Happy Birthday, Grandma Elsa! b. 1895 in Germany

Grandma Elsa with Fish

This is my Grandma Elsa. I spent time with her almost every day all of my growing up years. She was my closest neighbor and friend.  She was the first I visited every time I came home all the years after I graduated. I loved being with her. She was simple and kind and loved to hear about everything going on in my life. When I was younger we baked together on Saturdays, napped together in the afternoons (I was always amazed at how loudly she could snore–I’d giggle behind her back).  She taught me to sew and I helped her make quilts and doll clothes.  She taught me to embroider, knit, and crochet.   We stemmed raisins and shelled walnuts together.  We went on walks together, and we often just sat together and she told me stories about my uncles as little boys. My favorites were the bear stories at Hume Lake. I knew every button in her button box, every game upstairs on the shelves. I knew every quilt she worked on and played in her fabric scraps. I knew where the Chicklets and chocolate bars were hidden. I even knew every corner of the dark and scary cellar. In later years, when I’d come she’d sit in her rocking chair (which now sits in our family room) and I’d sit in the warmth of her front room just enjoying being with her.

As I got older and came to visit whenever I was back in town, we’d catch up on all the things going on in my life. And every single time, when it was time for me to go home, she’d walk to the end of the driveway with me and stand and watch me walk home–waving every time I turned to see if she was still there. As she got older, I started to worry that each visit might be my last. I remember time after time walking home in tears thinking about that. We never spoke of it, but I think she thought about that too. I didn’t ever want to turn and find her not there. She was a very dear friend to me. I’m so glad I got to live next door and spend so much time with her.  Grandma was 93 when she died.  She lived a long and very productive life.

I keep Grandma’s picture here by my computer, and see her smiling at me every day. I really love her. She was a perfect grandma for me. I really look forward to seeing her again one day.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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1 Response to Happy Birthday, Grandma Elsa! b. 1895 in Germany

  1. Chris Pocock says:

    My mother worked so my grandmother lived with us and cared for me in the daytime. You reminded me this morning of how much I loved my own grandmother and what a blessing she was in my daily life as I grew up. Thanks, Ann, for sharing.

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