The Love Of A Good Tofu

This is another one about my grandmother.  Today I’m thankful for tofurkey.

We had a family do recently.  I asked my grandmother if she’d be willing to make a few vegetarian things.  I offered to bring a couple if was easier for her.  (I have to eat carefully because of an autoimmune issue.  I don’t do it to be difficult, and I really try to be flexible-eggs, dairy and honey.)  My people are “meat and taters” folks from way back so I stand out a bit.  She said she’d do just fine.

Wouldn’t you know it, but everything (except the giant ham) was vegan.  My grandmother outdid herself and I was gobsmacked.  There were six of us, including me, and she’d bought a ham that weighed about 5 kilos (roughly 11 pounds).  It was bigger than my head.  She kept teasing my grandfather that it wasn’t properly carved but he pointed out that he was satisfied getting it to the table in one piece.  They found a tofu loaf for me.  It was pretty tasty.  I felt very loved.

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She’d Know

Today I’m thankful for my grandmother’s apparent ESP.

I know I’ve posted several times about my grandmother.  The truth is she’s an evergreen font of inspiration.  I’ve worried a bit that she seems a little fantastic, but every thing I’ve written about her is entirely true.  Some people you just can’t make up.

She gave me a certain toy when I turned 10.  I was a little old to receive it but she’d spent many hours building and finishing it.  I played with it for a year or two and then outgrew it.  It stayed in my room after because it probably qualifies as an heirloom, not something to get rid of blithely.  She agreed to store it for me while I was at university.  I thought I’d managed to outrun it.  I was wrong.  When I moved out she and my grandfather visited, bringing it with them as a “favor.”

Later, I was redecorating.  The thing is not small.  It is probably about the size of a stool.  I couldn’t find a place where it’d be out of the way.  My mother suggested it was finally safe to get rid of it.  I looked at her, and referring to my grandmother, said “she’d know.”  My mother protested, saying Gran would only know if someone told her and none of my family would.  My sister immediately entered the argument on my side.  Neither of us is entirely sure how, but our grandmother just knows, and never lets the thing go.  My mother dropped the subject, seeing that her children believe their grandmother has extrasensory perception.  It’s because when things concern her, she does.

 

Yes, But She’s MY Battleaxe

Today I’m thankful for my grandmother.

I’m not wholly sure how to describe her.  She is gracious, wickedly funny and occasionally terrifying.  The woman is a gourmet cook and born hostess who could put Martha Stewart or Mary Berry to shame.  She sings like a big band girl singer.  She has a habit of mentioning recent local deaths whenever we visit and seems to relish the especially grisly ones.

This tendency was happily displayed the last time my sister visited.  I only heard about this after the fact from my father – I was not there.  I laughed so hard I went hoarse.  Gran told my sister (my father was there as well) about a man in town who had killed his parents.  With an axe.  A month previously.  She’d sat on the information all that time, saving it to tell my sister in person.  My sister lives a four hour drive away so it can be a while between visits.  I don’t if Gran was in on the joke, thinking “they always say I talk about people dying so I’ll show them” or if she genuinely thought my sister would find the information interesting.  She is absolutely canny enough to be in on it but would never admit such a thing.  I adore this woman.

Playing In the Dirt

Today I’m thankful for gardening.

I have a bunch of containers on my patio.  They’re all flowers.  I didn’t know if I would be able to eat everything if I grew vegetables.  I might next year.

My grandparents had a huge vegetable garden.  There was an entire row dedicated to strawberries for me.  I’ve never been a fan of weeding but working with the soil and watching something grow is amazing.  At home we’d do yardwork but it always kind of sucked.  I’ve learned, that for me, the spirit I approach the work with is the most important part.  It’s probably grossly oversimplified but that’s all I’ve got.  I do think people should have a better idea where their food comes from, and of the amount of effort that goes into producing it.  Our county extension office offers community plots for a small rental fee.  I’m thinking about getting one for the next growing season and just letting flowers and veg run riot.

Clean Patios and Listening

Today I’m thankful for the old gal I hang out with.

I volunteer with a group that provides respite for caregivers.  I was matched with a widow who needs some help with housekeeping.  It’s really only vacuuming.  She might have me do the bathroom if she’s feeling particularly daring.

Last time I visited I trimmed down her plants for winter and cleaned up her patio.  One of her kids was coming to visit soon.  She told me everything she had planned because she was excited.  All I had to do was listen and nod occasionally.  Don’t ever underestimate the importance of interpersonal contact.  I was probably the only other person she’d seen that day and what she wanted to share was important to her.  Visiting with her is a privilege.