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.