Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Memories—Grandma Erma and Grandma Hoops

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Grandma Erma
me and Judy (named after my mother's hairdresser)
Grandma Hoops

(I have no idea why we called one grandma by her first name and the other grandma by her last name.)



Both grandmas wrote letters: Grandma Erma wrote epistles, Grandma Hoops wrote postcards. Both grandmas loved their grandchildren. Both grandmas were not the same.

Grandma Erma had swollen, thick ankles that she covered with heavy support hose. I mention it because she always mentioned them. When stockings were rationed during WW II, Grandma wrote the stocking company and begged for a new pair to replace her damaged ones. She told them it was their civic duty to protect the public from the sight of her heavily varicosed veins. The company sent her six pairs. Grandma Erma was a former teacher and corrected our grammar when she came to visit. From her I learned there is no “r” in wash and that some people say “root” instead of rut, “creek” instead of crik, and “roof” instead of ruf. Grandma Erma was a storyteller, letter-writer, organizer, scrap-quilter and debater. She liked to play Scrabble. She not only recycled pants and dresses into quilts, she made disco balls from Christmas cards and glitter. Her preferred mode of transportation was the Greyhound bus. Grandma was a Democrat in a Republican state. Grandma Erma had white hair.

Grandma Hoops was compact. Her dresses were fitted, made of paisley cloth and expensive. Grandma Hoops loved dolls, diamonds, and luxury cars. She, like Grandma Erma, was a former teacher, but she corrected our table manners instead of our English. Every morning she fixed Grandpa Cream of Wheat cereal with wheat germ for breakfast and in the evenings she trimmed the fat from his steaks. Grandma liked burnt toast, roses, and peonies. Grandma and Grandpa took their grandchildren to a cabin every summer. Grandma Hoops often took us with her to visit her friends; we sat on the couch very still for hours while they talked. Grandma liked to give rides and food to the widows and homebound. She used both feet on the brakes. Grandma used to take us to the hotel for lunch and then bought us a little ceramic mouse from the hotel’s curio cabinet afterward. There were baby mice with rattles, mother mice, all kinds of mice. Grandma Hoops had silver hair.


Are my grandmas at all like your grandmas?
What little-girl/boy memory do you have of your grandma?
Did/Do you use her first name or last name when referring to her?

9 comments:

Donna Chapin said...

Jane,
When you were talking about your Grandmas, I couldn't help be reminded that I too have many memories with my Grandmas. I was lucky enough to have 4 Grandmas - my Great Grandma which everyone called her Grammie, Grandma Lee (last name-my Dad's Mom), Grandma Eva (first name - my Dad's step mother) and then my Mom's mom - Grandma McConnell (last name). All of my Grandma lived to until after I was married. In fact, Grandma McConnell is still alive and doing well. Each one brings a different memory, and a different personalities. By the way, Nicole was Grammie's 10th Great Great Grandchild. I might have to blog my own memories about my Grandmas.

Cali said...

I loved that post mom. I LOVE learning about where you came from. I sure do wish you still had those mice.

Cali

Heather @ Multiple Hats said...

I remember my Grandma Laura trying to teach me the piano - Every Good Boy Does Fine and All Cows Eat Grass - to learn the notes. She always had push-ups in her freezer and Cheez Whiz and crackers in her cupboard. Somehow, in her one-level house, we still found or built enough steps to have tons of fun with a Slinky almost every trip there. She always had a crossword open, and did all her check registers and figuring by hand (no calculators) to "keep her brain from deteriorating".

Ande Payne said...

Thanks for sharing this Mamma. I love hearing your memories. They are so sweet and endearing. And I espeically love the picture. And yes, where are the mice?! I know where the little chickens and little pigs are, but what about the mice?!

Carolyn said...

We called one grandma Grandma Jackson and one grandma Grandma Carol. I don't know why we did the first name/last name thing either?

Kathy said...

Grandma Jensen was Danish and all things pioneer, much like your grandma Erma, only she never corrected us for any thing at all. Grandma Kirby was Scottish with a thick brogue, she was widowed at the age of 36 with 8 children to raise, she did correct us, but was a lot of fun. She was blind from the time I was two.

Marie said...

Lovely. Oh, Jane, I've missed reading your wonderful posts. I haven't spent much time on the computer at all the past couple of weeks, and catching up on your blog was pure pleasure.

But how, HOW, could you have let target practise be set against the bookshelf? The person who missed the target would be in such trouble!

michelle said...

I am dying over the stockings story! Wonderful!

My dad's mom lived in Mexico and I never had much of a relationship with her. She is anorexic and has a reputation for sending letters with way too much personal information... We called her Grandma Taylor. We just call my Mom's mom Grandma. She has to wear support stockings, too!

Ryan and Haley Krumblis said...

I LOVE posting about my Grandma Millie....(First name). I always thought of her as though we were destined for each other. She was also an only child, she was tall, and she loved Italian food. Grandpa would always have a sandwich, but she always made pasta for her and I. Being the only girl in the family, she and I would love to go shopping together and then out to a movie. She was the only one who would eat theater hot dogs with me. Not to mention I loved watching her relationship with my grandpa, she would always kiss him and hold his hand....something I hope to always have!