At long last I am back to the blog. I had promised in an earlier post that I would give equal time to the memories of grandparents. I started with the ones I grew up next door to on the farm, Granny and Grandpa Hamilton. This post is about Grandma Higgins.
Grandma Higgins was the grandparent who lived in town. I never knew my maternal grandfather, he died when my Mom was 13. Grandma finished raising the last of their 8 children on her own. During my childhood, she lived with my Uncle Kenny and my Aunt Pat, two of my Mom’s siblings. For many years they lived in a white house on Center Street in Fulton. Here’s what I remember most about Grandma Higgins:
- When I was little, Grandma Higgins always wore house dresses. I never saw her wear pants until I was close to being an adult. This was very different from my other Granny who never wore dresses.
- One of the things I remember most about Grandma Higgins was her spaghetti. It was different from Mom’s, but hey, I never met a noodle I didn’t like. When I ate lunch at her house, she always set all kinds of sandwich fixings on the table along with the main dish. That’s where I learned the significant culinary delight of crushed potato chips on top of my spaghetti. Mmmmm.
- Grandma Higgins actually had a room in the front of her house that was the “company” parlor. The piano was in there and the fancier furniture. She also had the heaviest telephone I’ve ever seen in that room. It must have been from the 40’s or something. You couldn’t have possibly had a long phone conversation on it cause you couldn’t hold the receiver up to your head that long…
- Seems to me that both sets of grandparents always called me by my full given name “Lori Ann.” Except for my Uncle Kenny who used to annoy me by calling me “Laura Ann.” Except, that is, when I was going through my Laura Ingalls Wilder phase where I thought it was cooler to be Laura than Lori. 🙂
- Grandma Higgins always went on vacation with us and would ride in the front seat next to my Mom and Dad. Some of my best vacation memories were of Grandma Higgins being with us. In a previous post I told the story of the crabs. Yes, those were great Grandma stories.
- She collected postcards from all her trips. I think she had quite an impressive collection.
- I remember her talking a lot about her brothers and sister. They had really interesting names like Gus and Pearl. A couple of them were more common like Lawrence and John. I always felt like she was really close to her sister Pearl because she talked about her the most.
- She had a really pretty smile.
- Although I never heard her play or sing, I understand that she was my musical grandparent. She was in a band when she was young and played the guitar and sang. Makes me sad that I never heard her.
- Her house always seemed to have some of her kids or grandkids around. My Aunt Rosie and Uncle Bo lived just up the street and my cousin Kevin seemed to grow up at her house. Or ours. We always knew there would be someone dropping in when we were there.
- She cooked lunch for all of her grown kids who worked in town every day. (This is why she always had lots of variety on the table). My Mom and Dad were there and my Uncle Kenny and Aunt Rosie. Some of the others would drop in if they were in town. It was almost like a miniature family reunion every day!
- Whenever I had a doctors appointment, I would spend the day at Grandma’s house in town. She had some ancient Lincoln Logs and a set of Chinese Checkers at her house. I always tried to remember to bring some of my own toys—I wasn’t a Lincoln Logs kind of gal.
- At Christmastime she always had Russell Stovers chocolate orange sticks in the front living room. It was always really cool in there and she would let me go have one or two in the afternoon for a treat if I was a good girl. I was ALWAYS a good girl. 🙂
- She had a porch swing and that was my favorite part of her house.