We've had quite the schedule for the past month or two.
It's autumn which is harvest in our neck of the woods.
Last month started off with a trip to California for my grandmother's funeral.
She actually passed last year.
Her only request was a traditional Catholic funeral.
Well, it wasn't exactly traditional due to circumstances.
Her graveside service was last year, and we only this year
11 months after her passing were able to hold her funeral.
In a way, it kinda worked out.
She was 96, only a few months shy of 97 and was ready.
Our grieving was done, and we were able to gather
and celebrate her life and cherish the time spent with family.
It was a pretty small service.
She outlived most of her peers.
My aunt had asked us each to jot down a few things we remembered
or loved about her so they could put together a eulogy.
One of the things I mentioned was
she would wipe off and reuse a paper plate, save a tablespoon of food,
and be among the first to give if someone was in need.
I love that!
She washed her car, windows, floors, etc. and
kept things in the best condition she could.
She grew up during the depression so knew the true value of things.
She never had a lot, but made the most of what she had.
When my aunt asked if there was anything in particular I wanted,
I didn't really have an answer - just my Grammy.
My aunt is wonderful, and I can say such things.
I told her if there was something silly like Grams favorite wooden spoon
or something she used and liked, I wouldn't mind something like that.
For my birthday, she sent me the fork and knife in the photo.
It was actually my great grandmother's then my grandmother's.
Both were very right handed so the left tine is worn.
I was young when she passed, but I remember my great grandma too.
I would sit on her lap, and she would let me have a lemon drop.
We almost never had candy so it was quite a treat.
This little set was the perfect gift, more valuable to me than gold.
And, yep, I use them.
They went directly in the cupboard with the salt and pepper
so I have them handy when I need them.
(Uncle Ray & Aunt Betty - brother and sister)
They are a wonderful reminder to me to take care of things so they'll last
which is kinda funny since for the past year or two,
I've been on a mission to have things in order and good condition.
I've had two chairs repaired which wasn't cheap,
but they are both antiques and were due.
They should both now last another 100 years.
I always seem to have a mend & repair pile.
I no sooner get the bulk of it dealt with when more goes in.
I've also been trying to keep the car up, the appliance clean and in good repair, and
the little things attended to if that makes sense.
There's more to all this though.
You see, there were a couple folks at Grammy's funeral of special importance.
Well, everyone there was important, but. . .
Uncle Ray and Aunt Betty were there.
Grammy's two remaining siblings.
Uncle Ray just turned 99 and is doing pretty good.
Aunt Betty is 97 and doesn't remember very well, but otherwise okay.
Grammy was between them in age.
I don't exactly get to California very often
so it's tough telling if I will ever get to see them again just due to age.
The time spent visiting with them and the stories about them
are what makes a family and keeps those ties snug.
When someone begins a story with,
"I'll tell ya something I can't tell most normal people,"
you know you're in the right place.
I know not everyone has a close family,
but a closely knit group of friends and community can still be had.
I think that's one of the things that's been difficult for me
over the past year or so: everyone seems so distant (not just physically).
The reminder being, we need to take care of our family
just like we need to take care of our things.
We need our family - by blood or by choice.
If you do have elderly folks in your clan,
maybe pay them a visit or a call.
That chat might just be worth more than gold.
And the memory made might just last a good long time.
As we head into the holidays,
I'd like to wish all of my blog friends here
a very blessed time.