Last summer my sister told me, “You are getting more like Grandma every day.”
Harumph. In my family, that kind of remark is not intended as a compliment. We all loved Grandma a lot, but she was, well, just a little bit odd. She laughed nervously when nothing funny was going on. She put sugar on everything, even pie. She carefully broke Wheat Thins into quarters before eating them. And towards the end of her life, she ate pretty much nothing but Brussels sprouts. No one ever could understand why.
I turned to my sister, annoyed. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, for one thing, you are getting smaller the older you get—just like Grandma did. Your neck is always cold, just like Grandma’s, so you like to wear scarves. You don’t get jokes that other people get. You look at stuff, well, differently.”
Harumph again. I’ve been a bit bothered by this comparison ever since.
Then last week I made a Christmas dress for my baby grand-daughter Annabelle. It’s covered with ruffles and lace—a very girly little dress. (No harm done; it will balance all the skiing, biking, saililng, hiking influences she gets from the rest of the family.) When I finished the dress, I remembered: Grandma made me ruffled dresses when I was a baby—lots of ruffled, lacy dresses. Was I channeling Grandma again? I tried to put it out of my mind.
After I finished the dress, I was on a roll. I thought, “Maybe I’ll make Annabelle a cute little doll, too…and maybe one for my niece.” I went on the Etsy website, bought a couple of adorable patterns, and went shopping for fabric and supplies.
At the fabric store it hit me. What was Grandma best known for? Her hand-made dolls. I sighed and was glad my sister wasn’t with me.
Then, driving home, I started thinking about Thanksgiving and turkey. I always go for the wings first. “Just like Grandma did,” I remembered. I sighed again.
And then I remembered the vegetable side dish I’ve been assigned for Thanksgiving. I had spent some time the day before on food websites and printed out a new recipe I want to try.
It’s for Brussels sprouts. I love Brussels sprouts.
Maybe my sister does have a point.
And after we finish the Wheat Thins in our cupboard, which I have not broken into quarters, I think I’ll not buy any more. Just to be safe.