewis

In honor of the holiday season, I’m dedicating this post to my grandmothers.   ‘Tis the season for the holiday tune we know, “Jingle Bells”. It’s that familiar refrain, over the river and through the woods to GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE we go!  If you happen to have a Convertible, an open “sleigh,” way to go.  There is something very special about time with grandparents. Whether it’s, Bubbe, Nana, or Gigi, they all contain that certain warmth grandmothers possess.

My grandmother had a flair for cooking.  Perhaps after lots of practice, that comes naturally. There were always lots of desserts: cookies, pies, fruit cake and chocolate dipped assortments.  Her latest iteration was chocolate dipped potato chips.  She held cooking demonstrations and hands on learning, “lend nana a hand with these potatoes”, was a typical request. We peeled 10 pounds of potatoes and assisted mashing them.  We assisted with cakes, pecan pie and oyster soup.   After Googling the oyster tradition, I didn’t see how our family fit.  We weren’t Irish descendants, or Catholic. My guess is, it had more to do with Grandpa enjoying his only oyster meal of the year.

My grandparents had decorating flair as well.  Growing up they had a fresh “flocked” tree.  I wish that would make a comeback. They lasted until Valentine’s Day. It’s probably an environmental hazard though. The grandparents really knew how to turn up the magic.  Battery-operated ornaments, a train around the tree and poinsettia everywhere.  Since we had dogs and cats, we couldn’t have those plants. Outside, they had an entire nativity scene in life-size plastic forms.  It was creepy going into the basement in the summer seeing the forms wrapped in burlap.

Most importantly was how they made you feel as if the world revolved around you.  There were lots of people; cousins, aunts, uncles, and neighbors.  Despite the crowd, she would grill me on my grades and school activities, make marks on the wall to see how we grew and wrap us in miles of knitted hats, scarves and mittens.  She must have collapsed after everyone left at the end of the night.

Since my grandparents have all passed away, I cherish those memories even more. I am also grateful for the “adopted” grandparents I’ve met.  My friend’s grandmother was a source of good book and movie recommendations. One of my Reliv customers has taught me how to make noodle kugel and said I can call her Bubbe.  My neighbor is an encyclopedia of gardening.  From pruning to running a chainsaw, he’s a real powerhouse.  But, he’ll be the first to admit that his wife has the green thumb.

Editor’s Mom, “Nonni,” with her grandkids.

With all the inspiration, hard work and love, the holidays were always special.  For all the grandmothers, thanks for all the happy memories and many more!