Do you ever have those periods in your life where everything just seems to blow up at once and you're so busy scrambling to put the pieces back together that weeks go by before you can sort of "come up for air?" I call these periods "Black Holes." Like life just sucks up everything for the moment until you don't even know where the time went. The last 10 days have definitely been a HUGE "Black Hole" for our family.
On Friday, May 27th, I was at lunch with my parents when we received a phone call that my grandmother's nursing home had called 911 for her and that she was being rushed to the ER. My parents raced off to meet her there, but I, unfortunately, had to go back to work until 5 PM at which time I was able to go to the hospital as well. By that time she had been admitted and it was pretty obvious that the end was near so I spent the next several days running back and forth to the hospital. On Sunday, I started to get a sore throat, but since that's pretty much been a chronic thing for the last six months, I kind of ignored it, although I did start feeling worse and worse over the next few days.
I went to work on Tuesday, but got the call late that afternoon that my grandmother had finally passed away. She was 92 years old and had had a debilitating stroke 2 years ago so it wasn't a complete shock, but it was still very sad to lose her (especially so soon after the death of my other grandmother). She was quite brilliant at both cooking and sewing and I firmly believe that any skill or talent I have at any of the crafts I've fiddled with over the years (including jewelrymaking) must've come down from that side of the family. I'm so lucky to have known her and I'm grateful that she passed on some of her knowledge to me. Notice I didn't say "recipes" because grandmother Mildred was one of those terrific cooks who just did everything by taste. If you wanted a "recipe" from her, you had to make an appointment to sit in her kitchen while she cooked something and take notes and the whole time you had to bug her about using measuring spoons and cups so you had a hope in heck of getting a detailed recipe to follow. Otherwise it was a "pinch of this" and a "handful of that."
Losing both my incredible grandmothers so close together has really had me thinking about the generation they were part of (Depression, WWII, etc.) and all the amazing knowledge they had and how that is all passing out of this world. I suppose I wouldn't necessarily WANT to pluck my own chickens or sew my own clothes, but it's kind of sad that pretty soon it won't be common knowledge any more.
At least I do have some killer "recipes" to remember her by. My aunt collected a bunch from all of us and published them in a memorial booklet that we had available at the funeral on Friday. But I'm still the only one that has the recipe for Chicken and Dumplings :-)
Through all of this, it turned out that I had a pretty severe case of tonsillitis which I am now mostly recovered from (thank goodness for antibiotics). I did manage to start one new beading project late last night. I was tired, but I guess I felt really compelled to pick up a needle and start something. Maybe Grandma was looking down on me and nudging me to get going ;-) I started doing some bead embroidery around a pair of dichroic cabs...citrus shades of gold, orange and green. I only got a couple of rows done before I was too tired to do any more, but it definitely picked my spirits up a bit.
Take care everyone and if you haven't told your family and friends lately how much they mean to you - don't wait...do it today!