Happy Valentine’s Day!


From my family to yours.

Valentine’s day was my Grandmother’s birthday.  How often do I remember going to her house to celebrate, with red and pink and white and heart shaped cakes, and usually a new rosebush for her rose garden. 

I wish I’d spent more time there doing the nothings, like working with her in her rose garden.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved, loved, loved being part of a huge family.  My grandparents had 4 children, 2 stepchildren and raised two young nieces.  All of them married and had children and I was part of that generation.  There were a ton of us and when we all got together, there was peace and laughter and happiness.  My Grandmother was relatively reserved on these occasions, but when she spoke, everyone else got quiet.  My Grandfather was the loud and raucous one of the two.

But, there were other times, when she was ironing, or crocheting and watching her “stories” or cooking that I got to see a different side of my Grandmother.  When it was just us two, we talked.  I don’t remember about what, but I can remember that she talked.  Mostly about the old days, carefully editing the story of her life so I only heard the good and the happy, even when they were poor and doing without. 

I know her life wasn’t always like that.  She lost at least two children, maybe three.  She lost a sister and a husband before my Grandfather; lived through the depression; had babies and just worked her way through all of it.  My Dad told me once that when my Grandmother couldn’t sleep, she’d get up and wash the kitchen floor.  And in my first apartment, I started doing that, too.

But, then I stopped when I realized that maybe reading a book would be a better way to fall asleep.

Anyway, fond memory of sitting in the back yard fig tree, eating figs right off of it that my Grandmother had cut the stem off of with a paring knife.  Her in a housedress, laundry on the line.  Sun shining bright.  Loose steel gray curls.



On this Valentine’s day, I am glad that I am part of a family that says “I Love You” so often that saying it because we’re supposed to,on a certain day, feels really weird. 

Hope yours is the same.



Kath said...

what a lovely post Lane. yes my son and I say I love you every time we are together and in every text we send.
I love the photo of you and your little family, how happy you all look. Have a wonderful day Lane xx

Elizabeth said...

I have wonderful memories of my grandma, too. We both have January birthdays and I got her garnet ring after she passed on. She would talk a lot, too, and I loved one-on-one time with her. She made me feel special and important and loved. Everyone thought they were her favorite, but I know I was really her favorite ;).

Happy Valentine's to you, Sydney & Rob! What a beautiful family!

xo -E

andsewon said...

What a lovely post! Our youngest son was born on the 13th so he has always known is his Dad's sweet valentine..;-) "I love yous" are every day around here 2! I bet your Grandma would be so proud of you and the beautiful family you have created! Happy Valentines Day!

Bubbles said...

Thank you for sharing the lovely story about your grandmother. It reminds me to spend the time to make those memories with my nephews and the rest of my family. Thank you Lane, you brightened my day a little bit. :)

qltmom9 said...

I was hoping you'd have a post JUST LIKE THAT. Glad. My grandma Lucille was wonderful too.
Happy Valentine's Day, Lane and his valentines.


JoAnne said...

What a wonderful post about your grandmother. My Grandma's birthday was yesterday and it was our first without her. She would have been 90 if it wasn't for that stupid cancer. Anyway, she was Czech, and had an accented voice that carried a bit. She was one of the most unsentimental people I know--she used to say that people like to talk about the "good ole days," but she never thought they were good! No one had deoderant and hot showers, etc. She was a riot. An incredible cook. And a worker. She had a great garden, too, and a big bush of sweet peas near the door. When we are through with the army and finally get our own house, I'm going to have sweet peas, too.

Bianca said...

What a lovely storie, Lane.
I wished I spend more time talking to my grandmother. She past away one year and two days ago. 87 years old.
I stayed over with her two weeks every year untill I was 18 years old, but only now I know how much I didn't ask her.... Why does one only learn those things when it's too late???
Nice to learn you have such fond memories of your Oma (grandmother in Dutch).
Love the ones you with.
Have a happy Valentine's too.

Anonymous said...

My granny was born on Valentine's Day too! That was a lovely post as it reminded me of our strange and lovely family too. I wrote a poem about my granny who was a wonderful knitter, but who lived with her eldest son and his wife and son, who unfortunately was the same age as me. I was clever with my brain (in the nuns' remedial knitting section - if only they could see me now! - he was clever with his hands, but not so clever. My granny couldn't see my 1st place in a class of 45, only that I had scrappy handwriting. It took that poem to be cathartic enough to let that barbed comment about my handwriting go and let bygones be bygones. How funny (and childish in our own way) we all are!

mssewcrazy said...

Great post for valentine's day. I loved reading it. As for washing the floor when not sleeping, I'd be better off or more like my floor would but that's when I read some blogs-perhaps not a good idea but I'll usually go back to sleep.

Shay said...

I really enjoyed this post. Your memories of your grandmother are so tinged with love that it really comes across in your words. I wish I'd had that kind of relationship with my own grandmother. She never really talked about the past at all.

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sandra said...

This is a lovely post Lane. Made me think of my Grandmother. She was very proper but had a wicked sense of humour that you didn't see often. She also did it hard though the depression and world war II. Thanks for bringing back some memories!