Red Gernaium Cottage posted a really nice story about her Grandma, and made me think again of mine. Grandma went to heaven 10 years ago, but Altzheimers took her away from us long before that. When I was growing up, we were special friends; "Linked in Life" as she said. She firmly believed in past lives and often would tell me that she and I have been together in all of our lives, all thru time. A great reader of Edgar Caycee, she loved to think out loud and conjecture - and I lapped it up. She introduced me to Kahil Gilbran and dozens of alternative type ideas of LIFE and beyond. Not in a strange, creepy way, just matter of fact and with a wide open mind. One of my best memories is going with her to rent horses for an afternoon. The expense for her must have very serious, and she saved for months to be able to take me riding. She was 58, I was 12 that summer of 1966, and we rode like cowboys. I was worried about her "advanced old age" and riding a horse, she was worried I'd fall off. We always had a galloping race along one stretch on dirt road under a canopy of trees. I can picture it so clearly. About that same time we played badmitton in the driveway and she dove for a birdie and fell, fracturing her wrist. She couldn't drive, I wasn't old enough, but there was no one else around and certainly one did not summon an ambulance for anything less than shotgun wounds. I drove downtown, scared witless, with Grandma calmly and quietly talking me thru every move. Another summer as we lay in the WWII surplus hammocks strung all over her yard, she suddenly sat up and said - "SUZY! Let's go for a ride!" I happily piled into the car with her. "Where are we going, Grandma?" "We're going to Bishop, and have lunch" Oh goody goody, I loved Bishop, this was going to be Adventure! Only thing was, Bishop was about 750 miles away. I didn't realise it, but when we stopped for a potty break and she told me to call my Mama, I blabbed and we were asked to turn around and go home. Phooey - Mamas are no fun!
Grandma and I spoke on the phone every Saturday morning at 7 am, for probably 25 or 30 years, until she forgot me. To this day I am unconsciously near a phone at 7 am on Saturdays. When in later years I was packing her 8,427 books prepatory for a move, she scared the crap out of me when she came up behind me with a loaded revolver - "Suzy, I just don't know how to turn this off" When I got done being scared, and having safely secured the gun away from her, I went looking for Mama and bawled my eyes out. In the late years, although she was a lifelong teetotaller, she inexplicably took a fondness to Irish Creame Whiskey, and sent me off to buy it. Buying whiskey in Utah is no easy feat, mind you. The little pink state liquor store in that teeny town was open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maybe. Sometimes it might be Mondays and Saturdays, you never knew. Eventually I got the stuff, and nothing would do but I had to gag down a drink with her every evening. She slammed it straight, I cut it with as much water as I thought I could get away with, and had it on the rocks to boot. I could nurse that one little glass of buzzard barf for hours, while Grandma shot back 4 or 5. Amazing, and she never seemed the least bit lit.
Grandma taught me "You CAN, but you MAY not" "Stand straight and tall and be proud" "You shan't raise your voice" " You never stop learning" "You dasn't dare refute your Mama" and "I love you, Sugar"
I love you too, Grandma.