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Grandmothers, the grandest mothers of them all! My inherited jewelry is only the material side of my inheritance.

The Rocker

My paternal Grandmother B was an old-fashioned kind of grandmom who spent her whole life in Chautauqua County, NY. She was 100% German so when she married, an orderly household came to her hardworking but more carefree Scottish in-laws. She gardened, canned, baked, embroidered, sewed and braided rugs. She made doll house furniture and accessories from found objects. She made Martha Stewart worthy dried bouquets from collected seed pods and grasses. She found joy in making things with her hands and everything she did was quality.

Her molasses cookies were eyes closed, toe curling, melt in your mouth delicious! They were so good that my brothers and I have had recurring dreams where we are searching for the tin cans she stored them in from one end of her kitchen to the pantry. She'd bake a bunch before we'd arrive for a visit and hide the cans out of our reach. Of course we found them and snuck a cookie or two. I've never successfully recreated them and always suspected it was her gas oven or the type of shortening she used, but I've got one more thing to try before giving up. In the mean time Dancing Deer Bakery makes one so close that I can close my eyes, bite into its spicy sweetness and be sitting in the dark pantry once again.

Grandmom B, Evelyn - c. 1929

I wish she had been able to "let loose" a little, as I think she might have laughed more. She did live a long life, passing away at age 87. From her I definitely got the love of making things with my hands and the discipline to do it with quality. To my knowledge she didn't have much jewelry other than her wedding ring. I did inherit a tiny pin with a photo of her Grandmother which as a granddaughter and genealogist, I adore.

The Roller
My maternal Grandmother O was a hoot and loved life. She moved constantly during her marriage as my Grandfather, a graduate of Annapolis, was a Navy Officer. He died when she was only 51, the age I am now. She never remarried, but dated some characters from time-to-time as long as they were fun and didn't get too serious.

Grandma O must've been hard on car brakes, because when she came up to a stop sign she was going almost full speed before she'd brake hard. Thanks to my Uncle she always had a car with a big engine. She could come off a stop so fast you had a hard time keeping your head from falling back. The grandkids thought this was just about as much fun as a roller-coaster.

She rarely drank, but we could get her to have a glass of wine at a family dinner. It was always the grandkids' goal, because she would get to giggling and not be able to stop. That got us all, including the "adults," laughing hysterically til tears were rolling down our cheeks. Another fun thing to do was to get her to say cinnamon. To my knowledge she never was able to say it without getting stuck in the middle and adding lots of extra m's and n's.

My Grandmother, Margaret, and her BFF Lil

She was born in Baltimore and her mother tried to raise her very proper with rules on what clothes you should be seen in. However, the Grandmom I remember was the one in bright colorful knits and sparkly sandals. She was a good bowler, LOVED Dungeness crab, and was the type to eat a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich if her granddaughter said it was her favorite. She was the lead cheerleader on my team.In 1992 she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away about 6 months after diagnosis, almost 28 years to the day of when her beloved Arthur died of a heart attack. Besides photos and my memories, I inherited a couple necklaces, some beautiful Venetian beads and some rings. I was never a ring wearer before, but I had them re-sized and wear them often. They bring her closer where I can almost see her beautiful blue eyes that sparkled with mischief.


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