(Picture is of my Grandma-Great, myself, my brother Gordon - Peter wasn't born yet, and my Mom. Christmas '87 I'm guessing.)
Grandma-Great was the center of our family, and never was this clearer than at Christmas. Every year the entire family, in-laws and out-laws alike, would gather in her home to eat good food, laugh, and exchange presents. It was my favorite part of Christmas!
There was always more food than we could eat, although I remember one of my Aunt's joking that the reason the girls went first was because the boy's wouldn't leave any for the rest. I had four older boy cousins, so you can imagine the dent they made! Despite the size of the house, the kitchen really wasn't that big, and looking back at it now I marvel that the adults always managed to keep everything warm using that tiny little oven.
It was a two story house plus basement, and the kids would always gather downstairs to play pool and whatever else we could find to do. I remember one of the cousin's sticking the pool queue in the ceiling when his turn was done. It stuck. I thought it was hilarious (and later had to try it).
I was young enough that I really only have what I'd call "snap-shot" memories of those parties. I remember particular instances, little pictures, but no big stories. The big things I do remember is the warmth, both of the room, and of the company, and Grandma-Great.
Grandma-Great was the Queen Bee of the party (and the family). She made everyone feel loved, and my favorite parts of the Christmas gathering usually involved her. I remember showing off to get her attention, and she must have known that's what I was doing, but she always handled it with grace. Other's might yell at me to stop goofing around, but never Grandma-great!
I remember noticing after we lost Grandma-Great that it seemed like the heart had gone out of the family. She hadn't been well in several years, so the big gathering's were already a thing of the past, but I don't think I really felt the difference as strongly until after she was actually gone. It was several years before I saw many of the extended relatives, and I've never spent much time around them since. Oh sure, we have a family party again now, but it will never be the same.
I miss her.
~ Ruthie ~
Ps. This is my response to my first Creative Nudge (although I hadn't come up with that name yet!). If you have a response post to the first or second week please go to the post for week two and leave a link!