Monday, November 23, 2009

Grandma's Laugh Lines

I've been poring over lots and lots of old family photos lately, in preparation for creating a slide show for Daddy's 75th party this coming Sunday.

How good for the soul to flip through old pictures. But it does make me feel a bit weepy looking at some of the people who have passed away before I knew them well.

My Grandma Dauber was one such person. When I was born, my mother got a bad case of phlebitis in her leg. We were living in Baltimore, but Grandma came all the way from Kansas to take care of me for six weeks. Of course I don't remember it, but I am positive that my bond with her formed in those earliest days of my life.

I didn't get to know her until we moved to Kansas when I was in third grade. We lived in Alden, she and Grandpa in Sterling about seven miles away. And though we only lived there two years, my memory bank is full of deposits made by my sweet Christian grandmother. Her sense of humor was infectious. My favorite line of hers: "I love the old hymns. So much of the Bible is based on them. "'

What I remember best were all the times she and I played dolls together in their "fifth wheeler"--a parked metal trailer out back of their little house. Grandma was compassionate and nurturing. She would make sure we wrapped our babies well in blankets, gave them plenty of milk in their bottles (those forever-full toy bottles, remember?) ,and take their temperatures like they were in a hospital or something. I think Grandma always wanted to be a nurse because the babies were always sick, getting sick, or recovering from sickness. She was a worrier in real life and at play, but when she'd say, "Now, Zoanna, let's check your baby's temperature one more time. She still feels warm to me, " I really believed the plastic skin of Baby Wets-a-Lot
did indeed feel fevril . Grandma kept chewable baby aspirin in the trailer for our babies, and once in a while she'd let me take one myself to show Baby it wasn't so bad. (Never did it dawn on me that my babies had no teeth to actually chew their pills with. But, at any rate, I developed a taste for pink chewable baby aspirin early in my childhood. Expensive candy.)

Grandma's hypochondriac and subsequent caregiving tendencies came back to mind as I read a funny one-liner from Barbara Johnson's Humor Me! this morning.

"I've come to realize that most of the things I worry about never
happen--which just proves that worry does work!"


Leanne said...

That was my grandmother's motto - we joke about it all the time! :)

Laurie said...

Sweet Grandma memories!
My Grandma also loved baby dolls! She had an attic full of baby dolls she'd collected over the years! She collected vinyl/plastic/cloth bodied dolls and much preferred them over bisque or china. She sewed clothes for them. She liked the huggable ones best.
And yes, that B. Johnson one-liner could have been penned by my Grandma... and there are times that I've totally subscibed to the practice of worrying (just to prove it works)!

Those forever-full toy baby bottles were so fun! I do remember!
And baby asprin!? Oh yeah, the cutest little "candies"! My little brother hid behind our divan and ingested an almost full bottle once. Not a happy outcome!

Your Grandma was a dear lady and she must have had a twinkle in her eyes and a merry heart!