Twenty years from now, I don't know if there will even be an internet, but should my darling grandchildren google their grandma cat, I hope they will stumble upon this blog post I've written just for them. To make it easier for my grandson Jonas to distinguish between his two sets of grandparents, my daughter and son-in-law have taught Jonas to call me Grandma Cat ... (this is probably due to the fact that at the time he was born we had three cats ... now down to two). His other grandmother has the distinction of being called Grandma Fish (her last name is Troudt ... I know it's a stretch ... grin). There are also a Grandpa Cat and a Grandpa Fish, but we will save stories of them for another post.
Growing up I have such fond memories of both of my grandmothers.
My Grandma Ollie taught me how to sew (she had one of those old pedal driven Singer machines and would save fabric scraps for me to create doll clothes with). She taught me how to make fudge from scratch. When I would spend the night I got to sleep in her HUGE (or so it seemed to me) four poster feather bed that I needed a step stool to climb in with. In her kitchen, she had this jar next to the stove where she would store bacon drippings (and other cooking fats that to this day are still unknown entites). She would then use these grease renderings in her homemade cookies and baked goods - and to this day I cannot duplicate them, but oh the memories! She let nothing go to waste. If a cake went dry, then she would make pudding to put on top of it. If there were leftover hot dog buns, she would make these sinful breakfast treats (she would lather the buns with REAL butter, sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon, and then put them under the broiler until the butter melted and made a sort of caramel breakfast bun). Later in years she injured her hip and walked with a cane, and by golly if you were naughty and within reach, you would get a swat with that cane (or at least that's what my brothers said, because I was always such an angel - grin). She was also a master quilt maker and had a large quilting loom where I could sit for hours and watch her nimble fingers fly across those fabrics making such ease and grace making these amazing designs. And every year I could count on birthday packages wrapped in white tissue paper and filled with clothing she had lovingly made just for me, and an angel food cake with pink frosting and sprinkles. She was a woman of few words, but huge gestures and I loved her dearly.
Now my Grandma Ellie was a whole other ball of wax! She taught me how to play poker. She taught me how to crochet and would sit with me for hours while I practiced and got the tension on each stitch just right. She taught me how to "let go" and have fun. She could jump rope at lightning speeds (even into her 60's) and could clean a crystal goblet until it hummed when you tapped it. She smoked cigarettes and liked her whiskey. She always brought homemade donuts holes to all of the family picnics. She was quick to laugh and quicker to give hugs. And I loved her dearly.
I'm hoping that I'm a combination of BOTH of my loving grandmothers when it comes to the memories I create with my two grandchildren. I want Jonas and Paisley to know the following ...
I love you both unconditionally. Period. Always.
I know you both will be kind, funny, wise, sensitive, interesting, and a ball of fire! Your parents are all of these things!
I know you will be strong and wonderful huggers. There is NOTHING that a hug can't fix.
I wish you happy, happy, days! You will have some bad days, yes. They are important so you can appreciate the good ones.
There will be disappointments; I know you will be able to handle them.
I pray you learn about humility.
Please always, always, be kind.
I hope you learn that honesty is the best policy, and that doing hard days work will always make you feel better.
Be a loyal friend, one people can count on and trust. And surround yourself with friends just like that!
You have such wonderful parents. Know that no matter how big the problem, you can always go to them for direction and help. Never be afraid to talk to them ... about the big stuff and the little stuff. They are your biggest fans and will always be in your corner. Remember, they were once your age too and whatever you're facing they've already been there and can help you through.
Challenge your mind to keep sharp. Don't be afraid to try new things.
BRUSH, FLOSS ... and do it again. I can't stress this enough.
Take time to sit under a shady tree and watch the clouds go by ... remember, it's the quiet times that will help you through all the stress that life will throw out at you.
Anything is possible if you want it bad enough. There are no mountains you cannot climb, no things that you cannot do if you just put your mind to it, and try your best.
Whether you end up being the president, a CEO, an artist, a carpenter or work at McDonalds, as long as you are happy that is most important.
Find something that you are passionate about and you will never "work" a day in your life. I wish I had known at 16 what I know at 59. That I can write and people enjoy reading. That I can teach and people enjoy learning. That I can cook and entertain and people love coming to my home.
If Grandpa Cat asks you to pull his finger ... don't. :0)
And I'll add to and update this post from time to time, but I think I've covered the important stuff for now.
And I'll say it again ... I love you both unconditionally. Period. Always.