I couldn’t seem to get away from my Grandma today. Not that I ever would want to, but it made for an emotional rollercoaster kind of day. It started off while I was cleaning and organizing the computer desk. I was sorting through papers and found a letter from my grandma. It was a letter that she had written me back in 2007 and I guess I had saved it. It made me a bit curious, as does anything relating to her that I can grab hold of, and started to read it. The intro alone got me sobbing. It read, “A letter to my adorable, beautiful, creative, darling, exciting, favorite, glamorous, happy, interesting, jolly, kissable, loveable, marvelous, nifty, one-of-a-kind, patient, quiet, remarkable, sweet, talented, upbeat, vivacious, wonderful, x-tra special, young, z??? whatever you can find!!! Granddaughter, Bri!!!” I’m a bit of a watering-pot right now as I reread it. It just made me think of all the many wonderful memories and talks we have had over the past couple of years. Living so far away has made it a challenge when it comes to keeping in touch with people, especially since the kids occupy so much of my time. With her help, I’ve been able to talk to her quite frequently and get her advice and take on things. She was also a wonderful listener but could reprimand me in the most loving way that I never saw it as a bad thing. She was amazing! So as I read through the article that she had clipped out of the newspaper for me I realised that all of this (letter and article) was folded up and put into a card. The card read simply, “See this hug? It’s here for you whenever you need it.”
I was a bit stunned by the card and what it was saying. Here was a card that she had sent me years ago and I probably hadn’t thought of it since I first got it, but all i wanted was the real thing. The card wasn’t enough! The promise of that hug seemed like a slap in the face because I’d never be able to snuggle up to her again. At least not any time soon. Even in my twenties and with four children I would find myself snuggling with her on the couch when we’d visit. She became an amazing sounding board when Jacob was diagnosed and always had a way of redirecting my selfish thoughts. She had a heart of pure gold and always wore it on her sleeve so that others could benefit from it. I always knew that my grandma loved me. I knew we had a good enough relationship that I could talk to her about raising my kids or just to talk animatedly about the latest books we had both read. I love that she could have been completely busy but the minute I’d call she’d make me feel like she had been waiting anxiously for my call. All of these thoughts and more ran through my head as I read that simple little card and remembered the most amazing grandma ever.
After cleaning things up I had to run to the store to pick up a few things for a project Benjamin is working on. We needed some yarn to make the fur. As I was walking down the aisle at WalMart I ran across this Sashay yarn from Red Heart. Grandma had made several scarves for all of the Combs women last fall but had run out of yarn. She asked me to look into it and see if I could find any more in Vegas. I wasn’t able to but I had found out that it was only in stores for a few months out of the year. She was going to have to wait until February, when it came out again.
I don’t know if she ever got any more but I found rolls of it as I searched for Benjamin’s yarn. Since I had already been thinking about her, my emotions were more raw than usual. I would have been able to smile at it and move on instead of crying in the yarn isle. I just really needed that hug of hers.
To kind of top the day off I was experimenting in the kitchen with one of the wedding cakes I’ll be making in a few short weeks. I’m very confident in my chocolate and red velvet flavors but I have to admit that I don’t usually make lemon cakes. I needed to practice a bit and make sure that I could make the cake lemony enough while not being sour and I had to practice my meringue rosettes. I would typically use buttercream to make the design but this wedding is going to be outdoors and I don’t know how hot it’s going to get. If it’s too hot the whole thing will just be one hot mess so I’ve been thinking of ways to lighten it up. Meringues would give the same look but without the added weight. As I was getting everything ready I pulled out my icing recipes only to realise that the one I was going to use was my grandma’s. She had given it and a bunch of other cake “stuff” a few months back.
You see, my grandma was an amazing baker. She could make just about anything under the sun and just by throwing things into a bowl. Granted they weren’t all weight conscience but that’s what going to grandma’s house is all about 🙂 . For me, that was a big thing when she passed away, I found myself buying boysenberry syrup because that was a Grandma Combs thing. I made several bologna and Tillamook cheese sandwiches with Miracle Whip and Wonder Bread. CRAZY but oh so yummy! Now that I think about it, I don’t know if it is all that yummy but it just fills my heart up with happy memories of her. I guess that’s why they call it comfort food.
So, I made the frosting for the first time and LOVED it!!! I can’t believe how good it was. I could have gone out and bought a bunch of cookies to slather it on 🙂 . But maybe not because then that would take away from the taste. I took it over to the family to sample and give me their feedback and everyone loved it. It made me so proud to know that I could do her food justice!
I may not look a whole lot like my grandma but I sure do have a lot of her in me!