It’s official, I’ve become my Grandmother!
I'm suddenly reminded of the scene from the movie Young Frankenstein when Gene Wilder is spending his first night in the castle. He's sleeping but you can tell that he's having a dream as he screams, "Destiny, destiny, no escaping, that's for me!" Well, it feels a little bit like that to me for here I am a good three hours early for my flight at the airport. I should have known that I couldn't escape the trappings of family traits that are beyond our control. It's official, I've become my Grandmother! - Don't Get Me Started!
My father's mother, "Mom-Mom" (to my brother and me) was a highly clean and organized woman. I suppose that's due to the fact that she took care of her brothers and sisters from an early age as she was the eldest and her mother had passed at an early age. I never quite understood her need to constantly be cleaning something but hey, it made her happy. I remember when she used to come visit us on vacation. At first it would make my mother crazy that her mother in-law was cleaning her house from the minute she got in the door. But after a few years, my mother got used to it. Let's face it, it was better than watching her sitting there with her leg shaking uncontrollably because she wasn't cleaning. I guess in this day and age you would call it Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but we just call it Bella Syndrome for Bella was her name.
I don't really recall my Grandmother sitting and eating an entire meal with the family ever. All day she would be in the kitchen (the dining room table had been set since 5am when she got up for the dinner - breakfast and lunch were always served in the kitchen) so she would be working all day in the kitchen and then at dinner as soon as everyone sat down, she would make sure everyone was served first (I think this was a carry over from her youth when she knew they had little and a large family, therefore she let everyone else eat before her as a mother would do for her children). After everyone had their plates full she'd put a few items on her plate. It was never a plate full of food, ever. If you asked her, she would say something like, "Hon, I nibbled while I was cooking so I'm not all that hungry." I'll never know if that was true or if she just wanted to make sure we all had enough, more than enough just in case we wanted more. She was mindful to tell us what to leave for our father as this or that was supposedly his favorite that she had made for him and she always prepared my grandfather's plate for him. And as soon as she had finished the small portions on her plate she went straight to the kitchen where she made coffee and started cleaning her plate. (The pots and pans had been washed way before the meal ever began) She would then make continual trips to the dining room (rarely letting anyone help her) to stand over everyone so that she could get a hold of the plate the minute you were done. In reading this it may not seem that she could have possibly derived joy from these meals but I know that she did. If she could, she would have had all her brothers, sisters, their families and her own children every night. If you stopped by my grandmother's (and her brothers stopped over almost every day for lunch, while her sisters had houses that were on either side of hers so they were over all day) there was always a meal for you. Not just a snack, a meal.
But even more than these meals (that I miss so very much along with her and the other members of my family that are no longer with us) I remember her always being ready way earlier than she ever needed to be for everything. If she was coming to visit us, she was packed three days in advanced. If it was a holiday dinner coming up, then the table may have been set three days prior. God forbid you would touch anything to move a fork or anything out of place.
The thing about family genes is that you can't escape them. My parents are always early and my mate is always late which makes them crazy and me too at times. (However, there's a real part of me that thinks God sent Michael to me so that I wouldn't be so crazed about getting everywhere early to ensure I was there in time to be on time.) But the amazing part is that my eight year old niece (who never had the opportunity to meet her great-grandmother) packs three days in advance if she's coming to visit us and when she gets to her pink princess room (my parents had created for her in their home and she's now grown out of a bit) she goes straight to her work unpacking, organizing the drawers and bringing anything that does not belong in "her room" (as there are times when my parents just use this room for storage) to my Mother to do something with as after all, it doesn't belong in her room. As the old saying goes, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
And so here I am at the airport with another two hours to go. Watching all the people and thinking about all of the material for blogs that are walking around here. I guess it's not so bad to inherit the habits of cleanliness and promptness but right now I'm feeling as though that these are a few genes I could live without. With this I just noticed I'm shaking my foot. Oy vey, no escaping my genes today! It's official, I've become my Grandmother! - Don't Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com