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Memories of My Grandmother



As I grow older and reflect on my life, I am finding that I remember the really good times and the really bad times. I guess my memory is running out of room for the mediocre memories. Today I want to focus on some good memories. That brings me to my maternal grandmother, Ruby. She was a tough lady with a kind heart.


When I was young, my grandparents had a dairy farm. They lived in a small town in Texas, and I loved going to visit them. When we also lived in Texas, we would visit most summers and some holidays. The summers were my favorite because my sister and I would get to stay for extended periods of time. We would wake up to the rooster crowing and the sun coming through the window. I always knew that my grandparents would already be out doing their chores on the farm. Grandpa would be out milking the cows in the brick building and grandma would be feeding the calves bottles of milk. Grandma’s hands would be red from the warm water she used to mix the powdered milk for the calves. Grandma would let me help her feed the calves. The calves would line up at the fence and wait to get a bottle. She would hand me a bottle of mixed milk and tell me to hold on because the calves wouldn’t want to let go. She was so patient as I held the bottle up and tried to hang on while the calves drank. Eventually I would have enough and move on to check out the rest of the farm.


The pigs would be eating their slop. The chickens would be walking around eating, their eggs already collected. I would sneak over to the building where grandpa was milking the cows and take a peak in. I knew I was supposed to stay away from the building, but I just couldn’t help myself. I would see the bull in his own area of the pasture and the horses wandering and eating in their area. I loved every second of being at the farm, there was so much going on.


Once my grandparents were done with the chores, grandma would go in to make breakfast. She would make bacon and then fry the eggs in the bacon grease. Sometimes there would be homemade biscuits or toast. I loved breakfast at grandma’s it always tasted so good, and everything was fresh from the farm. We would all sit together and eat, once we were finished, I would help grandma with the dishes. I loved washing the dishes in her big farmhouse sink, you didn’t have to worry about the water splashing out.

After breakfast we would play while grandma and grandpa did what they needed to do. Some visits we would get to go into town to get gas or groceries, I loved riding in their pickup truck and bouncing down the dirt roads. Other visits we would get to go to the rodeo. I loved going to the rodeo, there was always so much to see and do.


One of my favorite parts of visiting my grandparents was when the sun would go down. My sister and I would lay down in the back of the pickup and grandpa would drive down the dirt roads. We would look up and stare at the stars. There were more stars than I had ever seen, and it was beautiful.


Once we moved away and my parents got divorced, I didn’t get to see my grandparents as much, but each time I did see them my grandmother always made me feel loved and welcome. She made sure to make me a pitcher of unsweet tea because I was the only one who didn’t like it sweet. She would spend time with me and find out what was going on in my life. I can still hear her voice and the phrases she would say. Being with her was the one place that I felt safe and loved for who I was.


After I graduated high school and moved back to Texas, I was able to see her more often, although I wish I would have visited her more than I did. One time when I went to visit, I took my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time. We had just started dating and I wanted her to meet him. I remember my grandma told me that I looked so beautiful. I had just gained some weight, so I told her that, but she said you look so happy. I have never seen you so happy, and your happiness brings out your beauty. I think that was the first time anyone had ever told me I was beautiful, not by the way I looked, but because of who I was. I have carried that thinking with me since that day.


My grandma taught me the true meaning of beauty, she taught me patience and kindness, and she taught me what was important in life. My grandparents were never wealthy, but I never heard them complain about what they didn’t have. They were always happy with what they had and they were always happy together. Grandpa was still slapping grandma on the behind after decades of marriage. They loved each other and showed me that true love can survive anything.


I don’t know who I would have become without my grandma in my life. The older I get, the more I appreciate her for everything she was. No one is perfect, but she was the person I was missing in my life. She was the kindness I needed, and she had the patience I didn’t see at my house. Grandma loved all of us and she made sure we knew. My last visit with her she made pimento and cheese for sandwiches. I remember telling her how much I loved her pimento and cheese. She said that it was simple, just grated cheese, pimentos and mayo. Yes, it was simple, but it brought back the memories of my childhood, the memories of who she was and how she taught me to appreciate those simple things. Most importantly, it was made with love.

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