As far as grandparents go, I am an orphan. But I have had interesting, loving grandparents that I still love very dearly. My dad’s mom (you laugh, but her name really was Gertrude) used to take care of us when mom and dad were away. Us kids would climb head first into our sleeping bags and squirm around, making her guess who was in each sleeping bag.
We would play hide and seek and hide in the most ridiculous places that only children who are too skinny can fit into. I remember hiding under my bed (captain’s bed mind you, behind the drawer) while Amber closed the drawer and hid inside the bathroom cupboard. After what seemed like forever and Grandma still looking, I started giving her clues by yelling out, “Grandma, over here.” She came into my room and still didn’t find me, yet marveled at the talking bed.
She made us the most delicious sandwiches with moist white bread, gave us our own cans of pop, and gave us each a bag of Smartfood white cheddar popcorn to eat while we watched a movie. Once, when she hadn’t brought over her special food, we picketed her with cardboard signs until she caved and took us to Wendy’s.
I remember one time Grandma was helping me with my homeschool about genetics, and I told her I thought she had a square head. She laughed so hard I didn’t know whether to be pleased or afraid that she actually would die of laughter.
At Grandma’s house, Chad and I would crawl into her attic and look down through the peephole into the garage. That is where I put together puzzles: Grandma had two Charles Wysocki’s (the Butcher shop and the Antiques store). I once helped her finish her crossword by telling her the Mr. Strauss’ first name and thought I was a genius.
Joel and I would come over and help dad mow her lawn, prune and garden. She always gave us each a $50, but we told mom she only gave us $20 so she wouldn’t make us return it. When Steve came to Washington to meet my family, we stopped at Grandma’s. By that time, she wasn’t able to talk, but could still write scribbly letters that were barely legible. She wrote, “I’m glad to have met you.”
That was the last time I saw her, and Grandma, I wish I would have said to you, “I’m glad to have met you, too.”