Sorry for being a bit short on blog-spiration this week! I'm really missing my grandma. I lived with my grandparents while completing graduate school, and at the same time, received a second education in efficiency. Although Grandma's children left home, she had never quite gotten the knack of cooking without tripling the recipe. Her brain, trained from so many years of bulk buying, kept spinning ahead on economy mode. Rather than buy Hershey's kisses or breath mints by the bag, she bought them by the case. When she found a particularly flattering knit suit, she ordered not one--but one in every color. She pioneered the market on kitchen gadgetry (among her triumphs, buying the George Foreman grill in its very first infomercial version). When she discovered a timesaver, all ten kids found it under their respective Christmas trees.
Even more impressive was her complete mental inventory of every drawer, closet, and shelf in the sprawling farmhouse. Every item had a place, and behind that item lay its spare. If something was broken, it was immediately fixed or replaced. If a bill needed payment, it was instantly paid and recorded. If any member of her huge family needed advice, she sat in her chair ready to dispense--or she was on the Web at 6 am, researching for our next house purchase (at age 79, no less!). She was the stable force in our chaotic childhood. She always had the answer.
I remember my grandma for these times of security and abundance, but keeping home wasn't always so easy for her. A professional pianist from D.C., she married a young Navy doctor. After WWII, he took her home to rural Tennessee. She watched her new mother-in-law chop a chicken's head off on her first visit. It was a culture shock. She helped her husband fulfill his dream of building a hospital. She built the family--for many years, squeezing seven children in a two-bedroom house. She was the age I am now. I wish I could have seen her then.
One of my biggest regrets is not giving her the link to this blog. I think she would have gotten a big kick out of reading it!