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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Me + 40 Years or So

I have a pretty good idea of what type of woman I am going to be in about 40 years. I have had an image of her in my head for a long time.



In my purple velour, Candy Queen sweatshirt, I’ll drive around town much too fast, barely able to see over the dashboard. I’ll golf, hardly hear a thing, laugh too loud, eat and drink anything I want, and probably still be driving my husband a bit insane. In short, I’ll be a bit like my own grandmother.

I am lucky to have both of my grandmothers still in my life. They know and adore our children and are always wondering when our next visit will be. It was during one of these many visits over the holidays, as I sat on my grandmother’s couch, that I began to understand just how crazy she may be, and how I am sure to follow in her footsteps one day.

My grandmother is 89 years old. She’ll turn 90 in April. That little fact alone is humbling to me. She has lived through many of the major events of this century…WWII, the Depression, (my birth). These events had a profound effect on the person she is today. In fact, the lifestyle and habits that she and her family adopted during the Depression have never left her.

My grandmother's ability to find a use for household items that I would otherwise throw away is really quite amazing. A few examples:

1. Old pill bottles: Stack them up and, voila, you have just made a castle. Nevermind the expired prescriptions that may be inside. The bottles can simply double as a rattle and make things more interesting.
2. Napkins: Yes, the two-ply paper napkin. Throw it up in the air and watch in fall to the ground. Entertainment at its finest. Sadly, my kids are not as gullible as I was as a child and quickly tired of this “game.”
3. The Styrofoam plate used to package meat: One of my favorites. After having been washed thoroughly, you can make a multitude of boats and airplanes.
4. The potato chip bag: Turned inside out, given a quick rinse, and, bam, you have a “racetrack” for your cars.

My grandmother's ability to recycle and reuse doesn’t stop at toys either. For Giancarlo’s birthday this year, she decorated her present with the number three. When my husband, Geoff, saw the package, he said, “Wow, that looks like a number from her house address.” Well, that would be because it was. Yes, my grandmother had given my son one of the numbers formerly adorning her home. Apparently, my parents had given her new house numbers, since hers were falling down, so she thought it would be fun to pass the number 3 along.

-Francesca
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22 comments:

Jo said...

My grandmother passed away in 2008 at the age of 100. I am afraid neither of my grandmother's were as "interestin" as yours. I am afraid the only interesting grandparent my children have/had is their paternal grandfather who was mean and grouchy. I like yours better.

Jill said...

What a great story. You are so lucky to have both of your grandmothers still in your life. One of my grandmothers is still alive, but we lost my other one in 2003. I miss her dearly.
Thank you so much for the encouraging comments you have left on my blog lately. You are so kind!

Kimmy said...

WOW!! What a creative woman! I loved the number 3 gift! What a clever idea :o)

It's funny I just read this post though cause my daughter was just saying in the car 5 min ago that she could see a little old lady driving really fast in a sports car and I told her, "Yeah, that will be me when I'm old!!" LOL!! I love to drive fast and love sports cars :o)

Lori said...

God bless grandmothers. I still have both mine in my life, and I tell you, I'd walk the earth for both of them.

SO funny about the "reusable" mentality. My grandmother keeps her old pill bottles in the tupperware cabinet in the kitchen! (At least they're empty)

BTW, I too hope to be wearing the exact same outfit in 40 years... see you on the golf ocurse :) !!!

TrueLoveIsaMama said...

The house number cracks me up, I think this craziness happens gradually, as just yesterday I was helping my mom look for a small TV for herself, I told her if she gets an HD TV she has to get HD service for 10/month $ or the picture would look fuzzy. Her response, "Oh forget it, what am I, crazy?"

Heather of the EO said...

That was so funny. I love your grandma. A race track! Ha!

My grandma did the same pill bottle thing. Weird. Or used them for coins. You can keep each kind separate that way, apparently.

Erin said...

What a fun grandma you have!

I love the pill bottle castle, by the way. I should start saving those bottles, instead of throwing them away when they are empty :)

Mainly a midwife said...

I still have one of my grandmothers. She is 87.I'm so grateful that she is still in my life. My children adore her. My other grandmother was a big recycler. I'm familiar with the styrofoam packages, plus cool-whip containers, glass jars...everything had a use.She knew how to "make due".

Kristina P. said...

I have one grandmother alive. And she recycles EVERYTHING. Ziploc baggies are washed and used again. Milk cartons are washed and used for drinking water jugs. I LOVE soapy water.

And she will save calendars because she can use them in 7 years again. Have to love people from the Depression Era.

Counselormama said...

I loved reading your post. My mom's mom, before she passed, was very creative, making salt/pepper shakers out of soda cans, or would make art projects out of all kinds of things people would normally throw away.

Dana said...

I like that sweatshirt. Anything sparkly gets an A in my book.

And...I miss my grandmother. She passed away three years ago, but not a day goes by that I don't think about her.

Willow Tree said...

I adore your stories. Your Grams sounds Wonderful! What a blessing to still have her. I lost my last grandparent 2 years ago. Among their Many attributes I must say they were the most Resourceful people I ever had the privilege to know. Ever read The Greatest Generation books by Tom Brokaw? W-O-W! Amazing, A-Mazing.

Much Love,
Carolynn

Willow Tree said...

PS, my sister and I are totally going to rock the nursing home; cause all kinds of chaos. Ooooh, we should retire in CA, let's have a group party in our wing. LOL!!

Cammie said...

You are so blessed to have both of your grandma's....I lost the one I was closest to back in 2000 but still have one that I love alive and kicking!

Kim Layton said...

What a nice post! I had a great grandmother that was like that! Kids learn a lot from being around people like that!

Helene said...

Your grandmother sounds so sweet!! I love that she found a great use for the number 3 from her address!!!

I only have one living grandmother left and she's 91 yrs old, with failing health. She's a wonderful person with tons of energy and love. I think it would be wonderful for me to be just like her in 40 more years!!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love your grandmother. That's too funny. I also look forward to being a crazy blond lady driving around--except I will drive a Duckmobile wearing a pink mumu.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Hey there, thanks for coming by and saying hello! My two grandmothers are alive but live far away. I do feel blessed though that my son has all of his grandparents living very close and he gets to see them every week. Love your post and the recycling ideas!!!

Brooks said...

What a cool lady! Grandparents Rock. I still have one left and I hold her in the highest regard!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Your grandmother sounds like a total hoot and why not? There isn't time for decorum when you're 89!

Breanne said...

What a great post. She was incredibly creative. I thought I had gotten a little more thrifty lately, but THAT is thrifty, thrifty fun to be exact :)

I've been wanting to write a post or two about my grandparents too. So many years of experience to learn from is definitely worth writing about!

The Johnson 5 said...

my husbands grandmother (who pasted away 2 years ago at the ripe old age of 91) used to do some of the same things. I once received a "night gown" that was a bit ummm......worn. And it wrapped up a plate. The plate was hers and she wanted me to have it and she wrapped it in one of her old nighties. That is just one of the stories.

She always looked forward to seeing us and she really did mean well!!