I have a very early memory of being at my grandmother's house on Thanksgiving Day.  We were leaving to go home for Thanksgiving, so I don't know if that means that when I was small we would have two meals, or if we were just there getting or having pie.  My grandmother made both chocolate cream pie and mincemeat pie, so we might have been there to get a pie for my father-I'll have to ask older members of the family if we ever ate there. 

My grandparents were born in 1883, 1891, 1894 and 1897, so this grandmother was the only grandparent alive when I was born and she was 70 then.  She lived next door to us-I grew up in my great grandparents' farmhouse, called The Old Plantation-we could literally walk through the pasture to my grandmother's house.  Any time that I smell fresh baked bread, homemade soap, peonies, lilacs, or apple blossoms, I think of her.  Any time that I hear a rousing gospel song, I think of her.  When winter nights are filled with the smell of wood smoke, I think of her. 

She was a very tall woman, almost six feet tall, and at night when she got ready for bed she would take down her coronet of white hair and kneel beside her bed to say her prayers.  Her hair touched the floor.  She wore a flowered wrap-around apron, the kind that covered your top and bottom, and I loved her hugs.  She played the piano but could only remember a couple of hymns by heart.  Her television was only plugged in two or three times a year, when she knew that Billy Graham was going to be on. 

Her "settin" room was unused, and all socializing was done at the dining room table.  She kept aluminum cans, washed out, in a storage area beside her kitchen window seat, a window that was framed with the longest English ivy I ever saw.  We would take the cans out and stack them like bowling pins, then play bowling on the kitchen floor, which was a trick because there was a hump in the middle of the floor so you had to really get your roll down to hit the cans. 

She and I would spend hours together making scrapbooks and ornaments for missionaries and the children they cared for, and we made patchwork quilts and rag rugs.  Grammie had playing cards in the drawer-Crazy Eights and Go Fish, stuff like that-and coloring books and crayons with them.  Every week or so she made homemade doughnuts and we got to help.  Every week she made homemade bread and sent a pan of rolls over to my father.

I am so thankful for having had this woman in my life.  Her name was Ruth.  My little sister is named for her.

Now I hope to be as good a grandmother as my own grandmother was.
Aidan's Thanksgiving Day decoration

We all ate at separate houses, and then Pretty Baby brought over the pie.  She made blueberry for G and apple for the rest of us.  Her favorite is pumpkin.  My favorite is custard.  Pie is one of those things, isn't it, where everyone has a different favorite?  Pretty Baby is great at making pies! 

Our daughter in-law and first daughter, above, with MB; our son in-law and first son, below with Aidan and RB
The little cousins playing together.  MB is two months younger than BB, so he will end up a year behind him in school due to birthday cut-offs, and three years behind his brother even though they are just over two years apart.  It is such an arbitrary thing-when we were young they would have been in the same grade together.
Today I got MB to myself for a while.  He is such a sweet baby, easy to love and easy to watch.  He smiles just like his mother when she was little, has a thick head of hair like her, but his eyes remind me of his aunt every time I see him.  Overall, he bears a strong resemblance to my three biological children. 

I am sure that when Aidan has children, I will be looking for features and expressions that remind me of him as well.





I'm entering into my third week with H1N1.  Couldn't get the vaccine because I'm not in the high risk group, even though I deal with a building full of 600+ kids every day and zero ventilation (our windows are sealed and don't open).  So in school I have 25-30% absenteeism and at home I now have LB coming down with it.  No meds to treat.  Just rest, fluids, etc., and wait for it to pass.
Aidan came home on Halloween night, 2008.

He had no idea what he was in for.  We could not have asked for anything more.

Here are the boys and Little Baby-dinosaurs, Avatar, Mickey Mouse, and goth.