Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Best Christmas Ever!

     My grandmother often told the story of what was the best Christmas in their immediate family. They lived on a farm when my dad was little and one year she and the three children were quarantined inside the house with scarlet fever. It was never quite clear why my grandfather was not included in the house, at least not in the story as told to me.
      Apparently, the quarantine was just before Christmas and Mom Mom (what the grandchildren ended up calling my grandmother) knew they would not be out, or Grandad in until late afternoon Christmas Eve, she started pulling old coats, dresses and anything else she could find out of the closet, cutting them up and making new clothes out of them for the children so that they would have a Christmas. When Christmas morning came, they all had presents including my grandfather. Mom Mom said it was her best Christmas ever, even though I am sure you have figured out there was nothing for her! Her present was in knowing her family did not miss anything at this special time of year.
     Last week at our church we had tables of things that we do and on my part of our table my daughter-in-laws provided some of the things that I made for the grandchildren about 5 years ago at Christmas some sewn, crocheted, or whatever. It thrilled my heart because I knew the love that I made those items with and was reminded of my own grandmother and everything she had taught me about the love of family and how it is shown at the birthday party of our king.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Grandchildren race into the room so excited! Each time this happens it is about something different and of varying degrees of importance. It might be somewhere they are going or something that happened or about the little kid down the street swallowing a bug.

This week my youngest granddaughter raced up to me at the front door and was saying something that sounded to me like, "chew, chew"! I don't remember exactly what I said but as I rounded the corner, her mother was sitting on a blanket in the hall where she and her little girl had been working together and said, "She is trying to tell you she is two."

At first I panicked that I had missed the change of the month and a birthday (I hadn't they were just practicing for the upcoming event next month). I was relieved when I discovered my mind was still in tact, but a pain of sadness hit me too that my youngest granddaughter and my youngest grandson were within a month of each other soon to be two. It happened so fast !

Sharing the moments of the lives of the people in your life is such a gift from God! How thankful we should be for each second with each and everyone of them!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


My grandmother lived in an era of bridge clubs, luncheons and teas (respectively in order of importance). The ladies of the bridge clubs usually were also friends outside the club and were the first telephone social networks. You no doubt thought social networking began on the internet... how wrong you would be.
Most generally these networks of 8 to 12 ladies, depending on the size of the community were the making and breaking of any idea, policy or politician that appeared on the horizon.
It was a grand time of social gatherings and spending time on a level we don't see much any more. The ladies would get the husbands in for bridge about twice a year (in the evening of course as the were out bringing in the bacon). Everyone dressed up, even down to evening bags.
To some it may sound pompous but I somehow miss the idea of it all. It just seems like we are almost too laid back. How about you?

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The other day I told one of my granddaughters something and got a look that could have killed without the use of any other weapon. Immediately, I sailed back through time to my youth and heard my grandmother say, "Nikki, I know you don't hate me, even if that look on your face says you do right now. My fear for you honey is that someone else will knock that look right off your face for you if you do not stop using it yourself."
Later the same week my mother nearly did do just that!
It took me a while to learn the advise was good and fortunately I did before getting really hurt by someone other than family, but it took even longer to realize that my grandmother was speaking to me from experience and how important that is. The fact is, I learned the last part this week when I turned and saw that glare I was given by my own grandchild.
You see, I know she doesn't hate me either (we are as close as I was to my own grandmother) and what I said to her was so similar to what my grandmother said that it shocked me for a moment.
We always hope that we can learn from the mistakes of those before us, it is why we study history after all! My Grandmother Taught Me This!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Both my grandmother and my great grandmother ALWAYS carried a handkerchief in their purse. They were pretty little things with flowers, butterflies and other lovely things on them. I was gifted many of these beautiful treasures growing up, most of which were never used (just looked pretty in my purse) and some that never made it out of the boxes.
We were talking the other day about getting rid of a lot of the junk that we have been hauling around with us over the years and never use. That night I thought of that little grouping of beautiful hankies (term used back then). I wondered where they were and if I would ever see them again if we started tossing old stuff out. A little panic went through me that one of the family, not knowing that my grandmothers had given them to me and that to me they were special, would simply toss them.
Saturday, we went to storage and the first box my daughter-in-law handed me, she said, "Look and see if there is anything in here you really want to keep." To my amazement, there they were all together, folded as neatly as they would have been in my purse. I am not sure what I will do with these memorable little pieces of cloth, maybe quilts for my grandchildren, but I never thought I would be so happy to see embroidered squares in my life.
Suddenly it occurred to me that it was not the beautiful little squares that were important at all, but the memories they held for me of my grandmothers and the love with which they gave these articles to me that made them important. It is my hope that I can teach that kind of love with the little things in life to the grandchildren God has blessed me with!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


When I was very young, my grandmother started teaching me to sew. The first thing she taught me was how to thread a needle (the old fashioned way, not with a threader). It was huge to me at that time, but over time became very insignificant, until yesterday!
My seven year old granddaughter brought me her little sewing machine that was given to her by her other grandmother and said, "Grandmother, can you fix my sewing machine, because I know you are the ONLY one that would know how."
The compliment was was so sweet and I hoped I would be able to live up to the mechanical difficulty of fixing this little machine that Singer® had taken great strides to making sure that a child could not get into the inner workings of for safety reasons. I began looking at what the problem could possibly be and yes, as I am sure you have figured out already, she didn't know how to thread the needle.
Our problems in life are very similar as my beautiful grandchild's. While they may be simple to one person, until we are shown what to do, they are insurmountable. How about teaching someone to thread a needle today?!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


As your children grow up they leave marks on your house and on your heart. I will never forget my grandmother remodeling her house in the late 1970's. Her instructions to the carpenter was, "Make it look modern!" The furniture was always in style in her house but the texturing of the walls was the kind that had big bumps with points and curves. You almost have to remember this texturing to understand but it looked a lot like whipped cream mounds with tips or a pie topping with points. At any rate, these tips stuck out at times as far as an inch or more and to get them off they had to be scraped and sanded.
The window ledge in the front living room was very low (about 14 inches) and had a regular windowsill at the bottom. The carpenter came in with an electric saw to take it off. At this my grandmother screamed, "What in the world do you think you are going to do with that?" He explained that the window ledge was out of style and besides would take a great deal of sanding if they left in as it had deep marks embedded on both ends. To this she replied, "Those are my granddaughter's tooth marks, you can paint them but you can NOT remove them. That was the only thing she was tall enough to cut her little teeth on." (I was a real shorty as a baby!)
The interesting thing about this occurrence is that I was fully grown and had two children of my own, one of which was older than I was when the marks first appeared. I think the important thing about it is the meaning that those marks had for her. They were a part of something that had touched her life that could not be replaced, for they were part of a precious memory.
As I look now at my darling grandchildren and the things they do, I understand what those marks on the windowsill meant to my grandmother. We all have them, sometimes they are in our hearts and sometimes they actually show, to be shared either way. Hold on tight to the marks your loved ones make on your lives, they cannot be replaced.