Today is my grandmother’s 95th birthday! Can you believe how lucky we are? She was born in 1917! She has pretty much lived through everything that has happened in the past hundred years. She is an amazing person and grandma and has given me so many wonderful traditions and memories. She is still going strong, busy with her church and friends and was still driving until a few weeks ago when she decided to stop. Check out her her creamy skin. She has always avoided sun and worn makeup every day of her life, which worked like a sunscreen before there was such a thing. Not bad for a 95 year old right? Sun worshippers take note!
|Grandma in the 1930’s.|
My grandmother Jody grew up during the depression, daughter of migrant fruit packers. As a child, her family moved between Oregon, Washington and California. She has fond memories of Lake Chelan, Washington, where she went to high school. She met my grandfather, son of Iowa farmers, who was in California to make his own fortune, when she was engaged to another man. She said she just knew as soon as she saw him, that was it. He was the guy. She adored my grandfather and they had three children, including my father, who they raised in Southern California and later in San Jose.
|Love this picture of my grandparents, probably in the 40’s. Look at this stripe dress and wedge shoes! How current they look now! Grandma has always been into fashion. My grandfather was a sharp dresser too.|
|Grandma right, with her sister Nora and mother right before she got married in the late 1930’s|
All her life my grandmother has been busy with all her interests like sewing, which she is amazing at, cooking and gardening. In her time, she was a leader of cub and boy scout dens (back when moms ran it), girl scout troops, church secretary, and later head of just about everything at her beloved Calvary United Methodist Church, in San Jose’s Rose Gardens, which has been around for a bit longer than her.
|A family road trip in the 1950s., my dad on the left is the eldest. Love her sandals.|
Grandma always has a positive outlook. She is a glass half-full kind of person, who always sees the bright side. Also, after living through the depression, she is appreciative of everything and of course, never throws out anything that can be used for something else. She was green before green was cool. She also has been eating healthy her entire life and fed us things like bran muffins and oatmeal, and nuts when whole foods weren’t in and t.v. dinners were. She also has been a inveterate vitamin popper since they first came out and takes more than a few handfuls a day and eats a TON of produce, which even I couldn’t even get down.
Many of the sayings she taught me stick in my head so much. When I was small, she used to tell me these little things when we cooked together or ran errands, something I loved doing with her. She would say, “Pretty is as pretty does,” and also, “You’ll catch flies with honey.” That one I heard a lot as a kid, which I hated at the time of course!
|A few years ago pin her 93rd. with my sons.|
More than anything Grandma likes family get-togethers and entertaining. She had at one time a serious arsenal of tablecloths, napkins, plates and everything for anything. It’s not unusual for her recipes to serve 60-100. Seriously! She only recently stopped cooking and planning all the church buffets and pot-lucks which she shopped, prepared and cooked for. I don’t know how she keeps going, but she always says, “Honey when you stop, you’re dead in the water. I get up, put on my face, get dressed and I am so happy that I went later.” I think this may be the secret to her longevity. I am sure one of them is her love of life and her desire to still do so much and of course her attitude! I love you gram so much!