Sunday Dinners

May 2016
By far, my hardest goodbye was to this sweet lady right here. We came to Utah often enough as kids, but with 35 cousins running around I honestly didn't spend a whole lot of time just with Grandma. I did inherit her "early to rise" gene though, so when she and I were the only ones awake every morning at 6 am I would sit on her lap and she'd read me Bernstein Bears books. Then I'd help her make a breakfast spread that Cracker Barrel would covet of as the scent of bacon and waffles slowly drew everyone to the kitchen. When I moved there for college, I loved having the safety net of my grandparents close by, I thought she would fill in for my mom when I needed it. I remember the first time I thought my world was ending, and I drove to Grandma and Grandpa's house with tears streaming down my face. I walked in and told her all about the problem and she just patted me on the shoulder and told me I'd be just fine. Ha! Emotional or sentimental are basically her antonyms, but she is the most generous and giving human on the planet. When people use the phrase "give you the shirt off their back," I always think they must have coined it after her. She's never actually offered me her own shirt but she literally offered me the sheets off her bed one time which is pretty dang close. Sunday dinners with them were a sanctuary for me. Grandma's table puts Mary Poppins purse to shame, expanding to include every single one of all of our roommates without any prior notice. You could always count on mashed potatoes, grape juice, and some gospel advice from Grandpa. I never thought to take pictures there because it was such a beautiful and expected routine. She kept "yearbooks" though for decades so I stole a few for this post. The cast of characters around the table drastically changed over nine years, from old boyfriends, to roommates, cousins, spouses, younger siblings, and my own children as they all came along. One of the sweetest blessings of my life was buying a house less than a mile from my grandparents. Once I had kids, I would take them over to pick raspberries or apples, swing on the swing set, play in the tree house, or nap in cribs while Grandma and I worked on a sewing project. I can't even count the times I wished somehow that I could reach through the wrinkles of time and raise my babies alongside her. She was truly my best friend, she is eighty years old but she just gets it. One of my favorite things about Grandma is that she doesn't ever give advice, even if you beg for it. You have to spend enough time with her to hear the stories and riddles in the way she speaks if you really want to know what she would do. One Sunday dinner I was helping her grate cheese in the kitchen and I didn't reach my hand inside the cheese grater when I was done to clear it out. She looked at it and then at me and said, "You know, a woman can throw more money out the back door with a teaspoon than a man can bring in the front door with a wheelbarrow." I will never ever forget to clean out the cheese grater again! I ache to be back there on Sundays, I could write hours of anecdotes about the things she's taught me but I would rather just buy a plane ticket to be there tomorrow.


  1. Love this with my whole heart and miss you there sooooo much.


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