Joyce's Journey

  Not My Plan



My Sweet Grandma Mae

Posted on March 13, 2016 at 3:50 PM

My Sweet Grandma Mae

I loved my Grandma. Her name was Mae Larson.

She was a petite Swedish woman who stood 5 feet and 3 inches. She weighed a constant 130 lb.

She rarely ate a second helping of anything—except fried chicken.

She didn’t have a sweet tooth…like me. One cookie was enough for grandma.

Grandma’s hair was gray, cut short around the ears. Her smile was infectious.

Grandma’s cotton housedress was covered with a faded apron.

Her old leather shoes had a hole where her bunion rested.

Grandma’s garden was arranged with rows of peas, onions, cucumbers, and melons

Raspberry bushes bordered the fence line.

I loved the fragrance of dill weed I never heard her raise her voice or say a mean word--not even when grandpa’s cows trampled her garden.

Grandma’s hands were never idle.

She taught me how to prune raspberries, pick strawberries, and can tomatoes.

Her basement was filled with shelves of fruit jams, stewed tomatoes and a variety of canned pickles

Grandma made chores fun. She smiled a lot. She said, “I was a good girl.”

Grandma had three chicken coupes.She named them: North, South and Swen.

She taught me how to feed the chickens and collect the eggs.

She had two nasty chickens. Grandma never flinched when they bit her hands. She was brave.

I wanted to be fearless like her.

Inside Grandma’s house every drawer had a purpose. A recycled purpose.

They contained: Used foil paper Used plastic bread bags Used wax paper and Old Christmas wrapping paper

Everything she owned…. had “nine lives”

When I turned eight, Grandma taught me how to crochet a simple chain stitch.

Grandma was a patient teacher. I crocheted colored thread around a handkerchief for my first project.

It was fun. I made six more handkerchiefs in colors of: orange, pink, yellow, blue, green and lavender.

At age ten, Grandma taught me how to crochet a set of dollies.

At age eleven, Grandma taught me how to crochet a tablecloth.

Grandpa doubted I would complete my tablecloth within a year. But, he lost our bet.

My tablecloth won first place at the South Dakota State Fair. I love my Grandma.

At Christmas time, I helped Grandma clean her house and set the table for our Christmas meal.

Oyster Stew with lots of butter is the Larson tradition. I learned to eat oyster stew. I couldn’t disappoint Grandma.

When I left for college, my sister took over my Christmas duties.

I knew she would enjoy helping Grandma.I knew Grandma would tell her “she was a good girl, too.”

One day, mom called me at work. Grandma was ill. Grandma had moved into a nursing home.

It was only temporary. I knew she would recover.

When I returned home, Grandma smiled. Yet, she rested in a single bed everyday.

Her face was pale and her hands trembled as I spoke.

Grandma said she would return to the farm in the spring.

Together we’d make my favorite cookies again. Winter lasted too long that year.

In April, Grandma departed for a heavenly adventure

My aunts, uncles and cousins gathered to say Good-Bye to Grandma.

She wore her favorite dress with the ruffled collar. She looked like a queen.

So peaceful. So restful.

I held the handkerchief that Grandma taught me to crochet. .....Tears left my eyes.

I touched her hand. It was cold.

I will miss you Grandma. I hope, I told you I love you.

Bye Grandma Mae. Good Bye.

I promise to be a Good Girl.

By Grand-daughter Joyce Larson Yexley

Speaker & Author of Not My Plan   FB:  Grief to Gratitude

Categories: Faith & Blessings