Friday, April 22, 2011

The "Original Martha Stewart"

With Easter upon us, I am remembering how I spent Easter as a child. After finding our baskets, eating some eggs & chocolate, and attending church, we would go to my Grandmother's huge Easter Brunch. She had brunch for her whole extended family.

We lost my Grandma this year, so I wanted to take the time to remember her. I wish you all a wonderful Easter holiday.  Enjoy your time with the family you have, and remember the family you've lost! Happy Easter!

My Grandma was definitely not your typical Grandma. She was on the go and kept up with the world. She epitomized the feisty redhead- She was direct and told it how it was, but always with laugher and complete love.

I call her the original Martha Stewart because she was a master crafter and seamstress. She was "green" before green was a "thing" or a fad. For her it was called being creative and thrifty. She raised 6 amazing children on one income in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house. She thrived on organization. This meant that Grandma had to make due with what she had, and use her amazing gift of creativity. The paper milk cartons were cut down as dividers for paper clicks and rubber bands. The top elastic of panty hose were cut off to be used as large rubber bands for board games and puzzles. If you happen to find yourself at her home without your bathing suit, you could just look in the swim bag of extra suits made out of the plastic rings tops that held pop cans together.

She hated to cook, and I never saw her in a rocking chair knitting. We absolutely saw her on a computer, a label maker and a laminator. The first VCR I ever saw, was in her family room. The first remote control, again, in Grandma's house. Mind you, we had to sit at the edge of the pull-out sofa, basically on top of the TV to use the remote, because it was attached by a cord!

She loved games and puzzles of all kinds. When my siblings, cousins and I would sleep over her house, we played a multitude of games- Family Feud, Rack-O, and eventually compute games. She spent time with us and loved us. When we all had to pile in the station wagon for a 12 hour drive to my Uncle Tommy's wedding in Boston, Grandma made each of us a bag of car "entertainment". (This was way before the In-Car-DVDs and Game Boys. ) When she watched us over Valentine's Day while my parents were on vacation, we came home from school to an intricate scavenger hunt for each of us ( and I have 6 siblings!)

My love for organization came form my Grandma. When she would stay with us she would make us dump all of our laundry on the floor in the dining room. She taught me how to sort, treat stains and most importantly, how to fold. I am crazy abut the way every item that comes out of my dryer is folded. She explained to me how to fold towels so that they looked best in your linen closets and how to minimize "fold" marks on your shirts. Next, was the toy area in the basement. We again dumped everything into the middle of the room and she taught us how to organize it all. (It honestly just dawned on me why I spend every nap-time and early evening meticulously sorting my children's toys into bins and making sure every piece is with the right toy.)

Her dining room floor sparkled with hundreds of push pins. You see, her dining room was mostly used as a sewing room. Communion dresses, bridesmaid dresses and the like were created there. She created absolutely stunning clothes. My mother told stories of copied dresses she made with ease.

The hardest part of life is losing someone you love. The importance of someone's life is easily determined by what they left behind. Well, Grandma left an amazing husband, 6 wonderful children, 27 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. All, who I have no doubt, will keep part of her alive. I know that she helped shape me and those lessons will be passed on again and again.

I miss and love you, Grandma. Thank you for everything!


  1. Your Grandma sounds like an amazing woman! What a blessing to have had her in your life.

  2. Very nice and touching Bridget


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