Saturday, February 28, 2015

Story 5: Nearing the End

Grandpa's health declined in the 60's and in 1965 the family was forced to move closer to town so that Baby Grandma could continue to work.  They went to live on the corner of Fisk and Y Street in Piqua.  This is the home I remember visiting her in when I was a child.

Baby Grandma and Grandpa, ca. 1970

Grandpa died in November 1972.  There was no great mourning in the family, though, they surely missed him.  He had been very sick with emphysema for a long time.  I never knew him.

Baby Grandma's house was tiny and quiet.  I remember thinking that she only watched the news...how boring!  We weren't permitted to run or jump in the house, but were always reminded to sit quietly. Sometimes, we would go outside to her backyard and climb the pussy willow tree.  We could be loud out there.

Her little house was filled with all sorts of sewing projects.  She sewed clothes, crocheted rugs, and loved her latch hook.  I remember she had a giant latch hook rug in what looked like a quilting frame in the corner of the living room.

Baby Grandma just loved to sew and craft.  Aunt Nancy remembers there was a dry cleaner in Piqua that did alterations on men's trousers.  The man would keep the scraps of fabric and bring them in a big bag to where Nancy was working.  Then Nancy would take them to Baby Grandma.  She would make all sorts of things with them...quilts, rugs, etc.

This is likely the first bear she ever made.
My favorite thing that Baby Grandma made was the "3 Bears".  She made them in all sorts of fabrics. We had a set in red velvet and a set in a leopard print.  Being a seamstress myself and having made many a dress, a toy, and blankets, I have to think that while she made these things, she had to have been thinking about the child or person.  This must have been the way she felt most comfortable in sharing love and affection.

Baby Grandma loved to do crossword puzzles and eat peanuts.  My Dad loves peanuts too.  I remember when I was very little, we would sit together in his black recliner and eat peanuts while we watched Star Trek.  I wonder if he snacked on peanuts because it reminded him of her.

I was reminiscing with my cousin Kathy and she reminded me that another one of Baby Grandma's favorite foods were black jelly beans.  I had forgotten that my sisters and I would bring her our black jelly beans after Easter.  I can still see her sagging skin hanging from her tiny, bony arm as she shook when she grasped the baggy full of candy.  She shook horribly.  You could always tell when she sent a birthday card in the mail because of the shaky writing.  Now, many of her children write the same way.

I wish I had more to write about, but for some reason I feel inclined to stop here...for now.  What a great time I have had this month participating in The Family History Writing Challenge.  Even though I plan to go back to writing more articles on how to do genealogy, I think I will throw in an occasional family story too!  Thanks for reading!



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