#SOLSC22: 5

Stories: There are many. Too many to choose from. Too many that show the love, the independence, the strength.

Memories of going to MacDonalds as a child and getting a cheeseburger at MacDonalds. But my brother said he only got half a sandwich so we must have been sharing them as Grandma only had a cup of coffee and she was buying.

Memories of her peonies. That west property boundary. That gorgeous smell. And that occasional nuisance … ants.

Stories of Grandma as a teacher at a country school. My own teacher and role model. Sending me, the farm girl, downtown (5 blocks away) to the store to pick up groceries. She had called ahead with her meat order. But the prize was the quarter that I had to spend.

A quarter of my own.

Should I buy something solely for myself? Should I get something to share? Grandma couldn’t chew gum with her false teeth, but I desperately wanted gum. Gum that I could choose the flavor and then braid the wrappers.

Heaven. Choice. Freedom. Independence. Trust.

Grandma set those conditions for me.

I didn’t need someone to go with me and hold her hand. I didn’t need a babysitter. Grandma provided the environment that allowed me to make my own decisions, up to a point. The good old days.

Thank you, Grandma Ruth, for your ability to treat me as an individual and trust me all by myself. A teacher . . . outside a school building.

What “teachers” have you encountered outside of classrooms? How have they impacted your life?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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11 responses

  1. This is the sweetest tribute, thanks for sharing!

  2. Such a beautiful image you paint, of a young farm girl with a quarter to spend. That detail about braiding the gum wrappers is so precise and perfect! Such a seemingly small thing that meant (and means) so much to you because of your connection to your grandmother.

  3. Love the picture you paint of your grandmother. A quarter to spend on anything you wanted…wow1 I think back to all of the penny candy I would buy when I had a extra money. I remember the girls in my class braiding gum wrappers.

    1. The whole concept of penny candy!

  4. I love how the adult Fran is looking back at the child Fran and remembering that freedom to choose and now truly appreciates all that was a part of your trip to the store. I love how you continue to end your slices with Thank You in that fancy font! And the photo of the braided wrappers took me back!! Thanks for shairng.

    1. Pictures do show so much, don’t they?
      Maybe life was really simple? Just more freedom?

  5. What a great glimpse of your childhood days and your grandma. Just the sort of grandma I think everyone would love to have!

    1. Thanks!
      It give me a model to aspire to!

  6. Kristi Lonheim | Reply

    A lovely tribute to your grandmother. Such confidence building opportunities; the chance to know you can make your own decisions within a safe environment. Even if you made a poor choice, the world would not end. And the gum wrapper chain! I hadn’t thought of those in decades. I have a friend who tried to beat the Guiness Book of World Records for that one. I remember saying all of our gum wrappers for him.

    1. Thanks, Kristi.
      So many good thoughts about a slower life, a life that was different in so many ways!

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