Back in the Day: Grandma Lois + Me

Today would have been my Grandma Lois’s birthday. She died in February 2006, and I still cannot believe that it has been five years. Five years. Seriously?

Because, as I was thinking about some of my favorite memories of grandma, I could not believe how vivid they were. As the saying goes, it seems like only yesterday…

  • Whenever I would ask my grandma how old she was, she would never give me a straight answer. Instead, she’d either say “Old enough to know better” or “Younger than springtime.”
  • When I think of my grandma’s cooking, I think of two very different things – either her chocolate chip cookies (unbeatable) or how she’d dress salads (oil, vinegar, garlic salt). I know that’s not a revolutionary combination, but nobody did it better.
  • You could tell right away if grandma had been to a place because you smelled her perfume lingering. It was very distinctive. I remember once, my mom picked me up from school, and the first thing I said was, “was Grandma Lois in the car today?” And, sure enough, she had been.
  • We used to play so many games with her. I remember especially playing Old Maid – and how delighted she used to get when my grandpa ended up as the Old Maid (this seemed to happen a lot).
  • I remember Grandma used to be completely baffled that my cousin Misty and I collected troll dolls – she thought they were so ugly! As a joke, we bought her a birthday troll doll, which she kept displayed in her fancy cabinet with her Lladros.
  • Some things grandma loved: Jackie Collins romance novels, any Detroit sports team (especially the Pistons and Tigers), and the Game Show Network.
  • Another thing Grandma loved was QVC – she was always watching and always shopping (I think she even called in and made it on the air a few times). Every year, she would buy my mom and all her daughters-in-law earrings for Christmas – and she generally ordered these from QVC in July!
  • Speaking of Christmas, Grandma loved it. She loved Bing Crosby holiday songs, and she loved the whole present opening ritual (sometimes I think she was even more excited about opening presents than we kids were).
  • She religiously played the lottery, and every night had to make sure to check her “numbers” (in Saginaw, they come on after Jeopardy, but before Wheel of Fortune). I was shocked when I recently discovered that Aggie Usedly still reads out the lotto numbers each night. Who knew she was still around?!?
  • Grandma loved to crochet. Her specialties were crocheting covers for clothes hangers and making dishtowels. She used to make the dishtowels in bulk and then give bags of them to people when they came to her house.

If I kept thinking about it, I’m sure I could recall more and more. The point is, she was a special woman, and she is missed. Love you, Grandma.

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