Friday, November 28, 2008

NBPM 28 - Friday Family - Gramma Pet

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Last week for Friday Family, I wrote about my dad, it being his birthday and all. This week, I get to talk about my mom! (Who is coming to visit tonight for the weekend!) (With Dad, too.)

My mom. She's a character and I love her. She has her own way of doing things and arranging things and making things. She's a wonderful, dedicated nurse who really cares about the residents at her nursing home and seeing that they receive quality care. She's a gifted seamstress and a great cook, not to mention World Supreme Chocolate Chip Cookie Baker.

My mom would occasionally tell us stories about her childhood, and we were always enthralled. Her stories about growing up in the city were so different from our own country life that they were especially fascinating. She told us about riding on the city bus (you'd pull a cord to say when the bus had to stop to let you off!!!), going to Catholic school, a strangely named restaurant called "White Castle," and other exotic, big-city things. A lot of treasured memories are from when we'd go up to the Twin Cities to visit my mom's mom and get to spend time where Mom grew up, visiting her church (where, as a kid, she'd have to wear a kleenex on her head if she forgot her hat), going up the hill to the local park (with wading pool!), and getting to go see museums and other attractions.

One particular time when we went up to the TC, Mom's sister (TNGreatAunt) was up to visit at the same time. "Us girls" went out shopping in downtown Minneapolis - my grandma, my mom, my aunt, and me. I couldn't've been that old - probably early elementary school. I remember how much giggling and laughing and pointing out of amusing merchandise that happened throughout the day. Oh, once you got them started, it was a gas! It was also the first time I really realized how much we all resembled each other. I'd never thought I looked like my mom before ('cuz you know, she was all old and grown-up and stuff to a young kid), but that day I saw it. I saw how much she, her sister, and her mom looked alike and how I shared that look with them.

My mom is absolutely the best chocolate chip cookie maker in the world. She's willing to share her recipe with people, and taught it to me, but somehow it never quite turns out the same when anybody else makes them. She doesn't try to keep anything about it secret either - my mom is honest as the day is long - to the point of telling exactly how she measure the brown and white sugars together in a 2-cup glass measuring cup, and how she uses 1/2 c. minichips plus enough regular chips to total 1 1/3 cups, how the amount of flour varies depending on the humidity, and all the other little quirks. It doesn't matter. No one else can ever make them as delicious and wonderfully-textured as she does. Mr. Kluges keeps hoping that someday I'll manage to make them just like hers.

Mom and Dad were THRILLED to become grandparents. Over the moon, even. It's so fun to watch Gramma Pet play kitchen with Pumpkin, or interact with Penguin. She gets down and sits on the floor and really PLAYS with them. It's heart-warming to watch them playing together and making memories we will all treasure for years and years.

When Pumpkin was first born, my parents would come up pretty much every weekend to see this first grandchild of theirs... and us, too. They'd help around the house, bring food and cook, and Mom and I would play "[Pumpkin] Clothes." Dad and Mr. Kluges would laugh at us as we'd spread out all sort of her clothing all over in her room and make up outfits, and back-up outfits, and match socks to the outfits while she'd burble and coo and watch us.

Mom has her own way of doing things. She's got a very organized mind (and house). When we were younger, we'd occasionally get exasperated with how we had to do things her way, but you know what? I might deny it sometimes, but as I take charge of our house and the household management, I find myself doing more and more things "Mom's way," because it just makes sense! So, Mom, know that I'll think of you whenever I rearrange my linen closet (with labeled boxes) or write something on the posted grocery list as soon as I take out the last one or use a left-handed scissors with ease. I love you, Mom!

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