Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bye Granny

At 7 this morning (her time zone), my Granny passed away. She was 93 years, 6 days old.

Granny Crackers, waving at Baby late last summer.
She isn't in pain anymore, and I rejoice that she's gone to be with the Lord, but oh, I'm sad for me. :] A large portion of my happy childhood memories involve her, and the property she and my grandpa retired on, about the time I was born. My dad's property adjoins theirs, and summers with my dad were often summers-at-Grandma's, if he was working. And a better place for childhood summers I can't imagine. To get to her house from Dad's, we had to walk a path through the pasture, pass through the trees, cross the bridge over the creek, and trek up the hill to her house.

Once I fell in the creek. One minute I was standing in my little red orphan-annie style dress (that Grandma had made me) with my hand full of rocks, and my arm extended over the railing, ready to drop the rocks. The next moment I was in the water, howling for fear a crawdad would get me. Even that day I was astonished that I could not remember *how* I fell.

Her home has a daylight basement, and a 'deck' (long balcony, really) all along the main floor, overlooking the creek, Dad's place, and across the highway to the lake and mountain.

From my dad's, in the lower area
Once my cousin kicked my little brother off the deck. He touched her stomper, and she booted him. I saw him fall, ran to announce the event to the family indoors, and my dad raced home with him in his arms as blood trickled out of his ear. Her mother snatched her up right quick.  His eardrum broke and he spent the night in the hospital, but he was okay. She had her britches lowered, her backside well-tanned, and went to bed without dinner. It is all quite burned in my memory. :)

Grandma's property had a chicken coop, a winding lane, an ancient orchard on a hillside, huge cedar trees, and other old buildings, including an outhouse. One less-enjoyable summer our other cousins were with us most days. My eldest cousin coerced us into the outhouse one day, and abandoned me there for some time, warning me that Bacchus (the ram who spent his time ramming his head into the wall of the old barn on the other side of a fence, not 8 feet from the outhouse) would get me if I came out before she returned. That was a long day. Everyone laughs at the way I demanded to serve my own applesauce at dinner (and not let that cousin perform the duty), but they don't know the back story. :)

Granny became "Granny Crackers" after sending us home with a box of graham crackers for the trip when Big Sister was just little. She confused the Gram with the graham with the crackers, and that became her name.

It works, because my Grandpa was a popcorn fiend.. I was about 2, and Grandma was babysitting me. She was trying to get me to nap with her on her bed, in the room at the far, far end of the house. Apparently I was just about settled finally, when in the very-distant kitchen my grandpa turned on the hot air popper.. I bounded from the bed and raced down the hall yelling "Papa Corn! Papa Corn!" He was always Papa Corn to us. :) (and yes, I do recall that memory, though not the part about Grandma trying so hard to get me to sleep. I am pretty sure she gave up after that though. :) ) He passed away in the fall of 1998, but now we talk of "Granny Crackers and Papa Corn."

Today I will make a rhubarb upside-down cake, from her recipe, for bible study tonight. And I will try not to cry in it, especially if someone brings ice cream...


Fatima said...

Hugs to you.

Benny said...

I'm so sorry for you. Praying that God will bring you and your family peace.

sariah said...

That is so hard! I've thought lately how sad, sad, sad I will be when my grandma passes away. We love her very much. Is this the grandma who comes quite a bit to help and is works very hard and is very opinionated? Or is this a different grandma? She looks so sweet and frail in the picture-- just like my great-grandma.
Looking at your photo, it looks like a beautiful place to grow up.

EllaJac said...

Sariah, the opinionated one (that would come every now-and-then until finally they took her driver's license!) is Gi-gi, my mom's mom. This was Granny, my dad's mom. From my broken-family perspective as a child, her home and lifestyle epitomized what a home *should* be like, in my mind anyway. :) Things are/were far from perfect, but when you're little you don't see all that.

Her place is where I first learned that carrots grow in the ground (and TASTE so good!), that you could actually kill and eat chickens, how to gather eggs, and how to kill slugs (the only skill I currently don't use!). A lot of 'me' came from there. I will be sad to see strangers living there..