Springtime with Grandma H

Ah, Springtime. When everything returns to life. New beginnings.

With Grandma H, it’s grave cleaning time.
She pulls into the cemetery driveway and tells me, “You are the look out. If you see a rapist, you tell me.”
“Uh..okay?” I say.
“And you run as fast as you can.”
“I’m going to have to. He’ll take one look at you and be after me,” I say.
Grandma H giggles hysterically.

We pull up and park the car. She tells me to grab the rake. When we get to the graves of her parents and her sisters, she does some weeding and assigns me to raking. As I’m raking, she says, “You’re not being the look out. You have to rake and be the look out.”

Grandma H says, “I’m only taking out library books if I find something good.”
“Those three I took out disappointed me. I skimmed them. But you know it’s outside,” she says.
“What’s outside?”
“What is it? The bushes, a person what is outside?”
She sighs. “It’s spring time. Time to be outside.”
“Ah. I didn’t get that from it’s outside.”
She shakes her head.

Grandma H decides she wants to try Olive Garden. On the ride over, I say, “I think you will like the breadsticks.”
Grandma H says, “I hate breadsticks.”
“They call them breadsticks but they are more like rolls.”
“No seriously chewy like hotdog rolls and long like breadsticks.”
“I’ll try them.”
We get to the restaurant and Grandma H takes her first bite. “These are delicious!”
“I know.”
“We can get more right?”
“And the salad too?”
I nod.
For the next hour she tells me four times how great the breadsticks are.

Her eggplant parm meal comes and she say, “I’m only eating a little pasta. I’ll take it home so I can eat more salad and breadsticks.”
I don’t eat my spaghetti so she scrapes it onto her plate and takes it home for dinner.

Grandma H comes into my mom’s house and announces, “We have to go to Poppy’s grave to check on the angel. I think the grave diggers ran her over.”
“What?” My mom and I ask in unison.
“They are digging a new grave near your grandfather’s. And I think they backed into the angel and broke it. We have to go check.”
I nod. “Sure.”
She gets a menacing tone in her voice. “And if it’s broken they are going to fix it.”
“Okay, let’s just make sure they did something wrong first,” I say. Grandma H has a tendency to open with mean.

Grandma H’s favorite place to drive by is the horses on Woodtick Road. There are about 6 horses in a paddock below street level.

Every time we drive by she slows down and gazes at the horses. Her voice gets buttery and her eyes sparkle. She adores the horses. And it never gets old. We’ve been driving by them for two months and she gets excited each time.

Sometimes it surprises her and she tells me, “I like horses. I really like horses.”

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28 Responses to Springtime with Grandma H

  1. I heart your Grandma H! You are so fortunate to be able to spend time with her and that you enjoy it so much!

  2. Grandma H has a tendency to open with mean – made me smile out loud ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. It's the little things that make life great.berry says:

    Great stories. What a pip she is. Possible book?

    Nice memories. Keep the vignettes coming.

    • Thanks Berry! She is a saucy lady. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh I definitely think she will be appearing in one of my books. That’s one of the reasons I write down our conversations here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. crubin says:

    Yay, more Grandma H tales! But I’m still hearing that Hungarian dialect in my head. Alas, I think it is permanently in my cortex for all future Grandma H tales. But she seems pretty cool. She probably wouldn’t mind. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LOL. Carrie, I told her and she proudly proclaimed, “But I’m Russian.” Then she giggled. So she is okay with you adding the Hungarian dialect. We are fiction writers after all. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • crubin says:

        Well, in my mind, the Russian and Hungarian dialect is likely very similar. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Mine too. All those Eastern European languages sounds similar to me. ;P The funny part is we really don’t know that we’re Russian because of how much the lines of Eastern Europe changed in the 1900s. My great grandparents spoke Russian and claimed to be Russian. But in 1914, they lived in an area that was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It’s now part of present day Poland. So confusing and we may possibly be Hungarian or Polish. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thank you for a delightful (almost) spring morning interlude.

    • Audrey, I can’t believe the weather here in CT. It’s been in the 60s this week. It feels like Spring sprang up already. ๐Ÿ™‚ glad you enjoy the Grandma H stories. She’s the funniest character in my life.

  6. I heart Grandma H, too! I’ll think of her next time, perhaps every time, I eat a breadstick. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Just remember she hates the crunchy thin breadsticks. Aw, she cracked up when I told her she’s got a blog following. ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s not quite sure what that means but she laughed.

  7. too cute. Gotta love grandmas

  8. klynwurth says:

    Kourtney, this is delightful, in the subject and in your writing skill. If Grandma knows she’s famous, tell her “hi” from one of her Iowa fans. I look forward to more of your writing.

    • Thanks Kelly! Mom told her about my blog posts. She is very shy and says you don’t use my full name or my photo right? I promised not to. I will pass the hello on. She is surprised that people find her entertaining. Aw thanks so much! I look forward to getting back to reading your blog next week. I miss reading it a lot. I should have the manuscript finished Sunday and ready to mail out Monday. Then it’s back to my normal schedule. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    Oh, lucky you to be able to share such stories about your grandmother. The warmth and affection just flows through your writing! And your family history would probably make the basis for a really interesting historical novel.

    A friend of mine recently did DNA testing on her mother’s side of the family. Instead of being all Irish like they’d always thought, the maternal line also showed Russian/East European connections. They were completely stunned at the results. I keep telling her to write a book about itโ€”once she finishes the currents WIPs, of course.

    You can add me to the fan club for your grandmother!

    • Thanks JM! She’ll be surprised and secretly delighted to know she had a fan club. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It’s really precious time we get together. I like that we can be friends and not stuck in the traditional grandmother-granddaughter roles. Seriously, when I heard all the conflicting evidence about whether we are Russian or Polish or Hungarian, I was thinking maybe it might be another book to write. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      That is very cool about your friend. I’d be interested in that kind of book. I hope she finds time to write it one day.

  10. LindsayH says:

    I love reading about Grandma H, I get excited when I read the headline!!! It makes my days. I know exactly which horses you are referring to! My aunt’s brother owns them. Tell Grandma H if she ever sees them laying down, they’re just resting. They tend to freak people out when they do that!!!!

    • Thanks Linds! Aw that’s so awesome! OMG, maybe sometime you me and grandma H can go over there? She’d love to be able to stop but she’s afraid the owners would get mad. She wants to just park and look at the horses through the fence. Oh good! I saw them laying down and got nervous. In the movies when a horse lays down it means certain death. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 4amWriter says:

    Once again, I love these little ditties that you share with us. She is a real treat and I can just see you writing a little memoir of all of these moments. Both your personalities shine through the dialogue, and I feel such a connection to your relationship.

    Do you tell her that you are posting tidbits about her?

    • Thanks Kathryn! Either a memoir or a fiction character based off of them. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have a really fun bond. My mom and aunt catch us laughing all the time and always wonder what we’re up to.

      I asked her permission to include her in the blog. She said it was okay if I didn’t use any photos of her or her full name. My mom tells her all about the blog, but Grandma H doesn’t use computers or cell phones so she doesn’t see it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. LindsayH says:

    I can always find out when someone will be there and Grandma H can get closer than just the fence!!!!

    • That would be great Lindsay! The only thing is she’s not the best walker lately. She tends to tire more quickly and needs to sit more. Maybe I could bring a lawn chair and we could take her there to sit and gaze at the horses one day? She just loves them sooooo much. ๐Ÿ™‚

Any thoughts or reactions or favorite foods you want to share?