This was the last photograph I took of my grandmother.
She has been gone many years now, but what are my memories of her, the ones that stand out the most?
Her currency was food. She moved in with us when I was four years old and her food, love of cooking for us and eating certainly influenced my love of the same. She would reward us with food, and the reward I particularly liked was to be secretly hidden in our walk- in larder and given her prized European liquor filed chocolates; a definite no-no where my parents were concerned.
She was a celebrity, or other people thought she was. It was the way she walked and dressed and her confident manner. I had never given this much thought until she visited me in the US in the late 1960’s. I remember taking her to lunch at Bloomindales, where everyone stopped talking when we entered the restaurant and just looked at her until we were seated at a choice table; later the manager asked me who she was, implying it had to be someone famous they should knowJ
She was an entrepreneur and I knew this from stories she told, and ones told about her, prior to coming to live with us in the UK. My father told me how he first met her (she was later to become his mother-in-law). One day he was walking in the middle of Frankfurt, and he could smell coffee, strong coffee which he promptly followed, following his nose two long blocks to my Grandmother’s coffee shop. This is where he found not just an ordinary coffee shop, with fresh roasted and perfectly brewed coffee, but a great coffee drinking/networking community……. exactly the thing we strive for today.
She didn’t like holidays & weekends; this was probably closely related to her entrepreneurial mindset, as she had worked 24/7 for most of her life running her own businesses. I would often sneak down early on Sundays to be with her and drink coffee, hear her stories of past experiences and try and calm her brewing discontent about no one working……. she didn’t understand the day of rest!
Finally there was one thing I never could quite understand about her. When she first arrived in the UK something must have happened, to which she replied, “I’ll never speak your stupid English language”, and she didn’t. This was good for me because to communicate with her I had to learn & speak German. She did however speak a few words of English to our cat and dog; knowing full well they would never learn her language.
I wonder what she remembers about me?
After all Grandmothers are mothers too! Mothers day 2014
This post was first seen several years ago on CASUDI~ Images of Life blog on Posterous. It was one of my most popular.