Family on the internet, Part 2:

In which my grandmother is awesome.

My father’s mother is 93 years old and quite sprightly for her age.  Since my grandfather’s death when I was little, she lives alone in the house where they raised six children; fortunately it is all one level and carpeted.  She keeps a cat, and people are scheduled to check in on her every day.  Much of her large extended family lives within 10 – 20 minutes’ drive.  I wish that I did.  She still drives, somewhat, though she won’t drive with her grandchildren or great-grandchildren in the car (for fear of something happening to them if she dies at the wheel) (which seems strange to me but oh well).  Her car is a boat, as I should know since I drove her around in it the last time I was there.  She doesn’t really travel anymore but did in the past, all over the place.

She speaks her mind and is always taking classes through the university adult education center to keep herself amused.  She has taken classes on Winston Churchill, conversational Spanish, Shakespeare, the stock market; usually a few classes every year.  She says she doesn’t like to go to the senior center because people there just talk about their aches and pains.

She walks slowly but upright on her artificial knee.  At home she holds on to things and in public she will use a cane if she has to walk any appreciable distance.  Her six children all got married and collectively produced 16 grandchildren.  Many of those grandchildren are now old enough to have children of their own, and have produced my grandmother’s 8 great-grandchildren (with another on the way soon).  Our grandmother recently had some physical therapy so that she can get down on the floor more easily and play with them.

My grandmother has a cell phone, email, and is on Facebook.  She rides a stationary bicycle while she watches her soaps.  She does the crossword puzzle every day.  I recently heard the story of how she almost got engaged to another man in the 1940s but put him off until my grandfather proposed.  In her youth, she lived in Puerto Rico for a while, flirting with military men and learning Spanish, working as a secretary.  Her sister was a professional ice-skater before her marriage.

She likes her Scotch before dinner.  At my cousin’s graduation party several years ago, she got some frat boys to assist her in a keg-stand.  I wouldn’t believe it, but there are pictures.

There is a large field behind her house.  Occasionally mice come in her house.  The first one woke her up in the middle of the night and, unlike me, she was stalwart.  She smashed it with her big flashlight and flushed it down the toilet.  Later, she was talking to her daughter on the phone when she saw another one.  That mouse she smashed with the phone, and then called her son to come dispose of it and set some traps.

I hope she lives forever.

Tell us about your favorite (older) relatives.

11 Responses to “Family on the internet, Part 2:”

  1. Roshawn @ Watson Inc Says:

    Your grandma does sound awesome. I can’t believe she still drives and takes classes, but undoubtedly that factors into her independence. She sounds like she is full of energy (mouse-killer/not wanting to hear about aches and pains) and a source of inspiration. I’m glad that old age has treated her well.

    My great aunt Emma is quite funny. If you catch before her morning cup of coffee though, watch out ;)

  2. Everyday Tips Says:

    I want to friend Grandma on Facebook. Good for her!

    My grandma lived to be 97, and was incredibly healthy until her last 3 years or so. She stopped driving at 88 though, much to my celebration because she drove so slow.

    My grandma was a quiet woman but always had her wits about her. My grandpa died when she was 63, and she never even considered another man. She just waited until she could see her Larry again. She volunteered at the hospital and was close with her neighbors. However I don’t think I ever saw her drink any alcohol, so I doubt she ever hung out at keg stands. (Personally, I think she was missing out!)

    Great post!

  3. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Your grandma is on my list of role models for sure. Excellent!!

  4. Money Reasons Says:

    You grandma sounds uber-awesome!

    My grandmother was pretty darn cool too, but she had a had life as a kid and because of something that happened, she died in her 50s.

    Unforunately, she was the glue that held my small family togother, so now we’re shattered beyond repair. Life goes on though :)

    Congrats on having such a great grandmother!

    Does she know about your blog? I’m just wondering if she has comment on your site before (perhaps without you even knowing lol)… She sounds cool enough to do so!

  5. Sandy L Says:

    Well..of course there is Babci.

    My other favorite relative was my uncle. He deserves a post all his own. I might have to do a few articles on him. To sum him up..he was one tough bastard. He survived WW2 prison camp for 5 years and once tore his ACL while fly fishing a stream in the middle of the woods. He got himself out of the woods..drove himself back home with his manual transmission V8 truck and then dragged himself up 3 flights of stairs before calling his son and asking for help.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Your uncle sounds like my late grandfather (not this grandmother’s husband, the one on the other side). In his 70s he went hiking in the woods by himself and broke his ankle. No cell phone (and he was so hard of hearing it would hardly be useful anyway). So he hiked back to the car and drove himself to the hospital, using his broken ankle on the clutch pedal. I think he had made himself a splint or something, having been a boy scout camping leader for a decade when his sons were young. Damn.

  6. Jacq @ Single Mom Rich Mom Says:

    Holy smokes! We’ve all got some living to do! Your grandma sounds wonderful. I hope I’m like that someday. The older people in my family aren’t very cool like that – except the 92 yo aunt / nun that just died a few weeks ago. She spent her life volunteering around Africa, p.o.’d about Vatican II for umpteen years and was a rabid feminist.

  7. Leonid Meteor Shower and a Link Round Up To Boot | Everyday Tips and Thoughts... Says:

    […] Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured share the story of their grandma (don’t know if it is Nicole’s or Maggie’s).  This grandma sounds like she is the best!  She is a scotch-drinking-facebook-subscribin’-mouse-killin’ gramma!  She is my inspiration! […]


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