Tag Archives: Grandma

Flip Side: 92

I believe a good list is almost as good as a poem.   This one is in honor of my 92nd year old grandmother.

92 Things I love about My Grandma 

1.   She likes to hold hands.

2. A heritage of faithfulness.

3.  She asked for mexican food for her birthday dinner.  I love it when my husband cooks Mexican food.   This one involved grilled steak and shrimp and tomalito.   (That’s Spanish for corn and sugar and butter….ahh heaven).

4.   That my daughter wanted to buy Grandma a pillow pet.   The five-year old said “The best thing about getting old is you can play with toys again”.

5.  My grandma has Alzheimer’s but she still knows all our names.

6.   She still knows we love her.

7.   She calls my uncle the tall one.     

8.   She calls my brother-in-law the handsome one.

9.   She’s ninety-two and doesn’t have any grey hair.   

10.  She thinks motorcycles are cool.

11.  My best Christmas decorations were made by her.

12.  Everyone in the family has a handmade stocking.

13.   She likes to tell people that she was married to two good men.   She’s right.

14.   Grandma says the best decision in her life was to follow Jesus.   She’s right.

15.   She likes a good deal.  

16.   She loves free stuff.  It’s left over from years of shopping in the “missionary barrel”.

17.   She likes shrimp.

18.    Snickerdoodles.

19.  Dark chocolate.

20.   Ginger snaps.

21.   She remembers when chocolate chips were invented.

22.  And zippers.

23.   She learned how to drive as a young mom because she had to in order to drive her child to the doctor.  Brave woman.

24.   Grandma told me that the people at the nursing home got walkers just to show off.  

25.  She still walks all by herself.

26.  She likes Tiaras.

27.   and Disneyland

28.   and babies

29.   and backrubs.

30.    She wears very hip black Sketchers.

31.   I love her laugh

32.   her smile

33.   the twinkle in her eye.   

34.   It looks like my mother’s.

35.    Grandma has a very cool knit hat

36.    and a cat eye necklace

37.    and every card ever mailed to her by any child.

38.    When Grandma turned 80 she bought a computer and learned how to email.

39.   My cousin and I went down and taught her how.   Fun trip.

40.   We input her address book.   She has friends that span generations.  

41.   I love that my Grandma still gives monthly support to some Wycliffe Missionaries.

42.   Grandma has handmade beaded dolls given to her by people of the Comanche tribe.

43.    She doesn’t mind in my daughter plays with them.

44.   Grandma likes to talk about the trips her husband took her on.

45.   New York.

46.   He bought her a brass clock.  She calls it her brass lady.

47.   Scotland.

48.   Australia.

49.    Grandma knows what a blog is.   My sister asked her and she said “It’s like a journal on the computer.   Yup.

50.   Grandma reads my blog.   I like anyone who reads my blog.

51.    She says she likes it.

52.   Grandma smiles when we go visit.

53.   She smiles when we leave and says thank you.

54.   Grandma is big on manners.

55.   My cousin gave Grandma a digital photo frame.   She sits and watches it all the time.

56.   Grandma told my dad that she prays for the people on the frame.

57.   My grandma prays for me.

58.   I always liked Grandma’s white cat.

59.   Grandma and Grandpa used to have their clocks timed so none of them chimed on top of each other.  Very musical house.

60.   When Grandma turned 90 we went on a family cruise.   

61.   She likes to wear flowers.

62.   Smell flowers.

63.    I love my hand embroidered table-cloth full of flowers from Grandma.

64.   She thinks all my daughter’s jokes are funny.

65.   She loves to watch the five-year old sing.    So do I.

66.    She tells us she’s proud of us.

67.   Grandma believes in marriage

68.    hard work

69.   good food

70.  The Bible

71.   family.

72.  Grandma used to sew all my mom’s clothes.   How can you not love that?

73.   Grandma tells us she’s going to heaven.   

74.   Grandma expects us to be there too.

75.   Grandma loves handmade quilts

76.    quilted vests

77.    felt

78.    and good scissors.  My pinking shears are hers.

79.    Grandma loves convertible cars

80.   warm sweaters

81.   and new photos of family.

82.   Grandma can tell a story with the best of them.

83.   She’s pretty cute when she thinks you’re holding out information on her.

84.   Grandma likes pink fingernails

85.   sensible socks

86.   and halibut dinner.

87.   Grandma likes weddings

88.    and hugs

89.   and kisses.

90.   Grandma wanted peaches for her dessert.

91.    and the butter pecan ice cream.

92.  Her birthday wish when she blew out her candles.    “I wish we could have more family gatherings like this.”


To see the other side of 92 check out www.doncanonge.com.




Filed under Faith, Family

Time to show honor

I’m watching the clock.  I have to leave soon to head to the airport.   My parents are flying home and bringing with them my 91-year-old grandmother.   I”ve promised to come pick them up.

Grandma comes from solid German stock.    She believes in hard work, loyalty and generosity.  Grandma has been fiercely independent where help from people was concerned but unwaveringly dependent on God.   She spent most of her life serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators.     This included time in Oklahoma supporting her husband as he helped develop a written language for the Comanche’ Indian Tribe and later oversaw Bible Translations for language groups throughout Alaska.   Grandma raised four kids on meager funds.    Her stories are of the uphill in the snow both ways variety.

Her first husband died when he was only 50 leaving Grandma a young widow.   Her second husband was fifteen years older than her when they married.    Both marriages lasted twenty-five years.  I remember Grandma arguing that she should qualify for a Golden 50th anniversary because two Twenty Five year marriages equaled 50 years of marriage.  I think she might be right.  

Her second husband had an amazing hobby. He built clocks. Kitchen Shelf clocks and Grandfather clocks were given as Christmas presents and wedding presents.   When I got married, Grandpa had reached the 90-year-old mark and was no longer building.   Grandma bought us a clock instead.  

Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease a couple of years ago.  She’s a courageous woman.  I hope to be as graceful in aging as my Grandmother.   Recently though she’s lost track of time.   Her days and nights, weeks and months are all a muddle.    She has not forgotten who created day and night.   He’s still very much the one on whom she relies.    I take great comfort in the fact that God is who determines our days and while Grandma may forget He will not.  

Leviticus 19:32 also shows the heart that God has for the elderly. 

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. 

I love that showing respect for my grandmother shows God that I revere him.   So Grandma is headed to town.  For the first time in a long time, she’ll be surrounded by family.   Now its our turn to ignore the clocks, turn off our cell phones, and take the time to honor.

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Joy and Mourning

The whole family took a drive today.   An hour south on the freeway to visit my aunt and uncle.  I walked into their house and grinned at all my aunt’s Christmas decorations.   My daughter was enthralled.   My aunt has stuffed Christmas animals everywhere.  They sing. They dance.   A couple of penguins twirl about.  There are two dogs that flap their ears in time to Jingle Bells.  There was glitter and ribbons and tinsel and presents.   My four-year old danced with the penguins and repeatedly pushed each button.  At several points there were competing songs going on in the menagerie.   Slightly loud but tons of fun.  I looked in my Grandmother’s old bedroom.   She died on New Years Day last year.   I promptly burst into tears.

Ever notice that Christmas is like an amplifier?   Everyone works hard to have a perfect time, but sometimes in the midst of joy, sorrow feels sharper.   The first Christmas was no different.   I can’t imagine that spending the night in a barn watching his fiance’ give birth was exactly what Joseph had in mind.   Mary was clearly in pain due to childbirth but also I imagine she was relieving some difficult conversations with friends and family about her baby.   Jesus was feeling His first moments away from the glory of heaven in a fragile and helpless position.  Painful.  Lonely.

and yet

There were angels and choirs and visitors and gifts and promises and hope.  Jesus, fully God and fully man, also knew even at that time what the end of the story was about.  Redemption, peace, great joy.

Our society doesn’t know how to deal with sadness very well.    Sometimes I think the best thing to do is accept it, have a good cry and get back to the party.   John Piper, in the book Taste and See talks about how to deal with times of commingle joy and sadness in a section called “The simultaneous sound of laughter and weeping”.    I loved this line;

My prayer for myself and all of you is that our weeping might be deep but not prolonged.  And while it lasts let us weep with those who weep.  And when joy comes in the morning let us rejoice with those who rejoice.

That first Christmas had to be overwhelming.   I think Mary had the right approach to the balance of grief and amazement.  The Bible says in Luke 2:19 that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”.

Today, my family cried with me, gave me a big hug and then we opened presents.   My daughter got a new doll that giggles whenever she is moved.  We named her Pearl, my grandmother’s middle name.   The doll didn’t quit giggling.   Her young owner thought it was hilarious.   Pretty soon the whole table was joining in.  I was crying again but this time from laughing so hard.    It was a great day.   Lots to ponder.


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