Monday, April 5, 2010

My Grandma Rada


My Grandma Rada. This is my Mom's Mom. She is 80 years old. And she is a hoot. I mean... so much so... that as a kid I didn't know WhaT to think of her. Ya know? She is so funny, matter of fact, and not shy at all. She makes the best waffles (served with peanut butter and syrup). She is very very silly, says dingy things, loves to sing, pops our toes, doesn't have the highest IQ so you have to explain some things to her several times... yet she is so keen on other things that she can put you in your place. She loves people and just wants to be in on whatever is going on. And more than anything she LOVES the Lord.

She ~ like all in this line of women that I come from ~ is incredibly strong. Since I was a little girl, I have only known her to cook, clean, garden, can (foods she grows), bake, take a short nap every single day, and then do it all over again. When she needs to take a break, she can be found sitting on the couch crocheting or reading.

During all the years I was growing up, they owned a 2000 acre ranch. Their house was on the top of a hill that overlooked it all. We called it "the ranch" and we always gathered there for holidays, and especially for 4th of July, my Mom's birthday. There was a pool just below their house on the hill, and there was a big balcony on the house that over looked the pool. The balcony had a porch swing on the end, several twin beds that lined the walls, and of course lots of chairs to sit in. The kids would all swim, and the adults would hang out on the balcony, overlooking the pool, as well as overlooking the ranch land for as far as the eye could see. Literally. They had cows, horses, cowboys, 4 wheelers, and horned toads (me and my brother and cousins liked to look for those little lizard/toad things along the gravel roads). And a unicorn, which we searched for several times, but never found. During the winter months when the pool was closed, all the kids would play ping-pong or pool in the game room downstairs. And at any time, we could be found playing Boggle with Grandma. That is a memory I'll always connect to her. She loved to play Boggle with us.

My Mom would take us kids to see her almost weekly, and for the first 8 years of my life, we would all go up on Friday night and spend the night. My Mom and Grandma would make fried chicken or catfish, potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans, bread, and of course some sort of cake or pie. We would always sit and snap the beans together ahead of time, and I would usually help. Everything was from her garden. If I remember right, her garden was 100x200 feet in size. And she canned everything. Of course they had their own beef, and there were ponds for fishing. She had a store room in the basement that had shelves lined with jars of her food she had canned.

For the past 15 years they have lived in a small house with a regular sized yard on Grand Lake. While the yard is much smaller than the ranch, she has filled it with gardens. She still cans foods, and she bakes pies and breads all the time. She is 80 years old, yet she has a little table set up in the front of her yard, and 9 months out of the year is open for business. All the people that live at the lake stop daily for pies, breads, and canned goods. This is the beginning of April, and she told me she has already had her garden in since February. She said Grandpa is doing most of the gardening now, and she is still in the kitchen all day canning and baking. Wow. That amazes me. Makes me love her and makes me miss my Momma at the same time.

A woman who loves the Lord. A woman who respects her husband. A woman to takes care of her home, her body, her family. A woman who runs a business. All of this for her whole life, and all of this still, at 80 years old. Talk about the Proverbs 31 woman. Wow.

I haven't been to her house since my Mom died. Mom and I use to take the kids and go to visit Grandma together. But for the past couple years, I've only seen my Grandma Rada at holiday family gatherings, and we talk on the phone. I'm not sure I can remember how to find her house on the lake, but I decided that the kids and I are going to start making regular trips out there. Mostly because I want to be able to help her if she wants help gardening, cutting/slicing, canning, cleaning, or whatever. Also, I want to be able to learn from her. She is a wealth of information along the lines of the things I knew and know... and now want for my kids and our family. She can teach me the trades of gardening and canning and such.

It breaks my heart, but my kids don't have the kind of history with a Grandma that I had with my Grandma's. I saw both sets of Grandparents at least a few times a month. We spent lots of time at the Ranch, and my other Grandparents spent many many days out at our farm growing up. Selah and Bryson have a few years of memories with my Mom that I hope they can hang on to, and Charis says she remembers her, but I'm not sure how much. The kids love their other Grandma very much, but she lives a few hours away and with a busy life and schedule, so they don't get to spend much time together. I'm hoping that with what time we have left, my kids can watch and be a part of the relationship I have with my Grandma's. The kids already know and love and enjoy their Great-Grandma GiGi. After all, I'm a big believer in investing and planting seeds in their hearts while they are young. I want them to know the importance of family, and of their heritage. There's a window of time in which that can be made real, not just mere words.
Now that the kids are a little bigger and we can travel an hour to the lake and back, I want them to get to know my Grandma Rada better. I want them to learn about her life. How she gardens and cans and bakes and sells. I want them to have memories for how ever much longer she is around, of a silly lady who likes to hear about our lives and who will tell ya what she thinks about it. And I have been waiting for the right time... for Bryson, Selah, and Charis... to get to play their first game of Boggle.

Spring is here, and the time is near.

1 comment:

kenziekylanmom said...

Don't you just love Grandma's? They inspire us to great things.