My mother's parents were really special.
I was thinking today about what I was going to do this year for Thanksgiving, and it has reminded me of a couple of stories I remember about my grandparents.
My grandpa had a bad heart. It runs in the family, unfortunately. Of course, his doctors put him on a salt-free diet and, since it was the 1980's, salt substitutes were horrible, bitter things. Well, my grandmother found a great one that tasted just like salt. It was amazing!
After Grandpa died, Grandma went on using the salt substitute. Eventually she had to go and replace it. Imagine her shock when the salt substitute tasted terrible! It was bitter and awful and she was just so confused!
Until she found the big container of REAL salt hidden in the kitchen. Grandpa had been quietly replacing the salt substitute with real salt for years. Grandma had to laugh.
My second story is about Grandma. Grandma lived until 2005, passing away just a few weeks before Princess was born. She remained vital and healthy for years after Grandpa died, but of course, as time went on she could do less and less.
We always went to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Grandma made the same dishes every year, and assigned each of us to bring the same things, so it was a menu you could really count on. One dish Grandma made sure never to forget was the corn-and-oysters.
Made with canned oysters and creamed corn, this dish truly had to be seen (and smelled) to be believed. Yet, year after year, the dish was completely clean at the end of the feast, thanks to the combined efforts of my father and my Uncle Pat. Grandma never really knew that Dad and Pat were the only two eating it. She thought we all loved it, that it was the dish without which our family Thanksgiving could not be complete.
I remember the year she told me that she just didn't feel up to making the corn and oysters. "Deb, I know the family will be so disappointed," she said earnestly. "I just don't think I can make the corn and oysters this year." "Grandma," I said sincerely, "we'll manage." Only my father complained.
It's been 5 years since Grandma died, and 23 years since Grandpa died. Even though I miss them every day, thinking about them makes me happy. Hopefully one day Princess will have children (she currently plans on having eight) who will tell stories about their kooky Grandma Deb, who wore knee-socks and danced the Futterwagon on the living-room sofa.
Obviously, I plan for an active, lightly medicated old age.
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