Sunday, January 17, 2010

90 Years

My Grandmother, Dorothy Rose Kelly, was born on this day in 1920.
Here she is in the 1930's, as a young teenager. Of course, this was the Depression era.

Here is my Grandma with my Mom when my mom was about three years old or so - which would have made this the late 1940's or the Early 1950's. Not to give away my Mom's age or anything.

My Grandma was a huge, big part of our lives growing up. She spent almost every afternoon with us. We did crafts, art, nature walks, tea parties, dress up, all those cool nifty Grandma things. To this day, my brother, Eli, can't take a trip to the beach without Oreo Cookies, because every time my Grandmother took them to the beach, they had Oreos and Beanie Weanies in a can. (Living in Florida, we went to the beach quite a bit, of course.)

Grandma was the first re-user, re-cycle, up-cycling person I knew. I used to think that she was a little crazy for keeping all her trash and re-using it.
One time, grandma went out with her "breakfast club" group of lady friends, and came back with a lacy green 1950's prom dress, which she then cut up and created two frilly dress-up dresses for my little sister and I. I adored that dress. I don't know what ever happened to it.
Grandmas's re-using hurt my feelings one time as well. I was about 8 or 9 and I made her a sachet for Christmas out of a piece of lace, a bar of scented soap, and a ribbon bow. I was so proud of it.
A week or so later, it was taken apart: the bar of soap I found on the sink in her bathroom, and lace and bow in her sewing pile. I went home and cried to my Mother about it. Mom said, "It was a gift. You can't stop her from doing what she wants with it. A gift is a gift."
I think growing up in the Great Depression and then the deprivation of WW2 influenced my Grandmother to be so thrifty. That, and the fact that she and my Grandpa, from whom she is divorced, were early proponents of re cycling, taking care of one's environment, creativity, thriftiness, and resources on hand. (I remember my Grandfather coming to visit and making yard benches out of logs and pieces of 2x4 laying around the Garage - the garage he built on another visit.)
I don't think me Grandparents are crazy anymore for doing this. I realize they were wise, and far ahead of their time. Now, being so "green" is "hip" and cool.

When Grandma moved back to Florida, to care for her mom, my heart was broken. I cried for an hour or more into the mane of the neighbor's gelding. But I forgave Grandma.
I was ticked off when she sold the house in Gainesville (FLA.) to move back up here. We had so many memories in good ol' "704". That's what we called the house: "704". Not "The house in Gainesville," or "The house on NW 31st St." ( I still have the address memorized.)
But I forgave Gramma for that, too.

Gramma is not in the best health or state of mind these days. It's hard to watch as her body and mind fail her.

So today I am making a huge chocolate cake - her favorite - and the whole family is going to pig out on some Italian food, and all her great grandchildern will be toddling around, and she will be in 7th heaven.

Happy birthday, Gramma. We love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Denise said...

You are so lucky to still have your granma around! She looks like a pistol. Wish her a Happy B-day from me as well. I hope she has many more healthy birthdays with her family around her.

Dawn Trest said...

Your grandmother sounds like a beautiful person...this post made me cry! You are very blessed to still have her in your life!

Hosanna said...

Actually, my mom isn't 3 in that photo - she looks more like 5 or 6! I was thinking of another pic.....