Tag Archives: grandchildren

1865. Early shopping

(Dear Faithful and truly-tried Readers – sometimes it’s rainy and dull outside (it is winter here) and blogging takes on the flavour of the weather. So since I’m twiddling my thumbs I thought I’d go silly for a time – which is why my nomenclature on this blog is now Cloven Ruminant. (You can still call me Bruce – and anyway, Cloven Ruminant is better than Split-hoofed Cud-chewer). Quite a number of excellent bloggers are configured in a pseudonym so I thought I’d do the same and free myself from the shackles of expectation. Those shackles of expectation can at times be nullifying to ones creativity, so I’m breaking free! One never knows what riff-raff the cat might drag in when using another name. Incidentally, the goat gravatar is not a selfie but a picture of Billy my Goat. I’m younger and more beautiful. Anyway, here’s today’s story. Thanks – Cloven Ruminant).

Goodness! It was only July and already Malvina had finished her Christmas shopping. She had six children, five in-laws, and seventeen grandchildren. It was so much cheaper to buy suitable gifts throughout the year. Not only might they not be available closer to Christmas, but sometimes during the year things were on sale. Given the large number she had to buy for, every little saving was a great relief for Malvina.

As each gift was purchased, Malvina would wrap it carefully in Christmas paper and pencil the name of the person-to-receive. One year she had attached little cards to the gifts with the person’s name, but by the time Christmas arrived some of the cards had fallen off and she had to open the gifts to see who should get what. These days, as it neared Christmas, she would attach name cards.

And so it was! Here it was in July and already the Christmas shopping was done, the gifts were wrapped and well-hidden in a suitcase at the back of her bedroom closet. She had to hide things particularly well because all seventeen grandchildren were budding sleuths. So far, thankfully, they had never ventured into her bedroom closet.

Goodness! It was only September and already Malvina had finished her Christmas shopping. She had six children, five in-laws, and seventeen grandchildren. It was so much cheaper to buy suitable gifts throughout the year. Not only might they not be available closer to Christmas, but sometimes during the year things were on sale. Given the large number she had to buy for, every little saving was a great relief for Malvina.

Goodness! It was nearly Christmas and Malvina hadn’t even started her Christmas shopping. Usually she shopped for gifts throughout the year, but this year the time had flown. “I don’t know where the time goes to,” she said. She thought she had bought some gifts earlier, but she couldn’t find them. Usually she hid the gifts in a box in the cupboard in her garage but there was nothing there. How the years melded into one another. She must have shopped for the previous year!

1507: Granny Suzanne

Over the years Granny Suzanne had skein after half-used skein of left-over wool. In her younger days she had been a prolific knitter. These days, with rheumatism and fading eyesight, her knitting output wasn’t quite so productive.

Winter was setting in. She knew that her three grandchildren living with their mother “just down the road” would be feeling the cold. She couldn’t afford to pay for their heating, but she could knit, albeit with effort. She would knit warm clothes for her grandchildren and their mother.

Scarves, gloves, socks, and woollen hats were the order of the day! A bit of red, a flash of blue, a stitch or two of green… The job was done, and most of her leftover wool was used.

The grandchildren didn’t tell granny but they hated the items. “It looks like we’re street urchins,” they said to their mother. They threw the woollen items away and went to thank their grandmother. But when they visited their grandmother she was sitting in her armchair, dead.

She had died of the cold.

1493. Mrs Rasmussen

Mrs Andrew Rasmussen was known as Mrs Andrew Rasmussen or simply Mrs Rasmussen. Few used her first name. What a lovely person!

She had six children. She organised the annual school picnic, when all the parents came along with a picnic lunch on the sprawling country school grounds. She instituted the country women’s club for mutual support among the local mothers. She had a garden (both vegetables and flowers) to die for. She supported her husband in all he did at work, and even joyfully went along to the monthly factory bowls tournament, which she secretly disliked.

Of course her six children flourished. They all got reasonable jobs, got married, and had children of their own. And what a grandmother she was to all of them! They were her life!

Eventually she died; at the reasonable age of eighty-five. Eighty-five wonderful and full years! She stipulated that she was to be cremated and her ashes scattered amongst the… “Oh! Do what you like with the ashes, I won’t be minding!”

Years later, a great granddaughter was researching her ancestry. There was no headstone to go on. She searched through every local newspaper to glean snippets of insight. The only mention anywhere of her great grandmother was a reference in a newspaper on a local wedding:

Mrs Andrew Rasmussen wore an ensemble of green chiffon velvet trimmed with beige fur, and hat of the same shade.

Euphemia Broadhurst had vanished from the earth.

1009. Liver

8liver

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being a grandmother and having the grandchildren stay over. But I like to give them proper food. Their mother, for all her excellent upbringing, doesn’t feed them properly. They’re malnourished. I make sure they’re sent home with tummies full of good healthy food.

One of their favourite foods is liver. It must be the way I cook it. Their mother claims it to be the most disgusting organ in a cow and says the children hate it. She refuses to feed it to them. But a liver is low in calories, low in fat, and packed with nutrients, including riboflavin, copper, vitamins A and B12 and B6, thiamin, protein and iron. What could be healthier?

The grandchildren gobble it up. When I come from the kitchen to the dining table their plates are always empty. Not a liver left. And it makes them full of energy. Damien, the oldest boy, always asks at the end of a liver meal if he can go out and dig the garden.

691. Did I tell you about my grandkids?

694old

Let’s face it, no one in my eighty-seven years has ever listened to me. And now I’m in an old people’s home and everyone talks and talks and talks like someone might be listening. Either that or they never talk at all; like they’ve been struck mute.

Maybe they don’t talk because they’ve got no grandkids or great-grandkids like most have. And those with grandkids talk and talk and talk about them like they’re the only ones that have them. Like their descendants are the most intelligent things born since some remote ancestor in Africa picked up a cracked stone to sharpen the point of a stick.

I don’t talk much about my eleven grandkids and their couple of kids because no one listens. I talk about them though if I’m sitting in the corner with Fred. Fred always listens. He appreciates it. I tell him everything about my grandkids and he never grows tired of it. He agrees with everything I say.

Poor Fred. He’s totally deaf and he’s got some muscular complaint that means he nods positively at everything I say.