Time is amazing how it can seem to slow down when things are bad and seem to speed up when things are good. 2008 was a year to remember... but one in many ways, I don't want to remember or repeat. In just that one year, Jeff had knee surgery, Lee and I both got pneumonia, I had my gallbladder removed, my dad passed away and my cancer returned and I had a mastectomy. Yes....it was a year to forget!
I know that really isn't true, I can't forget all the incredible things that I learned but...it was an incredibly hard year. It was this weekend that marked a year ago that my Dad passed away. He and I weren't very close, I wished we would have been, we certainly should have been ...I was his only girl out of 5 children! It is funny, even though we weren't close I have some of his traits. He never met a stranger, he loved to give to everyone, he liked to draw (although he rarely did), he loved Christmas, he laughed a lot and he had a hundred BEST FRIENDS! So even though, he might not have realized it, we had a lot in common. Dad died on his mother's birthday. She passed away 20 some years ago, on my Birthday, interesting huh?
His mom, my grandma Johnny (as we lovingly called her) was a special grandmother to me and for that I am very grateful. She wasn't the snuggly or huggy type, but she was kind to me and we spent a lot of time together.Her house was a SAFE place for me and so when I was there, I could completely relax and enjoy our time together. She taught me how to sew some, mostly by hand (which I couldn't believe how long it took her to do that) and she taught me how to crochet...that was much faster. She always made Jiffy Cornbread Mix, but she would throw the box away, so that everyone thought it was her own special recipe. She would smile when others said that thought her cornbread was better than anyone else! :)
She saved everything, she told me that was because of what she had lived through and people could get by on much less than they really have. She used to also make us a treat called SUGAR-BREAD-AND-BUTTER-SUGAR, now it was just what it says it is, white bread (not homemade) butter and sugar and then steamed so the butter would melt and the bread was soft. I am not sure if she added more sugar when it came out but...we thought it was the best thing ever! So did our dentist probably...it kept him in business! :) She used to write in a journal every day and my favorite thing to do with her was sit on the porch in our rocking chairs and either crochet or string beans. She was a great cook. I loved hearing the chimes of her old grandfather clock. I can still remember the glass door knobs in her house...I wished I had some of those. Yes, I had many fond memories in her home.
When Jeff and I got married, she was moving out of her home that she had been in all her married life. She was getting weaker and came to live with our family for a while, then she got so bad she had to move into a nursing home. Because she was never going to be able to return to her home, she offered Jeff and I some of her furniture to start out on. I guess that is why I wanted to decorate my home in a Country motif, because it reminds me every day of Grandma Johnny's house and I love that feeling. If you ever come to visit, you will still find my home decorated with many things that my grandma gave us, and I love them!
Now I am a grandma, well...NANA to be exact, but I try hard to make my home a safe and good place for my kids and granddaughter to come. I always want it to smell a certain way, like my grandmother's did. I don't cook all the treats that she did, but I do burn candles that smell like I am cooking or put potpourri on the stove. Jeff and the kids used to get excited when they came in the door, when they smelled something delicious cooking or so they thought. But when they found out it was just a candle that smelled like cinnamon rolls then they were disappointed. I told them that it was much better for them to just smell it than eat it...but they never had really believed that.
So this weekend I counted my blessings when I thought of Grandma Johnny and Dad. I am grateful for all the things they taught me and the lessons I learned from their lives. Each generation should get better I believe. Hopefully some day my grand kids will remember good things that they learned and did while at Nana's and Poppa's house. Plus, hopefully it is a safe and happy place for them to always come and a place they remembered that smelled like something delicious was in the oven!
"The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind." ~Thalassa Cruso,
"Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived."
__Captain Jean-Luc Picard
"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."