Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grandma "Annie"

I just got to spend the weekend with my family in Oregon. It was wonderful. I have all four grandparents still living, and I treasure that. It's important to me that Tate and Sam know where they come from, so I'm going to chronicle each of my grandparent's lives from what I remember. I'm going to start with my Grandma Ann.

Grandma Ann is remarkable. You'd probably miss it, though, if you were to just walk by her in the grocery store. She isn't terribly tall, or short, either. She's slender, but not skinny (in the last 3 years she's lost 75 pounds!!). She graduated from high school, but didn't attend college. She's worked at 'blue collar' jobs all her life. From the outside looking in, there isn't anything particularly remarkable about her, but the old saying "never judge a book by it's cover" is exemplified with her.

She has three kids. The oldest two were born a year and four days apart.

She has been married to my grandpa since they were out of high school.

She has lived in the mountains of Montana in the winter and the desert of California in the summer.

She has sat by my Grandpa's side during 4 open heart surgeries, the first when he was 38 years old.

She lost her brother when he was young.

She lost her dad when my mom was in sixth grade.

She has spent more days out fishing on the Pacific Ocean than anyone I know, except Grandpa.

She took my mom to church every Sunday growing up.

She loves wholeheartedly.

She worries about everything.

She is funny, but you wouldn't know it until she gets some time away from my Grandpa.

She visits her mom (my Great Grandma, where I get Dorothy from) almost every week, and never forgets to bring her a strawberry milkshake.

My grandma is a pillar of love, strength and dignity. She has endured months alone while my grandpa was out on tug boats. She had the State Patrol come and tell her that my Grandpa had died in a car accident only to find out that there was a mix up and he was fine. She sat by my uncle's bedside when he was in a coma. She helps his kids with their homework. She is faithful in going to church. She is amazing.

One of my favorite stories highlights her humor. She's very funny, but not in large groups. She'd prefer to let everyone else do the talking. Anyway, Grandma Ann and I were on our way back from visiting Grandma Dorothy. I knew that Grandma Dorothy never liked my Grandpa (Ted, Ann's husband) and I asked why. I'll never forget my Grandma's response. "Well, Jenni, back in those days your grandpa used to drink. A lot. My folks thought he was a bad influence. That, and he was (is) a Democrat. Come to think of it, they probably could have overlooked the whole drinking thing." I about died laughing. She's just witty like that.

Anyway, I wanted to share a little about my grandma. Hopefully this will spur me on to remember more so that Tate and "Sam" will know their Greats long after they are gone.

I love you, Grandma Ann!

P.S. The only one to get away with calling her "Grandma Annie" is Tate.