Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grandma Joanne, from Rebekkah 9 years old

My grandma Joanne.
We had tea parties on the back porch, our secret garden.
We would have cookies and tea, we talk about American girls dolls and Archie comics.
My great grandmother use to read them when she was young.
Archie comics are 100 years old. We play tic tac toes.
She lives in Ballston Spa, a long time ago it was compared to spa such as Baden Baden.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Maria Dolores Abraham, from Dolly

Thoughts of my grandmother bring back memories of a true renaissance woman. She was born into poverty, however, that didn’t stifle her great pride and belief in herself.Mamy, as she liked being called (grandma was too old for her), believed in dressing well, taking care of herself, being charitable and always thinking of tomorrow.  One of her favorite sayings was: “You know about today, but you don’t know about tomorrow.” She always believed in not being frivolous with anything.  When she was a young lady, she couldn’t afford to buy cosmetics, so she used to take red tissue paper, wet it and rub it on her cheeks and lips – instant makeover!!! Mamy was known for welcoming people into her home and somehow she would stretch a meal to feed any guests that arrived.Having a great love and children and family she married a widower at the age of eighteen. She said that she fell in love with the man and the children. We would often see her and my grandfather dancing in the kitchen while she cooked dinner. She raised most of her grandchildren – since the parents were working.She ran a family daycare of sorts and took care of the kids very well.Mamy was extremely loving and strict.  Education was especially important to her since she was not able to study past elementary school.Anyone that met her couldn’t believe this since she was so intelligent –she would give all types of wonderful advice: parenting, career, financial, you name it. She was truly a wise person.
Mamy was especially important to me because, besides raising me, she also moved so that she could be near me and helped to raise my children, as well. By this time she was in her seventies!!! But she never skipped a beat –going for at least one long walk a day and saying her prayers several times a day.  She could have been an even greater woman given the opportunity to get a real education.However, she taught most of us college and advanced degree grads in the family more than school ever could have.  Mamy was ninety four when she passed away and some of her last words to me were: “Take care of yourself and your family.”

Maria Dolores, her grandchildren & great grandchildren

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lee Barlowe, from Warren

Lee Barlowe was cleaning the kitchen, it was a stormy night. There was dust on a lamp in the kitchen, so to clean it she decided to remove the light bulb.
As she unscrewed the bulb the whole house went dark, all the light went out.
She looked out of the window and saw that all the houses all around were dark, she felt terribly guilty. “Could have I done this?” then she turned on a portable radio and heard that the entire North Eastern US had lost power at that moment. Much later she found out that it was to be called the Great Blackout

From Dave

When my grand mother was a little girl she lived in Sweden, she would wait for her sister to come home. She sometimes waited hours for her sister to come home.

Tyra, from David

When we visited my grand mother Tyra, we could smell the coffee being brew but she only gave us milk.
I thought that every grandmother lived in an old house, that every grandmother had an accent. I thought that every grandmother came from Europe.
At my cousin’s wedding, we had a big family reunion. I had no seen my grandmother in a year, the whole family was scattered outside the house. My grandmother saw me, she called my name. I felt very special because she called out my name.

Annalisa Pietsch, from Alex

Annalisa Pietsch lived alone in north central Germany. She had a stroke, her children came back to take care of her. She is the reason why I love everything about plants.
She created her own forest with a lake. Her husband died during the war, she had 5
Children, she was an educator. She lived to be 91 years old.


Once upon a time, they lived happily ever after...

Roy,from Emily

When Roy, my grand father, was a little boy he would be chased by Chachi, the town bully. Many years later Roy met Chachi who became a priest.

Quick, from Stephan

With my grandmother Quick I use to love just making cookies and baking cakes.
At the end, she would let me lick the spoon.


Mama, my mother's mother, used to come up on the train on Christmas Eve every year and we picked her up in the train station in Schenectady. She always gave us pajamas as a gift on Christmas morning.
So one year I asked “Mama why don’t you give us our presents on Christmas Eve, so we can wear them on Christmas morning?"
She was shocked and said, "I don't know you mean?"
On Christmas morning when she gave us our gift, we all got pajamas as ususal.
The next year she gave us our presents on Christmas Eve and we wore them to bed and had them on the next morning as we opened the gifts
that Santa brought.

Robina, from Megan

Robina had 7 boys during the Great Depression. She was a very good cook. One of her most famous dishes was “CBCs,” or chocolate-bit cookies. She had a plaque on the wall of her old-fashioned kitchen, with a drawing of a granny and a saying:
"Some grandmas have limousine and the biggest homes you’ve never seen, but my grandma
is best by far, for she has got a cookie jar.”

Grandma Marline, from Stella

There was a big pool with a ramp and I wanted to go with her every days.

Grammy Irene, from Randy

Grammy Irene and I slept on the fold out couch when she came to visit us. We had so much to say to each other that when it was time to sleep she would say “Good night again, and again and again”. I knew it was time to go to close my eyes.
My grand parents, they came to my house, we played patty whack…

Rose, from Dan

My grand mother Rose use to bake very delicious cookies, we called them Jaw Breakers. When I was at camp she send me her cookies, she was very giving.

Grace, from Evie

Grace was my grandmother, together we made cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, and I eat them all.

Gae Mc Farlane, from Jane

She never said no, her name was Gae Mc Farlane.

Har Kaila

I never knew my grandmother

Ma, from Emma

Ma, she was witchy, every time I called her
She would say I was just thinking about you.

Carry Anna, from Montana

Carry Anna, my grandmother, was raised by her very strict and religious grandmother.
When she was young she was caught riding on her boyfriend motorbike
without permission. As punishment, she was no allowed to go out for a year.
Carry Anna died last year, she was 85 years old.

my grandmother, from Elizabeth/Ela

I believe my grandmother is part of me. I feel her love and her presence even though she died more than 30 years ago. She was a good person, wise, giving, quiet and - in a beautiful way - simple. I remember people coming to her for advice and moral support. She knew how to listen. I don't remember her smile much, but in my memory, I have a picture of her, with her warm, friendly smile.

My grandmother was very religious. Catholic. As a little girl, I tried to impress her by going to the church, even though, soon my experience with the institution of church went really bad. At the same time when I was escaping the priest who was a child molester, I realized I would never be able to identify with this part of her.... I lost my religion...

My grandmother had three daughters. My mother was the youngest child. They lived in a little town in Poland, close to the concentration camp. When my grandfather was sent to the concentration camp, my grandmother and her three daughters would go and throw food to him and to other people in the camp. The three sisters, young girls, kept going there and threw my grandmother's kasha knishes, over the camps fence, even after my grandfather death.
I still can not imagine how my grandmother could let her young children risk their life by sending them, bare footed (so they could run easier), so close to the gate of hell, the concentration camp.
Each time my mother tells me that story - it makes me feel good as a person. She was humane. In my life, I try to follow that direction.

Sometimes I wonder if my love for cooking and giving food to people doesn't come from her....

Lolita, from Pablo

Pablo's grandmother, Lolita, comes from Urcuqui, a very little town in the Andes mountains in Ecuador where unusual things happen frequently like in the magical realism... One day, when she was home alone, doing her usual things, with the Catholic radio on in her bedroom, she suddenly heard the voice of her mother talking. She was shocked and surprised. Started to cry... Her mother passed away 15 years earlier.... Lolita then realized that the voice she heard was a recorded interview with her mother…. The journalist said “I am introducing you to Ms Julia Dolores Vallejo.”
Pablo’s great grandmother was a special person. A liberal and a poet involved in politics. From the pastel portrait made for her by an artist, she looked like a very attractive woman. Julia Dolores had several children without being married. Although her daughter, Pablo's grandmother - Lolita, was very influenced by her, she became conservative.

Hearing her mother's voice on the radio was a very strong experience for Lolita. After sharing her story with her son, Oswaldo (Pablo's father), he went to Ibarra City and found the radio journalist who gave him the copy of this interview with Julia Dolores… The family did not know that such a material existed.

This was Pablo’s second "meeting" with his great-grandmother. The first one was seeing her portrait.

Monday, October 19, 2009