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Eliters Newsletter
Issue Number 85
March 2010
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2 YEPs worth

Sometimes we are touched by the most fleeting incidents or words.  Reading Kathy's interview and her comment about her grandma made me miss mine terribly. 

I never really appreciated either of my grandmas much when they were alive.  One was kind and motherly, smelling of smoke and whatever she had been doing in the garden most recently.  The other one was tall and imposing.  She smelled of perfume and a whiff of brandy.  

Kind grandma raised seven children despite poverty and a lazy husband.  My only real memory of him is him sitting on the porch smoking his pipe.  He didn't have any real interest in working and she would hide him when his bosses came round looking for him.  She worked as an amazing school teacher and knew that education was the key to success for her children

Tall grandma was married three times, each time for 8 years! Frankly, I think they were all pretty much  a waste of time.  First husband (paternal grandpa) died in a mining explosion when she was still pregnant with her third child.  Second husband died of lung disease also courtesy of the mines and frankly, not a minute too soon as he was a mean spirited, abusive drunk.  Third husband (only one I knew) -  well he was no match for the old lady and he just died.  She raised her kids and managed to survive.  She was sort of bossy (guess who inherited it) and a strong old woman - and even though we lived far away from her when things got rough I would phone her and she would drive all the way to our little town and slap some sense into my parents.  It always worked!

Neither grandma had it easy.  Times were tough for them.  And yet they both managed to raise kids who did really well for the most part.  Maybe one dud or two.  But I never once heard either of them complain or bemoan their fate.  Life was hard but you got through it.  You took care of people when needed and they took care of you.

I wish I had taken better care too.

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