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Tuesday, November 6, 2012



She was four feet eleven inches tall.  She wrapped her brown/auburn braids around the crown of her head.  Every night,she brushed her hair, that hung down to her waist.  She always wore a dress (I never saw her in pants) and heavy duty shoes.

  Her mother died when she was eight. Her father was a teacher. She had one sister. She was born and raised in Ohio.

  She married a Kentuckian who was part Cherokee Indian.  They headed west. She gave birth to eight living children. She lived through the great depression.  They traveled the western states. Her husband was an artist who painted bill board signs.  Because of the large family, they traveled in two cars. They camped out.  She made supper over a camp fire.

  Her marriage was hard. Her husband was an abusive alcoholic. He left her, and the children, for another woman. Grandma never would give him a divorce...she didn't believe in divorce.

  The years hardened her. She was tough. Everyone walked softly around Grandma.

  My mother was eighteen when I was born. It was during World War Two. We lived with Grandma and my mother's siblings on my uncles ranch.

  One hot, New Mexico day, my mother had me outside in a galvanized tub.  She heard a rattle. Close by her, was a wrapped up, rattle snake ,shaking his tail. She screamed. My Grandmother opened the screen door and shot the head off that snake with her rifle. (Yep, you didn't want to mess with Grandma. I have often thought we needed her in the garden of Eden...she would have taken care of that snake!!!)

  She became totally independent after her children grew up. She owned her own novelty stores in Albuquerque and later on Cedar Crest (Sandia Mountains.)

  Every afternoon she closed her store for a couple of hours.  One day we stopped by to see her. She had her revolver in hand...holding a young man for the police...he had tried to rob her store.

  Grandma always (it seemed) had a cigarette in her hand.  She loved wrestling. She would drive downtown Albuquerque to the arena to watch wrestling. When I rode with her, in her car, I hung on for dear life....she sped through the mountains and smoked at the same time.

  When I was twenty two years old I became a Christian. I told my whole family. They were not impressed. "What was I getting myself into?"  That was the question.
  Even though Grandma was sceptical I didn't say anything back. She later sent me a book against my experience. I never replied.
  I did pray for Grandma.  (I lived in Iowa and she was in New Mexico).  My mother told me, that before Grandma died, she began reading her Bible and there was a change in her life..

  I really believe I will see Grandma in heaven.  She will have no guns, no cigarettes, no fast cars, no wrestling, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more heartache. (She is no longer taking care of herself; the Lord is taking care of her.)

  I remember her with fondness and auburn haired ,four foot eleven inches... Grandma.
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