Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my grandparents, specifically my grandmothers. Neither one lived easy lives, but what I remember most about them is their laughter. Both had those toss-your-head-back-don't-care-who's-looking laughs that came deep from their core. Neither had easy lives, my Grandma Marge was widowed with four teenagers while living on a farm in rural South Dakota during a time when working women weren't exactly the norm. My Grandma Pearl worked hard on a farm and in a candy factory, had a daughter with Scarlett Fever, buried a son and a grandson, and could talk about the 'time the locusts destroyed the crops' with such clarity I am still afraid of grasshoppers. Yet both women knew how to laugh, drive fast and not take crap from anyone.
Laughter is the secret to surviving life's little dramas. Laughter combined with spunk and an 'If-You-Don't-Like-Me-Screw-You' attitude is the perfect combination for survival. I think there is a reason they keep popping into my mind recently. They are reminding me of where and who I come from.
If they were here--and I often wish they were--I can imagine what they would say to me. I can imagine Grandma Marge would tell me that tragedy is part of life and would remind me how many times she started over. She started over from scratch a lot and with far less advantages than I have. And she did it with flair; she did everything with flair. I can still see her peeling out of my dad's driveway in her long green car, dust flying behind the wheels, black hair flying in front of her face as red-tipped fingers blew us a kiss from the window.
If Grandma Pearl were here, she would squeeze my hand, say a few choice words about that son-of-a-bitch I married, remind me that I am Norwegian and come from a line of strong women, tell me to keep my dignity no matter what I do in my life and to always stand tall, even when the locusts come. I can still see her cooking in her kitchen one minute before grabbing a cap gun, going outside, and shooting in the air to get rid of those 'damn Jehovah's Witnesses' once and for all while never breaking stride or messing up her red hair.
Spitfires are my heritage. I remember these women I was so blessed to know and am inspired. I think it does all of us good to remember our heritage and honor those who made us who we are.
I am the granddaughter of Marge Ordal and Pearl Thompson. I come from a long line of Norwegian women who could make lefse and toss back a shot of whiskey at the same time, who drove fast, who lived fully, who loved with their entire beings, and who walked with strength and grace even when the locusts came.
About Moxie Girl Musings
Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com