If we played too loudly, an upstairs neighbor would stomp on the floor for us to be quiet. Granny just referred to him as “Grumpy”. She would get out her broom and bang on the ceiling right back. In the big unfinished basement of the building, we would occasionally get to bring our roller skates, something I’m sure Grumpy would never approve of.
But the best memories I have of visiting with my Granny are when she would pull out the drawer. You see, she had amazing fashion sense. When she was single and moved from a tiny town on Lake Superior to the Big City of Chicago, she made her own clothes with magazine cover precision. I never saw her in a sweatshirt or jeans in my life. She introduced me to words like slacks, girdle, and stockings. She was always composed, always accessorized. She had jewelry for every outfit. And it was all kept in a drawer in her dresser. On certain occasions she would pull out the drawer and set it on the floor and my sister and I would marvel at the sheer volume of treasures inside. Then we would dig in! Costume jewelry as far as the eye could see! Long strings of beads, rhinestone brooches, and my very favorite: CLIP ON EARRINGS!
We covered our arms with bracelets, our necks heavy with beads, and then we hunted for the perfect pair of bejeweled clip on earrings. I remember sitting in that pile of jewelry feeling like a princess. It was extravagant and I felt like I was part of Granny’s club. Swimming in my sea of plastic beads and sparkling stones, I wasn’t an awkward kid with stringy hair and big plastic glasses. I was stunning. Graceful. Polished. She gave me an awesome gift, helping me to see myself differently. She helped me see potential that I hadn’t considered. In my most self-conscious seasons she saw a beautiful woman emerging. I’m so thankful for the crazy family that God gave me. Two very different grandmother who nurtured totally different things in me. I’m feeling blessed.