Friday, November 23, 2007
Thanksgiving...with Miss Jones
There was much feasting, turkey, cranberry sauce, black olives and dill pickles. Pumpkin pie and apple pie buried in freshly whipped cream. Sunlight and laughter, family and good times.
Cousins came to visit. Actually there's only one who visited me, but we're all cousins, so it really doesn't matter. It was rather quiet without the three older boys, and we didn't manage (or really even try) to finish off ALL the apple cider in the house, but the pear wine was excellent. Crazy hats ensued.
My father's father came too, and it was very good to see him. It's been too long since I saw him last. Here he debates with my uncle over video cameras, batteries, or something to that effect
Then on Friday there was another Thanksgiving with my mother's parents. They don't get out much anymore (largely due to my gramma's declining memory) so we brought Thanksgiving to them.
The boys learn the fine art of making whipped cream with my anxious mother hovering at the sidelines. They're both fine cooks who periodically whip up magnificent batches of biscuits and homemade bread. Me, I'm the pie crust queen, sauce maker extrodinaire, oh yes, I do killer cookies now and again.
The dining room decked out in silver and fine china and crystal.
And lastly this darling lady who is a constant part of our lives. Almost 87, my Gramma has Altzheimer's and dementia. This part of her life could be viewed as a tragic event because yes, there is huge loss of memories, stories that should be passed on to future generations, knowledge that will be lost forever, but if we looked at it that way, we'd never find the joy and beauty in anything now would we? Joy and beauty in loosing your mind? Yes. This lady used to be critical, scathing in her remarks which made is very difficult to love her as a Gramma. We tried, and were polite, but sought the solace of the backyard leaving our parents to defend us. Now this lady is the sweetest little slip of a thing on the planet. She's ranges mentally from about 6 years old to 11 or 12. You don't have to tell her the stove is hot, don't touch, but you do have to remind her to wipe her nose or finish her supper. She's constantly singing now-a-days, today's song was "Tea for Two". Little lyrics are quoted often repetitively, but if you know the song, she'll belt it right along with you. "Jukebox Saturday Night" and "Do You Know Miss Jones?" are also part of the repertoire. As a child who grew up in the generation of the Backstreet Boys, N'Synch, and The Spice Girls, I welcome the new-to-me-but-familiar-to-her songs. It's part of her past and in the future I'll think of dancing with her to them as I listen, to her faltering alto half singing, half humming to tunes along with me. And I'll miss her. For now, I'm soaking it all up. The pretty with the ugly. Keeping the memories of this precious lady tucked deep in a special corner of my heart.