Grandmothering the 60 Blog

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A grandmother is like an angel, who takes you under her wing.  She prays and watches over you and she’d give you anything.

I met an older woman yesterday who reminded me of what we can be like twenty years in the future.

We were outside of the Katella Deli, waiting for a table for seven to have lunch.  As we were sitting outside, an older lady (she was probably 80) sat at an outside patio table next to us and started chatting (and chatting) about her day.  She was meeting three other women there–who she had never met!  They were going to have lunch and head to the Performing Arts Center for a concert called “300 Voices.”  She had driven there herself and was waiting for her lunch companions.  She told me that one of the women would be wearing beige, so the group would be easy to spot.  She also told me that she was going to Oregon later this week to visit her daughter and watch the solar eclipse.  Her daughter had sent her some printed material to read about the eclipse because she doesn’t have a computer and “it was so interesting, I read it twice!”   Her three friends showed up exactly on time and they were seated at their table before we were.

When we were finally seated after waiting almost an hour, we had a very nice lunch with lots of deli food (potato pancakes, pastrami, chopped liver, beef and mushroom barley soup!) and a salad (boo hiss!).  Jake (the greatest-girl-on-earth’s boyfriend) told us about his 96-year old grandmother, who they had just visited in Florida for her birthday. Jean picked up Jake and Marissa at the airport, insisted that she pay for lunch, played a few serious games of bingo (no phones allowed!) and Rummi-Kub.  Jean runs the small coffee shop in her retirement community and seems to be as independent as a woman half her age.

After hearing about Jean and meeting the theater-and-eclipse-loving grandmother, I got to thinking about being as active and spry as they are.  I’m not sure I could do half of what these women do.  Can you?




4 thoughts on “Grandmothering the 60 Blog

  1. I plan on being like that. I am a grandmother of five, and still 20 years younger or so than those women. My grandmothers were both pretty spry. My grandma Swan lived to be 86 and my grandma Yakovenko lived to be 92. My Grandma Y never learned to drive. They came over here from Russia during the Revolution and settled in Minnesota where my dad and Uncle were born, and eventually ended up in Lodi, CA. The stories they told us were incredible! Grandma was the better story teller. She canned fruits and veggies, always grew their own food, walked everywhere. Every Tuesday she walked three miles to a friend’s home where they had their weekly quilting bee. My dad flew her down once for one of her two visits per year, and she hated flying. She preferred the bus. She didn’t like restaurants, and when she came to visit she cooked everything. All this yummy Russian food which we all loved. She and grandpa had a huge orchard behind their house, with four large cherry trees. Every year, if we didn’t go up to Lodi to pick cherries, huge crates would be mailed to us. When I went away to college, and when I got married, I received beautiful handmade quilts. Every stitch carefully done by hand. My grandpa died when I was 12, and grandma lived for 20 more years. I wrote her every week without fail. I always felt I never kept in touch with them enough, and vowed to remedy that. They were a bit harder to understand on the phone as they both had fairly thick Russian accents. When she died and we went up for the funeral, a woman she rented one of her homes to, came over to me and took me into grandma’s room, opened her closet and showed me something. Every single letter I had written, for 20 years. She said grandma cherished those letters…read them over and over and over. Never threw one of them away. All ribbon wrapped and put in boxes. Her name was Pauline.

    My other grandma we saw more often as they lived in Alhambra. A fabulous cook. Everyone congregated at their home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, any time when food was necessary. When I would go and spend a weekend, I’d be homesick for them for two or three days after. I called grandma at least twice a week, probably more. Never once in all the years did I ever see her get angry, or say an unkind word about anyone. Everybody loved her. She reminded me, in a way, of Edith Bunker from All in the Family. After I was adopted my mother got Rheumatic Fever and was very sick for six months, so I was at grandma’s house a lot of that time. She sewed all the time and made me beautiful things. Every dress she made for me, she made a dress for my Barbie’s out of the same material. Her name was Rachel, and I loved it when Derek named his daughter Emily Rachael Moore.


  2. Oh, Sandy, this is beautiful! Do you still have the stack of letters you wrote to our grandmother? Wouldn’t you want to sit down and read the writings of a younger Sandy? Think about what you considered important at the time? Wow! (BTW, I think this here might be your 100th post. Time for you to start your own blog!)


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