****disclaimer....this post is mostly for personal therapeutic reasons.... but hey... feel free to read if you want.****thinking about granny....
Cora Elizabeth Bower Vavricka....or more lovingly known as Granny 4/11/1918-11/4/1998
I've been thinking about you a lot. It's been 12 years, tomorrow, since you went away. I never really had a chance to express my feelings to you...so I hope you have internet access up there. Gramps, you can stop watching those "naked women" on TV and read this too if you'd like. If not...I understand.
You taught me more than I ever thought you did. It's only been recently that I realized the impact those summers on the farm had on me. You were always so patient and loving. After all, I was just a kid and didn't know any better...... and you understood that. You always paid special attention to each of us in the "morrell bunch" and we all valued time spent with you. You had an uncanny ability to open your arms and heart to everyone you knew.
Some favorite memories of you and me:
-The countless times you spent reading "knots on a counting rope" to me. I'd be sitting on your lap before bed and each time you would patiently read through my favorite book of yours.
-Playing "go fish" with me while the big kids played poker with gramps. Even after I learned how to play with the big kids, I still preferred playing with you.
-Coloring in your sewing room while you were working on a craft project of some sort. Probably for someone else, because you rarely took time to do things just for you.
-Waking up in the morning, and walking into the house from the cabin or bunkhouse, only to find you diligently reading your scriptures, or writing in your journal in the sewing room. you never missed a day.
-Taking a ride in the back of the truck to "smith and edwards" or "country boy dairy" just to get a little treat to reward us for all the "hard" labor we did on the farm. You always let me get the "bubble gum" flavor at country boy dairy.... even though you preferred prailines and cream. or pistachio every now and then.
-That one summer where we spent 3 months on the farm.... you gave each of us $100 at the end to reward us. At the time I didn't realize what a sacrifice this probably was for you.... but looking back, that $100 was probably a large chunk of your life savings. I wish I had known then so I could have done something nice for you.
-Picking out ceramics to prepare, paint, fire, and glaze. You always allowed us to be creative.
-Your amazing grilled cheese sandwiches that were made with your homemade wheat bread, and just the right amount of cheese. And of course, you never forgot the ketchup on the side.
-Shelling peas in the kitchen.
-Weeding the carrots as "punishment"
-Walking into the house with the aroma of fresh baked bread, knowing that butter and homemade raspberry jam were close by.
-The day you let Tom and I come to the Library at the school.
-Your magic way of knowing when the light was going to change by the Golf Course as you drive into Brigham City.... you complained that the light was always red. And until recently, i never knew how you knew it was going to change to green in "3....2.....1".
-That time the ranch dressing bottle (yes, homemade ranch because it tastes WAY better) fell out of the fridge and shattered all over the kitchen floor and you exclaimed "Oh Lordy"...and when Tom repeated the same words you got mad at him.
-Going out in the morning to see if the chicken's laid any eggs.
-Going to get flowers and letting me pick which kind I wanted to plant in your garden.
-Frosties and Popcorn every night. Without fail.
-Picking raspberries by the bucketful.
-Learning how to make Monkey bread. my favorite.
-Doing laundry in the old machine (with the 2 rollers and the big wash bin) and getting my finger stuck in between the rollers. You made sure I knew my fingers would be ok.
-Going to garage sales and finding hidden treasures.
-Going to the bower family reunions, and making sure that I got something I wanted from the "family auction"
-Taking us to the blacker's to swim....and never allowing us to go on a full stomach (you have to wait at least 2 hours after eating to go swimming....perfect time for a nap right?)
-That time I had to take antibiotics and I couldn't/didn't want to take my pills because i had never swallowed them before. You forced that pill down my throat like it was nobody's business..... and because you saw how hard it was for me you came up with a solution: grind the pill up and put it in some juice in a spoon and swallow the spoonful.
-Riding in the car with you to church, while gramps and the other boys walked.
-That one time i forgot to bring my blankie with me, you so willingly gave me a spare one to use... I still have that one cause I liked it more.
-Dressing up in your clothes/hats and putting on a play in your living room.
-and of course....the kicking incident. I still haven't forgiven myself for this one. I'm glad that my siblings words didn't come true "Granny's gonna kill mikey!". I learned my lesson that day. Don't Mess with Granny.
....the list could go on and and on granny. My last memory of you was the trip I took with malissa to visit you guys in August 1998, before school started. It was on this trip that you taught Malissa and I how to quilt. I remember giving you a hug while leaving and you said "Love you Mikey. I'll see you soon, say Hi to your folks"
Unfortunately, soon was too soon. A few months later around 4 in the morning Mom came into my room. She told me the news. I cried for hours, although this wasn't uncommon for me, this was the first time i really felt it. My granny was gone. You were my best friend, and biggest cheerleader. Fortunately, through the years I've come to realize you are not completely gone... you taught me lessons that I'll never forget:
-No horsing at the table.
-Always finish what is on your plate. (even if I'm full for dinner but hungry for dessert)
-No matter how tough life gets, keep going.
-Fresh food ALWAYS tastes better.... especially if you plant it, nurture it, weed it, pick it, and cook it yourself.
-Sometimes, a little pushing doesn't hurt.
-While it's good to get out of your comfort zone, sometimes all someone needs is a little bit of acknowledgment for doing what they are comfortable doing.
-Less TV. More creativity.
-and finally (and I don't know who to give credit to, you or gramps for this one...but I can at least hear you saying it in my head) "No worky, No eaty"
You always took me under your wing when the other kids were doing the "manly hard labor" with gramps, and still made me feel welcome and loved.
I wish I had been able to spend more time with you, but I know you're watching over me.
Miss you granny, I hope I'm making you proud.
With all the love in the world,