Last night my Grandma Ingrid passed on from this life to the next. I haven't seen her much in recent years. She moved away, and somehow I never found the time to visit until this fall. Although she and I had a good relationship, she'd said and done things that hurt people I cared about and sometimes she made critical remarks that made me really uncomfortable. I sent her letters occasionally, cards on her birthday and gifts for Christmas, but I wish I would have gone to see her more often. I think it would have made her happy. Although she did have strong opinions about a lot of things, including how other people should live their lives, she was a very giving person. I have so many wonderful memories of the times I spent with her. I saw her just a week ago, and although she was frail and got a little confused, we had a really nice visit. We talked a lot about the times my brothers, sisters and I spent with her as children. I told her she had been such a blessing to our family, and it must of been a lot of work for her to take care of so many of us. But she said no not really, it had been a lot of fun. I know it was for us. I love her so much and I'll miss her.
Grandma Ingrid was a storyteller. She told stories to teach life lessons, pass on family history and entertain. When we were children, she sang us songs and taught us poems. There was one called "The North Wind Doth Blow" about a robin and another one about a pelican. Grandma loved animals, usually had several pets, and used to feed the birds every morning. For many years Grandma wrote letters filled with stories about her daily life, stories from her childhood, thoughts about current events and the weather, and sometimes jokes or quotes. She'd make copies of the letters and send them to family and friends.
Here's Grandma feeding me an orange after my mom specifically asked her not to, which is about par for the course. Apparently citrus did not agree with me as an infant, and I screamed for most of the night. I don't remember this, but I do have wonderful memories of breakfast at Grandma's house - silver dollar pancakes, grapefruit with sugar on top, and sometimes a little bit of milky coffee. Grandma loved feeding people and she made food a big part of our family traditions. She made kransekake (Swedish wedding cake) for us on our birthdays, gave us clementines and homemade raisin bread every Christmas and had us over to make Easter basket cupcakes and dozens of dyed eggs every Easter. Once when she was babysitting us around Christmas time she let us help her make the raisin bread and then spread flour all over the kitchen floor and "ice skate" in it.
This picture was taken "up north" at the cabins my great grandpa bought and passed on to my grandpa and grandma. The only vacations I remember taking before I started high school were to the cabins and our time there was some of the happiest of my childhood. Grandma always slept in the Creek Cabin and we could hear her snoring from the Main Cabin. The cabins were so special to her.
Grandma really valued education. She helped pay for my semester abroad and was so proud and happy when I graduated from college.
For me, this is the iconic picture of Grandma. She loved her luggable loo!
Grandma also loved to play cards. She taught me to play Kings in the Corners and at least 3 kinds of rummy. Visits to Grandma as I got older always included cards.
Grandma Holding Sasha
Grandma never shied away from festive hats. :)