Tomorrow the Man of Steel and I are taking Mom to a family reunion where many cousins will gather to catch up on each other’s lives and to reminisce about our parents and grandparents. As we talk, the realization will come upon many of us, myself included, that we are becoming more and more like our parents and our stalwart grandparents, Vernon and Josephine Hess. This Fantastic Friday post from June of 2009 offers a picture of what that means.
A few years ago my older sister, who hit fifty long before I did, said she was getting more like our Grandma Hess (our mother’s mother) every year. “Maybe it’s happening to you,” I thought, “but it won’t happen to me.” I was so wrong! Since turning fifty almost three years ago, I have developed some strange quirks that can be traced directly to Grandma. The most notable of these traits are:
- A growing belief that oatmeal deserves its own food group, should be eaten for every breakfast and added to all baked goods.
- A penchant for big, flower-patterned, cover-up aprons.
- The habit of spitting on a tissue (though Grandma used a hankie) and using it to wash the dirty face of any child related to me.
- Wintering over my geraniums, rooting geraniums, planting geraniums in my garden, etc.
- Ditto for asparagus ferns, vinca vines, and philodendrons.
- Not wanting to spend money unless it’s really necessary, and nothing is really all that necessary.
- A need to check my flower gardens every day, pick flowers for bouquets whenever possible, and put the flowers in the vase (see photograph above) that belonged to Grandma’s mother.
- Thinking the best way to celebrate any winter event is to cram everyone into my house and serve a heavy meal.
- Thinking the best way to celebrate any summer event is to have a family picnic.
Some of Grandma’s traits I haven’t picked up yet and hope the Man of Steel or my kids chain me to a wall before I do are:
- Taking all the sugar, creamer, catsup, mustard, and any other condiment packets, along with as many straws and napkins that will fit in a purse, from restaurant booths.
- Buying cheap clothes, worthy of wearing at my own funeral, at Crazy Daze and putting them in the back of the closet until the big day arrives.
- Watching Lawrence Welk every Saturday night.
- Knowing the life story of every entertainer on Lawrence Welk and relating them to my grandchildren.
- Asking my kids to cut my toenails when I can afford a podiatrist.
- Requiring kids to wait thirty minutes after a meal before they go swimming.
Unfortunately, a few years ago I would have told my family to chain me to a wall if I snored, spit on a tissue or wore a flower-patterned apron. So I’m probably doomed to pick up a few more Grandma quirks every few years. But if the Lawrence Welk oddities come last, I’ll be eternally grateful.
A-one, and a-two, and a….