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My Blog

My Grandmother Pearl

Good morning to all.  Today is a bit bleak and dreary outside.  The smell of rain seems to be upon us.  I am glad that today is going to be spent indoors....hopefully painting.  I have a week of preparing for the Big Storytelling Festival on Sunday at the Grove in Glenview.  If you love in this area and have never been out to  Folk Festival there. why not come out and join me. 
There is folk music, barn dancing, jugglers, strollers musicians, us storytellers, there is a small scale autumn craft show, Elegant Farmers Pies baked in a bad for purchase.  Great stew cooked in a huge kettle on the open fire pit on the grounds...loads of other foods as well.   You  can tours the historic homes, kids can make a Indian headband over at the teepees and long house, The interpretive center is filled with animals to see...and there is a special guest over in the Redfield house speaking about native American animals and totem spirits.  A full day indeed. 
It is located at 1421 N. Milwaukee Ave, Glenview, Il.  and begins at 11-5...Storytelling is from 12-5.
As long as I am on storytelling.  If you are an adult and love ghost stories.  I will be performing at an open venue at the Grove on October 19th at 7 PM.  You MUST preregister though through the Glenview Park District.  Look for Spooky and Scary Trails.. 
Now, onto today's blog.  Today is the 1st of October...to I will start with a Happy Birthday to my Grandmother who is celebrating with all those she loves in heaven. I cannot believe that she is gone so very long..it has been  34 years and there isn't a day that goes by in my life that I don't think of her in one way or another.  Most people don't have the opportunity to spend as much time with their grandparents as I was fortunate enough to have had.  Living with her made a huge difference in my life.  When I look back at her life, she was a very strong individual.  She raised up 7 children, 4 of whom where my grandfathers children.  She began mothering at a very early life.  When she was 12 years old her mother was killed in Chicago by a street car.  She had a father, 2 brothers and a sister who she needed to help raise and care for.  I was fortunate enough to know her sister but not her father or brothers.  She was an amazing woman.  She doted on everyone hand and foot.  She cooked, baked canned, cleaned and cared for everyone.  She was generous to a fault to not only family but to friends and neighbors. 
She was a small woman, about 5'2 who wore for most of life a simple cotton dressed that she referred to as a Mickey Mouse...Not sure why...but that is the name of the dress and when you went to buy one the women in the department stores knew what you wanted. Her hair was white as long as I can remember .  Her place of honor in the house was always in a rocking chair.  There was a rocking chair next to the stove in kitchen with pretty ruffled cotton chair pads on it.  In the front porch there was an outdoor rocking chair with pads as well, only those were more weather proof.  Each time I sit in a rocking chair I cannot help but remember her.  As I slowly rock, my hands run up the  arms and I can close my eyes and just imagine her being with me.  The stories she told.  Problem with Grandma's stories were that you never really knew whether they were true or not, but you always knew there would be some sort of lesson to learn in the end.  I am writing a book called Stories on Grandmothers Front Porch.  It seems that she should get some recognition for all that she did while she was here. 
My grandma was a treasure for sure.  She made every day special in one way or another and doted on us all.  My mother was her baby and she especially doted on her.  My mother would no sooner come home from work and my grandmother was immediately polishing her shoes for the next day.  The table was set with placemat and dishes and a hot meal was always ready to be served.  As soon as my mother changed her clothes, Grandma would be washing them by hand and hanging them out on the laundry line to dry.  The house was kept spotless as long as I can remember.  She was stubborn at times and had a difficult time asking for help. This was not always a good thing.  I remember once she fell off the bed because she was hanging up the curtains she washed.  She was 80 at the time. 
She was crippled with arthritis and walking was difficult for her.  I never understood that pain until I have entered the arthritis years.  I cannot imagine how she handled her days.  Back then, they didn't really know too much about psoriatic arthritis and I believe looking back now that was what she had. 
I look back through the pictures through the years and smile at this wonderful human beings.  I miss her as much today as I did when she first passed away.  I would like to think that I am who I am because of her and her loving ways.  I would like to think that the things I do keep her alive in some way.  When I am with my granddaughters, I do everything I can to make our moments special and memorable.  One thing that my grandmother loved was Violet Candy.  Whenever we would go somewhere, Grandma would put some Violet candies in her handkerchief  in her pocket book.  She always said a young lady needed to be prepared with fresh breath after a meal.  So when we were  out she would open that purse and the scent of violets filled the air.  She would then give one to me and take one for her self.  They were absolutely delicious.  years had cone by and one day I was in an Amish store...and there on the counter were those Violet Candies.  I purchased a bunch of them....oh the memories had all flooded back.  I then shared them with MY granddaughters...who loved them as well.  I shared the story of Grandma and the candies.  Every time I get the opportunity, I purchase  some for them.  I always ask them..."When you smell that smell....who will you think of?"  Their answer is always the same, "you grandma".  They savor the candy pieces like they were pieces of a treasure...and actually, in a sense they are....they are my grandmothers treasure handed down through generations and hopefully for generations to come. 
So today....I nod my head in memory of a great woman. I think she must have been named Pearl, because she was such a Gem!  A woman I loved and will always love until we meet again. 

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