An agrarian M.B.A. discusses the principles of living well.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Remembering Gramma Jo
Today would have been my grandmother's 112th birthday. She was born in January of 1900 and almost lived out the century, making it until 1998. Gramma Jo was a liberated woman before they were invented. She was widowed in her early thirties and raised two children as a single mother. When she retired in 1965 she circumnavigated the globe, even beating the hippies to Nepal. I keep thinking I should retrace her steps when I retire but I am not sure I am gutsy enough. The childhood photo shows Gramma Jo with the younger members of her family. She is the youngest girl and there were also two older brothers who are not in the picture. The other picture is more like I remember her. She was so active in her senior years that whatever age she was, I ended up thinking that wasn't old, as in "sixty-five isn't old", "seventy-five isn't old", etc. At 90 she walked down at the Accokeek boardwalk with me. Finally at 95, she did start to seem a little old. Her core good humor was legendary and remained until the end. She liked to cook and especially to make desserts. She was good at sewing and knitting. Her retirement hobby was woodcarving and she made the woodcarving below for me when she was around 80. Gramma Jo worked at making her grandchildren into better people. I remember how she would not let us slack on a job like washing the dishes - it meant that not only did the dishes have to get washed but you needed to sponge off the counter, too! I'm grateful now for all her influences.