This week, I am dedicating my blog to a person who had a warm, generous heart; a keen, artistic eye; and a remarkably green thumb. My grandmother passed away last week, and I regret not writing a blog post about her sooner. She is deeply missed by me and all who knew her.
The things that made my grandma special are the same things that I write about on this blog. Her uniqueness taught all of us to be better.
My grandma knew how to tell a story. I could sit for hours and listen to her tell stories about her family history, what life was like in New York in the 30s and 40s, or just what happened to her yesterday. She had the gift of sincerity, and making everyday life a special event worthy of a story.
A true artist, my grandma expressed her creativity in all that she did. In one of the bedrooms in her house, she painted a a colorful meadow filled with yellow and white daisies. I loved staying in that room and imagining all of the animals that played in that meadow. She also was creative and artistic with simple things: I remember preparing with her a green salad for dinner one night, and she made sure to add colorful, thinly sliced red, orange and yellow bell peppers – arranged in a pattern to make them look like a bouquet. It was amazing to watch her work creatively on just about anything. She saw the world in a beautiful way.
Caring for the community
My grandma made her community a better place to live. She joined local political action committees, and always seemed to find the time to bring a friend a meal. Being a military wife (who moved around a lot), she bloomed wherever she was planted. Speaking of, she always was growing something beautiful in her garden and in her front yard – making the neighborhood a prettier place.
Appreciating Nature and Wildlife
Truly appreciative of nature and the environment around her, my grandma developed connection to the animals living around her. She fed the birds and squirrels in her backyard (that’s what we’re doing in the picture above). She was able to get so close to those animals that they would take food from her hand – that’s right, Snow White style. Living in Florida with a river in the back yard, manatee would swim up to the dock to drink fresh water from her hose. Her dedication to conservation and wildlife gave me a deep appreciation for spending time outside and enjoying the environment.
My grandma could whip up an amazingly delicious meal. She knew the value of cooking at home rather than eating processed foods, and she taught me to enjoy cooking. And, she loved fresh ingredients. She would ask me to pick parsley from her garden to add to Scotch broth (lamb stew) or sprinkle on mashed potatoes! And, she grew organic oranges, grapefruit, avocado, mango, lemons, and limes in her backyard. Delicious, fresh produce was a real treat at her house.
I hope that these special traits my grandma embodied will inspire you as much as they continue to inspire me. I miss her dearly.
© 2017 Caitlin W Howe, LLC
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