Blurb

The shoes didn't fit. It was an omen.













Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Paternal Grandmother

A house needs a grandma in it. Louisa May Alcott

There’s no place like home except Grandma’s. Author Unknown

Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being. Margret Mead

The walls of divorce and maternal bias kept my house divided when growing up. Getting to see my paternal grandmother was not at the top of my mom’s list. But when dad came to town, we’d visit. Its not that mom kept me completely from seeing her, but the visits were limited. My grandmother read tea leaves, the Tarot, and held séances.

Mom didn’t approve of grandma’s pagan ways. But she kept a Holy Bible in her living room and said grace before meals, always ending each one with ‘in Jesus’s name. Amen’. For some reason, my grandmother had no defined lines when it came to spirituality. She attended a Methodist church and belonged to their Eastern Star club.

Grandma had an interesting life growing up, too. She was the oldest of eleven sisters. She also helped run the family dairy farm after her father died when her youngest sister had just turned one. Grandma and her family survived The Great Depression without a him.

My time with grandma was spent on the Venice beach picking up sharks’ teeth or building sandcastles. At her home, we’d crochet book worms or do needle point designs.

She made the best dinners. My most favorite one was apricot glazed chicken, peas and mushrooms with parsley potatoes, followed by a cheesecake topped with a glazed cherries.

She also kept spiral notebooks full of her family stories that she wrote. Some are in longhand.

Grandma loved birds. Especially cardinals. Bird feeders and baths filled her back yard. Every bird imaginable would visit. Even humming birds.

I cherished every moment I had with her.

When I finally left my mother’s house for good at eighteen, I made an every Friday date with her. We’d go to breakfast and do some window shopping after. However, those Fridays were short lived. She came down with a UTI and became dehydrated. She passed right before Christmas in 1984.

In Secondhand Shoes, Lila’s Gram, is a lot like my grandmother. She comes many times in the form of a cardinal to her granddaughter’s aid. I often wonder if my grandmother doesn’t do the same, guiding and directing my way. ***shrugs*** One never knows. Although, my dad seems to think so.

So guys, when you put your stories together do you weave in your favorite people from your life?

Hugs and chocolate,

Shelly

***

SAVE THE DATE: February 19, 20, and 21st. I’ll be having a Spread the News and Cheer on the Run Away Bride Giveaway. I’ll be drawing 2 winners for a 15 dollar Amazon card and 2 winners for autographed copies of Secondhand Shoes. Stay tuned for more details and who will be helping.

21 comments:

  1. And so that's where Gram comes from!

    It was my maternal grandmother that I was closest to; there was a bit of a distance with my father's parents.

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    1. People have been asking after they've read the book where Gram comes from.

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  2. She sounds like a wonderful person. Mama was clairvoyant. She would see or dream something and predict what would happen. She was also a staunch Christian, belonged to the Lutheran church, and was on her fifth time through the Bible when she went home to the Lord. In answer to your question about people in the novels. Yes, of course, and Anna has Mama's passionate nature and clairvoyance abilities.

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  3. Yes. Definitely. You need that sort of realizm in a story. I loved this!

    And with your story, I knew that you were paterning someone real into the Grandmother and thought you did a wonderful job--all of your characters sing of realizm.
    Hat off too you, hon!
    Chocolate Hugs!!!

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    1. Chocolate hugs back to you, too. Thank you.

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  4. In a word: absolutely!

    I've often believed my dad appears to us as a robin. They were his favorite birds--I think I've blogged about the lengths he went to in order to save a nest of baby robins from a rotten neighborhood kid--and whenever good news is on the way or I'm in need of reassurance, a robin will show up, even in the dead of winter.

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  5. What a beautiful story about your grandmother Shelly. Very touching. I love cardinals. How sweet.

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  6. Wonderful post Shelly. I barely remember my maternal grandmother, having died when I was about five or six. Your Gram sounds wonderful. Congratulations on your novel! I'm very excited for you and I’ll be here cheering you on.

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    1. Thank you, Dora. My maternal grandmother is 98 and is still going. But she doesn't acknowledge me no matter what I do. Its her personal choice. Despite it, I learned may wonderful things from her, too.

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  7. I absolutely weave in people from my own life . . . each character is a mash-up of lots of people from my life.My main character is even named after my two grandmothers, and one just turned 95 in December, and she still goes bowling once a week:-)

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    1. That is so awesome. Some grandmothers are the best.

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  8. I never really knew my grandparents except from stories from my parents. Great for you having those memories.

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    1. Yes. I can still taste her chicken, too.

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  9. I see I wrote longhand when I met to write short.

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  10. Shelly, this was wonderful! I love your grandmother! Funny, I am a Methodist, I have tarot cards and a bible by my bed ;D My paternal grandmother was the one that loved birds and we often shared tea. Her favorite bird was a cardinal and when I see one, I think of her~
    This was beautiful and I look forward to your book~ Yes, oh, yes...lots of fragments of my family and life comes out in my writing ;D Hugs and chocolate to you~

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    1. Wow! The more I blog about different things about my life the more I find others with similar stories.

      Hugs and chocolate!

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I'm dying to know what you think.