So I was thinking about my Grandma today, for reasons unknown to me at this time. I was not Grandma’s favorite, I was Grandpa’s. But, as legend goes, I was the only grand kid Grandpa had to spank too, so there’s that. Apparently I was a boat rocker even back then.
Grandma, as I knew her was a farm wife, mother, devoted and devout follower of her husband and religion. But I don’t think I knew the whole story. When I was young she never drove; that was a man’s job. In later years when Grandpa’s eyesight failed and she had to drive, she would pull OFF the road and wait if a car was coming from the other direction. That made for a very long 20 mile ride to town, and then back home.
She was quiet and good natured. And then I learned that this simple woman from Nowhere, Kansas traveled in the 1920’s to go to college in the Big City. She hopped a train to become a teacher in Chicago. That thought amazes and challenges me. Grandma was small and stature, standing just 4’11” and well endowed. I am gargantuan in proportion and am often mistaken for a man. I also would not travel to a big city by myself. I am afraid of everything.
But again, this vibrant woman was not the one I knew growing up. I so wish it had been.
After the starter kit marriage went horribly awry Grandma came to me and said: “Sadie, you don’t marry the first time for LOVE… you marry for GENES. Find someone with nice white straight teeth and good hair.”
–‘Course she waited until her 71st wedding anniversary to pass this advice along. Hind sight really is 20/20.
Then she told me: “Marry the second one for money.”
I did it wrong both times.
As the years passed, and Grandpa passed, Grandma had to relearn all that she knew. The day after Grandpa’s funeral she got her pocket book together and told me she was going to the bank to put all the money in one place and she was coming home with 5.5% interest. Now, I have been a business woman all my life, not that that has gotten me anywhere. I said “Grandma, no one is paying 5.5%”
“Well, then I will take my money some place else.”
I chuckled to myself, and thought good luck with that Gran. Oh, by this time, she had stopped wearing a bra. Well endowed old woman who no longer wears a bra… out to give investment advice to bankers… good plan.
Grandma came home from the bank that day, and giggled coyly to herself. She also came home with 5.5% interest on her money. I was so proud I didn’t even point out that she needed to pull her shirt down, I just tucked her back up while I was walking by.