Thursday, September 17, 2009

Clara Day

Today’s a special day in our family, because it’s the anniversary of when Grandma Renner was born—on a farm in Kincaid, Kansas, on September 17, 1897. She grew up in Washington, Missouri, and lived her entire adult life here in Jefferson City. She lived to be nearly 101 years old.

The things she saw. Horse-and-buggies. Cars, radio, television, airplanes, lunar landings . . . Ballpoint pens . . . Digital alarm clocks . . .

Anyway, I just wanted to say that Sue and I commemorated her a little this evening with some “everything” pizza from Pizza Hut (the Pizza Hut on Christie Lane is right across the highway from where Grandma’s house was, so she became a fan of it).

She always wanted to pronounce it “peetzer.”

We also picked up some “peach shodie” from the supermarket—back in the 1970s, when Nehi or one of those companies came out with peach-flavored soda, Grandma decided she loved the stuff. And she always pronounced it “peach shodie.” Maybe it was just a collision of enunciation, or maybe it was a denture thing.

Anyway, it’s a fond memory—of Grandma sitting in her chair next to her big picture window, sipping that fizzy orange stuff so contentedly.

(Yes, my brother, my cousins: This is indeed one of Grandma Renner’s glasses; remember them, with the tulips?)

When I was preparing for this post, I looked through an old photo album of my parents’, and I decided to take pictures of some of the pictures (yes, we do have a scanner; no, I don’t know how to use it).

Because Grandma had such a long, gradual decline, I find it hard sometimes to remember her when she “had it goin’ on.” In part, it’s because she always seemed “old” to me—I was the youngest of all my generation, and my mom was the youngest of her siblings. Grandma was sixty-eight when I was born. And sixty-eight was a lot older in 1965 than it is today.

Also, Grandma had extremely poor hearing, which prevented her from wanting to go out a lot, and I often had a hard time communicating with her, since I was a soft-spoken little girl.

. . . Anyway, I’m posting these pictures to help me celebrate Grandma the way I want to remember her. Like on Christmas morning, 1970, when she was explaining something to me.

Or the day after my birthday in 1971.

She was a really warm and nurturing grandma.


Then, on September 17, 2001, the day Grandma Renner would have been 104 (three years after Grandma’s death), we welcomed little Daniel August into the family—Grandma Renner’s newest great-grandson, my brother’s second child.

The timing was a coincidence, supposedly.

. . . But I’m not sure I quite believe that.

So happy birthday, Grandma, wherever you are, and super-happy-birthday, Daniel. We’re tipping our peach shodies to you, too!


Karla said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes for Daniel. He had a great day, made even better because it was "patch-free"! I'll post photos soon on Facebook.

Julie said...

Tell him I had to wear patches, too. And I didn't get groovy patterns either. I think they just looked like bandages. I did decide pretty early that of all the doctors, dentists, etc. I had to visit as a kid, the eye doctor was my favorite. No shots; no instruments in my mouth. Just "look over there and read the letters." I can handle that.