Growing up, I was fortunate to have the love and presence in my life of two, wonderful, different yet alike grandmothers.
In memory, they impacted my life; in reality they continue to impact my grandsons’ lives because I want to be exactly like them.
Whatever grand-parenting model I have lodged in my memory bank is a combination of their love, their delight in me , added to the grandmother model of them all – my mother.
Grandmother Mills, my paternal grandmother, lovingly called grandmother (because no better name existed), wore aprons, spoke softly, had soft hands, saved every letter ever written to her, gardened, grew all of her plants from cuttings in coffee cans, taught me to shell peas, never raised her voice,had 8 children, made homemade rolls and cinnamon rolls, named her 1-2-3 Cake Favorite Cake because it was my favorite, took me to the Baptist Church in Ricardo, Texas, canned, sewed, tatted, embroidered, smocked, said “Mercy!” and “I’ll declare” , owned a small store next to her house and had Lance peanuts in jars on the counter, was the absolute best cook in the world,
and smiled ,as if her love for me could not be contained ,whenever she saw me.
Mamaw, my maternal grandmother, worked in the dry cleaners and laundromat that she and Papaw owned, she smoked, drove a red Cadillac with huge fins, made her grandkids sparkling burgundy (non-alcoholic) , served over crushed ice in colored aluminum glasses, let her grandkids walk to the movie theater, gave us money to buy cokes and popcorn at the concession stand, had a wonderful raspy voice that laughed heartily, named me Punkin, gave me her middle name Ellen, enjoyed going to the VFW, made pies good enough to sell, loved to dance, wore rouge, vacationed with Papaw, pulling an airstream trailer and caravanning with other trailer owners, made casseroles,
and smiled, as if her love for me could not be contained, whenever she saw me.