Tag Archives: Grandmothers

Grandma Update: He’s Two!

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Mazen turned two in September. Glorious, irascible two!

We get along like Pooh and Piglet, as long as I do exactly what he says. This includes playing trains Mazen’s way, letting Maze pick the stories, and being open to a bedtime ritual that extends indefinitely. This child isn’t spoiled. His mom and dad have him in their parental grips, but when Grammy visits, Grammy is a happy pushover.

We don’t get many do-overs in life, but grandparenting is one of them. I can close my eyes to flashbacks of impatience with my girls at Mazen’s age. I can feel my body clench. Hear my frustrated words. My impatience sometimes haunts me with regret.

But by the time I get impatient with Maze, it’s time to go home. And within a day, I’m REALLY impatient, impatient to go back.

When Mazen sees Cliff and me again, he starts to jump. His feet leave the ground.

My jumping needs work, but my train skills are improving by leaps and bounds.

Photo Above: Maze loves the antique dollhouse at my mom’s apartment in Baltimore. The front porch makes a fine driveway for his cars. The dollhouse, built by my great-great-grandfather, is a replica of their summer home in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania.

Photo Below: An enthusiastic artist working at a table that was his mom’s when she was his age.

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Rick’s Grandma (and Her White Potato Pudding Recipe!)

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Rick's Grandma

When I began reading essays at Piedmont Community College in Yanceyville, North Carolina, I was struck by the happy place that grandparents, especially grandmothers, play in the lives of the students I meet.

Paper after paper recounts a grandma’s love.  Her energy. Her patience. Her whimsy. Her cooking!

So when my daughter Kath announced that my first grandchild was on the way, I began to wonder (and worry) a bit.

What sort of grandma will I be?  Will I earn someday a staring role in an essay?

A few weeks ago, Rick Stone brought in his paper. I’m  a writing tutor. I have the privilege of looking over essays before the instructor does, with his or her grading pen in hand.

Titled “My Adored Grandmother,” Rick’s essay tells of Anna Gertrude Foster, a “short, little woman with intelligent eyes.”  Born in 1923, as the years went by Anna was “blessed with twelve children.”

Rick put down the paper we were studying and spoke: “When Grandma came into the room, even though she had a quiet voice, everyone stopped talking.”

All eyes and ears focused on Anna.

In time, her grandchildren numbered twenty-four, but when you were with Anna, “It was like you were her favorite grandchild. She treated you so special. Her beautiful smile made you feel loved.”

I’ll never be tiny like Rick’s grandma.

I’m far from soft-spoken.

I’ve got a rather crooked smile.

It was like you were her favorite grandchild. She treated you so special.

But that I can try my very best to do.

Even if I have twenty-four.

Guide me, Anna Gertrude Foster!

Photo Above:  Anna in the yard of her home many years ago.

 

Rick's Grandma in Green Top

Anna in later years.

Rick Stone

Rick holding two drafts of his essay.

Anna could cook!  Rick’s favorite dish was her White Potato or Ash Pudding, served for dessert. He brought in a cupful, piping hot, for me to taste. Yum. Potato magic!

White Potato (or Ash) Pudding

3-4 medium potatoes peeled, boiled until done, and mashed

one stick butter or margarine

one 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 drops of lemon flavor or a teaspoon of lemon juice

1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the eggs. Beat until smooth.

Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add to the potato mixture and beat for one minute.

Put into an ovenproof dish and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pudding is brown on top.

Serve warm.

Store leftover pudding in the refrigerator.

Note: You may need to set your oven on broil after forty minutes to get the pudding to brown.

Thanks to Rick’s mom, Anna Stone, for this recipe, and thanks to Rick for permission to quote from his essay and for the photos.

Grandma Update: Boy Clothes

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Maze on Chair

When Daughter Kath announced she was presenting us with a boy, I was delighted, especially since I didn’t give birth to any baby boys.

But then I remembered:

CLOTHES.

Moms and grandmas shake their heads:  “Boy clothes just aren’t as fun.”

What’s the big deal though?  I’d seen, I thought, lots of cute boy outfits.

For a while, I didn’t venture into the baby sections. My own mom swears that in her day, it was  bad luck to buy baby clothes too soon. No way was I taking chances.  Besides, there would be plenty of time for shopping.

At Kath’s baby shower, I admired the t-shirts with trucks and cars, the striped onesies in blues and greens and reds, the hoodie with a  grinning monkey.  Darling!

Then I went to a shower for a baby girl.

Grandma-to-be  SHUT YOUR EYES!

The clothes were adorable.

Stroll into the girls’ section.  In seconds, you’ll know what I mean.

A month later, Mazen was born.

Whoopee Doo!  Let the baby boy shopping begin!

Maybe girl clothes are still cuter.

Just maybe.

But when you’re having the time of your life shopping for the baby boy of your heart, who cares!

Maze in Snowman Onesie

Top Photo:  A bit of prep from Grammie.

Bottom photo: A snowman onesie.

Grandma Update: Mother Goose!

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When Iona and Peter Opie had their first child, they became intrigued with the origins of the rhymes they found themselves singing and saying to the baby. Those baby days launched their careers as Mother Goose scholars.

And now Maze is listening to Mother Goose.

He’s a Mother Goose scholar too!

So this Grandma Update is mostly to say that while there’s so much new under the sun for today’s babies, here’s to the rhymes that have danced the test of baby-time.

Oh and here’s to babies!

Babies everywhere!

For there is nothing, nothing in the whole world, like a baby.

And I bet the grand dame, the great Mother Goose herself,would agree,

Diddley, diddley dee!

Photo Above:  Son-in-law Matt reads to my grandson. I wonder if he’s read Maze the introduction, written by Iona Opie. This is My Very First Mother Goose, illustrated by Rosemary Wells. I love this book for baby presents and give it often.

Photo Below:  The Opies researching playground rhymes and ditties as they skipped rope with British schoolchildren.

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