Angel Food Cake, Crayons, and Meatballs

[Originally posted to my blog ‘Point of Tears’ on Dec 19, 2004.]

Between computer problems and trying to find a new place to live (more on that later this week) I haven’t had a chance to write again. But later in the day on Monday, at approximately 4pm PST, my Grandmother died of Cancer. I know, I know. It all just sounds like too much. Like it’s some made-for-tv movie on Lifetime that just makes you want to turn the channel or. . . if you’re into that, sit on the edge of your seat waiting to see what will happen next.

Unfortunately it’s not a made-for-tv movie on Lifetime, it’s my Life. Quite frankly I don’t think it’s hit me yet. I only broke down into tears (after the phone call to 911) once when I thought one of my teacher’s was being a jerk about the whole thing. Fortunately it was just a misunderstanding and I quickly got my bearing.

Other than that, I’ve been fairly intact. I don’t have time right now, but I have a long rant about being a “victim” and all the things that go with it. Let’s just say it’s frustrating and maddening all at the same time.

Moving on. . .

What this post really is about is my Grandmother. My Dad asked me to sit down and send him an email with some of my thoughts and memories of my Grandmother. The below selection is what I came up with:

For some reason, as I sit to type this, this song from The Sound of Music pops into my head. Oh, I’m sure you know the one. It goes, “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things.” Oh! That’s the title, “My Favourite Things!”

I guess it comes to mind because that’s what I’ve been trying to do. Remember my favorite things about my Grandma. It’s not so hard to do. When I was a child I used to spend quite a bit of time with my Grandma.

We would spend weekends together at her apartment. . .the same apartment for what must be twenty plus years. Same furniture, (for the most part), same decorations, same food. . .pretty much the same everything.

I like telling my daughter Crystal about those weekends. How Grandma Jeanne and me would stay up soooooo late that the sun was up before we went to bed. About the angel food cakes we would make, and eat. Three in one weekend was our record! Angel food cake is still my favorite cake in the whole wide world and my Grandma Jeanne and those weekends are all tied up in that.

My Grandma Jeanne would make the BEST soup. Nothing complex really. A package of Top Ramen soup with all the veggies she could throw into the pot; but still the best thing in the whole wide world. I remember trying to fix the same thing on a hot plate in the barracks when I was in the Marines. It just didn’t taste the same, but the Jarheads I invited over to chow didn’t know the difference. Go figure.

Oh, now you’re probably thinking that all we did was EAT! No. We did more than that.

She had. . .no, she STILL has in her closet a BIG box of Crayolas and a HUGEMONGOUS coloring book filled with the most fanciful pictures that we would color together long into the evening (morning). We would compete to see who could come up with the craziest color schemes. *smile* There was one there for my brother (still is) but for some reason it’s not a full of pictures. It was G.I. Joe. Very cool.

Speaking of my brother. . .I remember the weekends HE would go over he wouldn’t eat ANYTHING except peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You see, Grandma was into “health” food before “health” food was popular! So there would be wheat pancakes with no butter and no syrup. . .only jelly. And all the veggies! I remember this one time that Grandma fed me this great dinner. . .topped off with fresh peas. Oh how I hated peas! Really really hated peas! But I didn’t tell Grandma that. Oh no! I didn’t want to disappoint her! So I ate the peas and almost puked! *laugh* Oh the look on her face when I turned as green as the peas in my mouth!

Speaking of food again. . .there was the times we spent at the piano singing different songs. (I’m getting to the food part! Really!) She played and I sang (badly). My favorite song was “On Top of Spaghetti.” The song was played like the song “On Top of Old Smokey” and went something like:

On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer,
It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball,
Whenever you sneeze.

We would laugh so hard our sides would hurt after singing that!

I don’t remember when I stopped spending weekends at my Grandma’s, but I miss them.

When I got older and decided to join the Marines, it was Grandma Jeanne who sent me cartoons, puzzles and a letter almost every day. Yeah I got in trouble with the DIs for getting so much mail, but I didn’t care. It was great getting those letters.

After boot camp the letters didn’t stop. Oh, they didn’t come every day, but they came often enough, letting me know how often she thought of me and how much she loved me.

It’s amazing how you overlook all the little things in the day to day of life. Grandma never overlooked the little things.

Thank you Grandma. For all the little things you did for me. I love you.

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