Years ago, I wrote a short essay in memory of my Grandma Bodnum who was the best example of Grandmotherliness you could ever find. Recently, I submitted it to Renee Rongen who was compiling bits and bobs and ribbons and trifles into a book to celebrate females everywhere.
“Grandma’s Pennies” was accepted by Renee and published earlier this year in Fundamentally Female, a beatufully bound book full of essays and art and poetry and catch phrases that hint at the diversity and awesomeness of women.
Here’s a teaser from my essay. If you want to read more or see what other gems Renee found, click here to order the book.
We called them ‘Gramma Days.’ Grandpa was there, too, and Uncle Jack as well, but Gramma was the day. She made it hers from the first bowl of red Jello with bananas to the weekly cache of penny rolls.
Her busy hands must have prepared for us hours ahead of time–homemade potato salad always waiting, jelly jars standing with spoon handles sticking out of them. Summers meant freshly squeezed lemonade and flat pans of ice cracked into chunks in the ‘zink.’ In winter there would be sweet tea with milk and a sugar sandwich to fold and dunk.
Her fingers were old and arthritic when I first saw them, yet still she faithfully inspected the buckets of cherries Grandpa brought in. She would cut shortening into flour, pressing the mixture in her fist to explain the evolution of pie crust to a small girl. She signed her flaky pastries with leaf-shaped signatures from which cherry steam escaped as we waited for them to cool.