“Why don’t you bake cookies like other grandmothers?” I asked my Grandma Eva when I was about 13 years old. I was old enough to know most grandmothers baked cookies and excelled in homemaking qualities.
Grandma Eva laughed when I asked her. She repeated the question to my mother who was busy attending to three other children. Then they both laughed. And that was the last of it. No cookies–and no answer! Just laughter.
I wondered why they laughed.
When I grew older, I came to understand more about my grandmother. She was one of 12 children, raised in Wray, Colorado. Her father was a photographer, and her mother was the church pianist. She attended classes in a one-room school room like something right out of “Little House on the Praire.”
As a teenager, Grandma Eva was so afraid of failing math that she studied extra hard. It paid off. As a young woman, she taught math and every subject in a one-room school. Later, she worked for H&R Block and figured out people’s taxes way into her 70s. Amazing! Reading the paper everyday, she kept up with current events. Grandma Eva and her third husband loved to travel around the states–camping, fishing, and betting on the dog or horse races. My grandmother knew how to have fun and enjoy life.
My grandmother was the first person I knew to have an aluminum Christmas tree. I remember lying on the floor looking up at the tree, watching the light that shone on it change colors from red, blue, green to yellow. The sparkle of the aluminum and light mesmerized me.
I thought Grandma Eva was really cool then.
I still think she’s cool, and I appreciate her giftings now. She was ahead of her time. I understand why she didn’t have time to bake cookies. And I see now why she laughed. Baking cookies didn’t register on her richter scale. Just like math just doesn’t register on mine.
I would laugh right out loud right now if she asked me why I don’t do Algebra.
My mother, on the other hand, loved to baked cookies and excelled at homemaking; so my brother and two sisters enjoyed all the wonderful benefits of a mother who enjoyed staying home and creating a warm, cozy corner.
Grandma Eva is gone now, and I would love to tell her that it is okay that she didn’t bake cookies. And I would love to discuss current events and politics with her. I would love for her to figure out income taxes for us! I’d love to talk about anything…
Now the idea of my grandmother baking cookies is making me laugh too!
With all this talk of cookies though, I think I’ll go bake some–that is–after I read the morning paper and write my blog.