Memories and Grandma’s

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories is hosted by Lorine at Olive Tree Genealogy, she has put together a list of memories to discuss to help bloggers add information about their lives, not only the lives of their ancestors. The prompt for week #2 was Grandparents (ok, I am a bit late getting this up, but it was written during week 2). She asked these questions:

  • Which Grandparent were you the closest to and why?
  • What were his/her hobbies?
  • What is the strongest memory of your grandparent?

I was lucky enough to be born having all of my grandparents and a set of great grandparents as well.

From birth to age 8, I spent most of my time with my paternal grandma, Ida (Jaeger) O’Connell. She was our babysitter, which was more like our Mom. Until my grandpa died they had lived in an apartment. After his death, my Dad purchased his first home. A 2 flat, we lived on the first floor and Grandma lived on the second.

When I was young, she was the one who did everything for us, dressed us, fed us and took care of us when we were ill. I really have no memories of anyone else really taking care of us (maybe 1 babysitter before we moved to the 2 flat). The point is, my youngest memories are not of my parents, they are of my paternal grandparents.

Grandma had many hobbies that kept her busy throughout the days, besides raising her grandchildren, she loved word searches, jigsaw puzzles (there was always one hidden on the dining room table, under the tablecloth), knitting, crocheting and making jellies! Yum, I wish I had some homemade plum jelly now!

My strongest memory of her is her sitting in her lazy boy chair, next to the picture window, watching her “stories” while crocheting or knitting. I was always sitting on the arm of the chair, drinking her glass of water. She did not like to share her drinks with us kids because we always left “floaties” in her water. I remember her telling us to open our mouths so she could make sure there was no more food in there.

She passed when I was 8 and from there I spent my time with my maternal grandma, Zedith Richmond.  This is the woman who taught me how to cook, and boy could she cook!

The only hobby I remember her being involved with was ceramics. It was our Wednesday night event. Along with grandma, my mom, an aunt, my brother, my cousin and I would meet at the ceramics shop and work on whatever items we were currently involved with. I have one piece left that grandma made, it is a Santa’s workshop with the elves and Mrs. Claus. The workshop has already broken and has been repaired with crazy glue. This year I refused to get it out for Christmas since it is the last item of ceramics I have from her.

My strongest memory of her is our trip to WV in 2004. It was the only “adult” vacation I took with her. This trip was for the Hilton family reunion (her Mom’s family) and so she could show us “home.” I was the only grandchild who took this trip with her and I will treasure the time we spent together, seeing places that were important to her life and meeting friends and family. I really wish some of my cousins would have been able to make this trip. I am thankful to have shared this trip with my two girls  and then to have brought my son to see parts of it in fall of 2009.

I miss both of these special women in my life daily. I would not be the strong woman I am today without either of them.

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