Everything has been a blur since Sandy crashed a couple of weeks ago. Halloween was “rescheduled” and now I look at the calendar to see that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! How the hell did that happen?
Anyway, I was putting away the Halloween decorations the other day and came across something that always makes me smile – my Grandma’s turkey candles.
Grandma had decorations for all the “major” holidays – Christmas, Easter & Thanksgiving. Grammer was not allowed to go “all out” with decorating since Grandpa was a bit OCD but still she put out what she could depending on what the holiday was.
Gram was not a fancy decorator. She didn’t care about Lenox or fancy crystal chachkies . No, Christmas at her house guaranteed the plug-in Christmas tree, a manger scene, some holiday doilies, a fake poinsettia for the kitchen table (along with a plastic Xmas table-cloth and place mats) and at least one Santa pot holder hanging from a kitchen cabinet handle.
Easter was Easter Bunny dish towels and some other Bunny stuff scattered throughout the house mixed in with a cross and/or Jesus since it was a religious holiday.
Thanksgiving was more low-key for Gram. There were the obligatory table-cloth and place mats and the occasional plastic cornucopia and maybe a turkey dishtowel but that was usually it – except for the turkey candles.
These candles looked exactly how you would imagine them too – medium-sized, turkeys in gold and brown. Gram would put them out either on the kitchen table or on the radiator behind the kitchen table (it had this covering over it that made it look more like a bench).
I can remember sitting at the table drinking tea and eating graham crackers (a staple at Gram’s house) making fun of her turkey candles. I wasn’t being serious, just teasing her (something my brother and I ALWAYS did). Gram looked at me, in her flowered shirt, angel pin affixed on upper right hand side and said Stop it Nikki…my candles are cute!
She wasn’t a mushy, huggy-kissy kind of grandma, she was more a tell it like it is, give it right back at you grandma.
She LOVED to be out – whether it be the mall or Atlantic City and would spend any extra money she had on new curtains (always beige) or a top from Sterns. She LOVED Oprah (never call her at 4pm) and Jerry “Stein-feld” and would hide copies of the Star and National Enquirer under the couch cushions.
Gram did not take crap from anyone – including me. Unnecessary drama annoyed her and she could usually see right through someone. There were numerous times when I would hug her and say You are THE best Grandma! only to have her reply What do you want Nikki (with a smirk and a laugh).
She was a great shopping partner and you could always count on her to go with you to the diner for coffee or lunch. You also knew if you were bored, you could call her up or pick her up no questions asked (usually).
Gram has been gone over 11 years now and I think of her often. Usually something will spark a memory for me or my mom will say something that sounds very “Rose-like.”
I was the only grandchild she saw get married back in 2000. Now, all 5 of us have been married and 4 of us have kids of our own (I win for most kids).
When I found the turkey candles, I got sad. Maybe it was the Sandy aftermath, the insane kids downstairs or pms but I started to cry a little as I held the funny looking candles.
I kept thinking about Gram and how I could always ask her opinion on things because she was always honest – no sugar-coating EVER! I wonder what she would say to all the “drama” I have endured these past couple months (some of which was self-produced) and all the “stuff” I have fallen for and put up with?
Gram would probably tell me to knock it off, move on and tell the people who have hurt or disappointed me to Go Scratch! She would say that life is too short and to just enjoy it and stop worrying.
Why is that advise always easier said than done?? Ugh.
The turkey candles are now proudly displayed on my mantle. The kids were SO excited when they saw them and asked where I got them. I told them that they belonged to Mommy’s Wawa (they call my mom “Wawa”) and one of the twins pointed to her picture on the table which made me smile and tear up at the same time.
For Gram’s sake I will TRY to stop being so gullible (which is out of character for me anyway) and to stop making mountains out of mole hills (Mrs. Jeter will appreciate this too). I will also TRY to put an end to unnecessary drama because really, why bother? Lord knows my house has enough drama of its own to last me a lifetime!
However, I do have one last request of Gram.
Grammer, can you PLEASE give me a sign of some sort, something to let me know that everything will be ok?? If you could make it an easy sign to spot, that would also be good - thanks you are THE best grandma ever! (LOL).