97 Years of Life and Counting

This lovely lady was born in 1915.

Yes, I thought that deserved to be in large print.  My mother's grandmother is 97 years old, still lives on her own and {until a recent surgery} still drives herself to Bingo night.  Quick wit.  Catches on fast.  She wants me to get a Facebook account started for her, and wants me to help her get her poetry published on the Internet.

It's not difficult to imagine Granny young.  Even my age, back in the 1930s.  No doubt she was just as spunky and hilarious as she is now.  But to imagine the world that has evolved around her, and to imagine what she's seen in her lifetime??  She's seen the world go from horse and buggies to space craft.  From hand-written letters to text messages.

It was Roy's idea to get her oral history recorded on video.  Granny has authored many poems that she's kept over the decades, but she's never written down a plain history of her life.  So we busted out her old photo albums, got a camera ready, set her up with her little oxygen tube, and spent a few days traveling with her through 1915 to 2012. 

Derailing here for a moment... one of the first things I asked Granny was, "How did you live in Arizona without air conditioning????"  Because sometimes I can barely live in Arizona with air conditioning.

She leaned back in her chair and said, "Well we had screens.  You know, you had to let the air blow through your house, so you had screens up as some walls.  And when I had my little girls, I remember one summer when we lived in the orchards in Mesa...  nine babies died that summer, from the heat.  Nine of 'em.  But my babies never got sick.  I hung wet sheets where they were playing and let the breeze come through them.  Cool 'em off."  Plus she said she'd let them play in the hose all day, which was probably Heaven.

No, that has no historical significance, it's not something that changed the world.  But it makes you think.  And it makes me sweat, just thinking about it.

Granny's advice for others?  {And trust me, this is a woman to take advice from.}
She said family is the key to being happy. 
Love your family and be happy. 
Pretty simple.

And look at our family!  We've got five generations right here {the fifth being inside of that mountainous bump, of course.}

We want to do this with all of our grandparents that are still here to tell their story.  The more I learn about our family's history, the deeper my own roots grow.  I know myself better because I know them better.  Granted, this is a project that could take us years and years, but it's something I feel passionate about.  As Granny spoke there were several times I realized that the decisions she made in her life have greatly affected my own.  Even my existence!  We don't realize how much our lives are woven into those of our ancestors.

While we're recording the history of our ancestors, we're also recording our now.  Check it out, I've started printing out our blogs!

There is very little I write about that is huge and life-changing, but it's ours.  It's our own adventure, filled with beautiful disasters, luck, and something more than chance.  Without realizing it, we are making our own decisions today which determine the kind of future our decedents will have tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Matt and I want to do that with his grandmother. She has such great stories. Her mom was a picture bride from Japan!

    How did you print your blog? I was thinking about doing that since it was basically a journal of the last three years but couldn't find a program I liked.