Stephanie Pearce: Remembering Grandma
Every day I see the final house that my grandma lived in. The old cabin that for 30 years was a one room cabin until the addition in the 1970s that gave her an indoor bathroom and a bedroom. She didn’t sleep in the bedroom when I was around though. Her bed was still in the main room and she let my uncle have the bedroom.
I look at that old house and even though it isn’t habitable, it makes me happy. It reminds me of all that those before me endured. Grandma lived a simple life there on the ranch, but she mostly seemed happy.
I can hear her laugh like she was still right next to me. I loved to hear her tell stories. She had a way of talking that would keep you intrigued and was almost like listening to a song. She would take long pauses in important places that would leave you on the edge of your seat even when you knew the story she was telling already.
She would tell stories about her travels before her family settled on the Williams Fork. She would tell me about her two husbands prior to my grandpa. Those stories always intrigued me because even though she went through a couple of husbands, she seemed to keep her family close.
She used her hands to talk a lot, a trait I think I got from her. Her hands had seen much work and they had held many babies of her own. She was always doing something with her hands. They were beautiful to me. The way her fingernails were shaped was just beautiful to me. Her skin on the tops of her hand seemed paper thin and you could see every vein but the palms were so soft and supple. That surprises me because of all the work they did, but I’m guessing all the bread baking helped keep them soft. When I knead bread and it’s all smooth, I think of grandma’s hands.
She would come to town twice a week with my uncle to do errands. She didn’t drive, so my uncle would drop her off at the doctor where he would fill her prescription of sugar pills. The doctor’s office was like her social hour I think and the doctor knew that. They would keep her happy until my uncle came back. Then, she would come to our house. She was intrigued by the television and watched a little, but mostly she would tell us her stories about the evils of television even back then (there was no television at the ranch back then).
She had a smile that would light up a room and her blue eyes would sparkle when she laughed. After the rough life she had, her smile never faded. She would pray, she would sing, and she would laugh with all she had. I’m thinking that’s what kept her going until she was 92. Well that and the sugar pills.
This year, a handful of Moffat County High School graduates are setting out to carry on the family tradition. From business to education, these students plan to follow in the footsteps their parents and in some cases, grandparents and great-grandparents.