Friday, August 14, 2009

My Grandma's Handwriting

(note: I wrote this post awhile back, but needed to give it some time before I could let it go.)

In the course of tidying up the bookshelves in my bedroom today, I pulled down an old cookbook that belonged to my grandma. It's titled The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes. Coil-bound with yellowing pages, I flipped it open to look for handwritten notes, some extra instructions jotted in the margin perhaps. She was in my thoughts, and because the written word holds a great deal of meaning for me, I wanted to see her words. Even if it was only a notation to cut back on the cooking time.

In the notes area of the Butchering section, I found a handwritten recipe for brine for curing beef roasts. I read it through, considering her handwriting more than the instructions she penned. She wrote with flourishes, which surprised me because she was such a practical woman. I think I expected some no-nonsense script - a spartan use of ink and effort.

I realized that there is so much I never knew about my grandma. I wish I could go back and ask her to tell me stories. And to give her one more hug. She always hugged me so tightly, squishing my glasses against her cheek.

Every now and then when the family was visiting, she would catch my eye and give me a knowing look, and even if I don't know exactly what it was she was sharing, it was a special moment between the two of us.

She's been gone for many years now, and I think of her often when I use the kitchen items that formerly occupied her cupboards. Although I may not have known every side of her, I recall with a smile the woman I did know.

And sometimes, like today, I really miss her.


Ruth Elliott said...


Just discovered you via Twitter mondo which helps one discover other Saskatoon Twitter people.

Love your blog posts. I can see why you list "writer" as the first descriptor on your Twitter profile.

I will be recommending your blog to lots of my friends. You might want to put an RSS feed gizmo on your blog because they will want an easy way to put you in their Google Reader account. (Really easy with the Customize, add a gadget feature.)

This post about Grandma's Handwriting touches some tender places in me. My Dad passed away recently at age 86. It hurts and helps to see his handwriting. I miss him, too.
Ruth Elliott

Carmen Klassen said...

Hi Ruth,
Thanks for visiting and commenting, and for the kind offer to recommend my blog! Thanks also for the suggetion to add an RSS feed button - I'll do that.

the prairie penguin said...

Touching post Carm. I have similar feelings when I come across something written by (either) Grandma. Also wish there had been more quality one on one sharing and passing down of stories, but am thankful for the memories I do carry with me of time spent with them.

Handwriting analyst said...

I enjoyed your entries on Toxic Words - such great thoughts and a wonderful reminder to watch the words I use - to be positive and kind and use words to build up rather than tear down. :)