Saturday, January 7, 2012

Today is my gramma's memorial.

And I can't be there, so here is my tribute to her.

Over Christmas, my family lost someone very dear. Nama was the sweetest, most-loving grandmother a girl could want. She loved the Lord and prayed for and supported her grandchildren. She baked cookies with us and taught us to sew. With my grandpa, Nama created the most beautiful backyard garden, complete with a koi pond (with a bridge!) and forest trails. She attended so many of our (surely boring) piano recitals, plays, soccer/baseball/softball games, and band concerts. Every year, Nama and Papa hosted Thanksgiving at their house, with the requisite delicious smorgasbord, post-dinner nap, walk, and games.

Nama was an expert quilter. She (and Mom) patiently tried to teach me to sew when I was a child, working one Saturday with me to produce a dress and bonnet for my Felicity doll. After a half-made quilted table runner sat for months, we realized that it was not my thing. But, Nama gave me such an appreciation and love for warm, homey quilts. She made two for me, and they are both on my bed:
Go Huskies!
(Okay, you can only see one there.)

Nama taught me to knit one Christmas during college, though, and that caught like wildfire! Here she is, modeling a pair of socks I made her a couple Christmases later:
Nama models her new socks!
Nama points her toes

Tea often brings Nama to mind. While Papa, Dad, and David had fishing trips, Nama, Mom, Amy, Jenny, Aunt Cindy, Aunt Kristie, and I had our tea parties. A few times we visited the Victorian Tea Room. It was perfect. I mean, it was pink and had a turret and was filled to the brim with (really expensive) porcelain dolls. Several 7-12 year old girls had their birthday parties at the Tea Room. (I think I had one there...was that just Julissa?)

I have fonder memories, however, of tea parties at my aunts' house. We dressed up in our favorite afternoon-tea-party dresses, wore hats, drank tea like we were the Queen (if she uses four sugar cubes in a cup...), and ate proper little desserts, such as candied rose petals and mini-meringues. Here's a classic picture of Nama, Mom, my sisters, and me at one of them:
Nama and the Girls

Though Nama was terrified of flying, Mom and Jenny dragged her on a cross-country flight to visit me during my second year of grad school! We showed her around Princeton and lab:
The girls by the stellerator.

We even sat her on a train and took her to Manhattan! My dear gramma from a small town in Washington State was hilarious to watch in NYC. She rather enjoyed herself, but was a bit overwhelmed by the subway, the crowds, and the herd of zombies we saw attacking a city bus. (I'm really not joking about the zombies. It was almost Halloween.) For the train ride home, we waited in packed Penn Station for the track number to be posted. I warned them that we'd have to MOVE IT to get seats together. When the number came up, I headed off, Nama SHOVED 16-year-old Jenny out of the way, and held my hand tightly until we were safely on the train. All sitting together. :)

We had the best time when we were all transformed into little girls by the amazing American Girl Store and Cafe!
Mom and Nama!

I believe that I will see her again someday, but for now, I really miss her.
Nama and Papa!

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