Monday, September 6, 2010


I'm baking bread today. While it's rising I thought I would blog. Baking bread and doing domestic type things always reminds me of my Grandma. She's ninety. She had a stroke about five years ago and has since been in a senior's home where my Grandpa visits everyday to spend time with her and help her eat. I miss being close to them and look forward to the brief visits we get to share together whenever we make the trek to Saskatchewan.
This is my Grandma at our wedding reception, 2003

Growing up I never knew that my Grandma was extraordinary. It never crossed my mind. She was just Grandma. She was just there and I thought that every kid had a grandma like I did. Now I'm not so sure. I'll try and give you a picture of this woman from my childhood. She is tall and big-boned. She has a wide smile and an a defined jaw line. Her hands are work worn yet gentle. Her fingers are often stained from canning fruit and vegetables. Her laugh flows out easily and she loves to tease. She has mischief in her eyes and a quick wit to match. Every Saturday morning she drives downtown to get her hair done. She smells like baked bread, freshly laundered clothes and pickles. She likes to pick her teeth with a toothpick. She is efficient in her work. She is hospitable and always has a feast ready and waiting to be thawed for any visitor that stops by for coffee...think doughnuts and squares and oatmeal-date cookies...oh my. She is an amazing cook, not having to use recipes anymore because she has made kucha, fried chicken, cabbage rolls and perogies hundreds of times. Her house is tidy and organized and always smells like she's just baked something yummy. She takes time for family and friends and gives of herself for her community and church. She is willing to share her knowledge of plants and baking and often takes willing students for tours of her sunroom and flower garden. She likes to tell a good story, especially ones that will get people laughing. Sometimes she has to take her glasses off and wipe her eyes because she is laughing so hard herself from the telling. She goes to recitals and concerts to show her support for grand kids. She invites them for sleepovers at the lake. She loves holding babies and fussing over them. She likes to read, cross stitch and make afghans for every grand kid. She is talented and has excelled at almost everything that she puts her hand to, yet she would never boast. She is serious and humorous. She is kind and firm. She is practical and friendly. She tells it how it is and has a soft spot in her heart. She hugs roughly but honestly. She is some woman.

Grandma holding Elle, 2005
This woman, of my chilhood disappeared five years ago. I miss the amazing woman that my Grandma was. She was full of life and had a spark of passion for doing simple things in extraordinary ways. I don't think I really ever told my grandma that I thought she was amazing, while I had the chance. I'm not sure I knew how amazing she was until I stopped to think about it. I want to honor my grandma today and recognize the role that she played in my life. Thank you Grandma for who you are and all the things that you have passed on to me. I tell my kids stories about you all the time. I love you and I think you are beautiful. When I take my fresh bread out of the oven today, I will cut off a big slice and put lots of peanut butter and honey on it and dream about the after school snacks at your kitchen table. I'll be thinking of you.....

Take time to think about people in your life who have left an impression and then tell them. Honoring someone is beautiful.


  1. I've never had the honour of meeting your grandma, and yet, here I sit, tears streaming down my face. (It's the picture of Grandma and Elle that set me off...) What a tribute. You're right - we seldom acknowledge the people who hold such influential roles in our lives. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. Donita,
    I had trouble writing through the watery eyes yesterday too. The picture of Elle and Grandma was taken a few months before her stroke, it's a really special one to me too. Thanks so much for reading, Donita!

  3. Beautiful! I wish I could have known her better too! She had her stroke shortly after our wedding. Our pictures to us are worth gold!!! We had all four grandparents!