Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Grandma's Birthday

Today would have been my Grandma's 95th Birthday - only days after Doris Lessing passed away, aged one year younger, and they had the same first name.  

I miss my Grandmother.  She was the coolest person in my life.  She was funny too and knew how to see the hilarious side of life when things looked really bad.  Grandma always asked me three questions when I was down about something:  'Is the sky going to fall on your head?  Is the earth going to swallow you up?  Is the sun going to stop shining tomorrow?' of course the answer to these would be no... and she's ask me why I was so upset and I'd tell her.  Afterwards, I'd not only feel better but realise my problem was pretty tiny really.
She bought me the coolest presents.  No matter what kind of presents they were, she'd either give me money to go towards it, or buy me something unusual.  I remember one time, she was at Byron Bay and was looking for a birthday present for me.  She brought back a coin purse made from Hemp with a marijuana leaf stitched into the front of it.  At the time I was working full time at RACQ and my boss thought it was funny, but still said it was tasteless.  when he found out my Grandma gave it to me, and knew what it was, he chuckled saying, 'Groovy Grandma.'

Grandma Killips was the best cook too.  Whenever we arrived at her house, and she opened the front door, the place always smelled like the best bakery in the world!  The aroma of cakes, biscuits and sweets wafted from the place all the time; and she'd feed us as though she was feeding an army!  This is because she had had five children!  So, there was always plenty of food to go around.  

Staying at Grandma's house - or hanging out there - was great.  There was the piano to play, the pool table to use or the massive backyard to hang out in.  Or better still, my brother and my cousins would get the home-made go-kart from the back shed, kick off the spiders, Grandpa would spray it with Pee-bo and brush off the dead bodies and we'd go racing down the steep hill of Wonderlost Outlook on the footpath - no helmets, no elbow or knee pads... and most of all... no brakes!  What fun we had!
I loved the side veranda at their house.  It used to be a bedroom for 3 boys:  Uncle Allan, Uncle David and Uncle Iain.  But, when I was young, there were bookcases of books, and a couple of wardrobes in it with an old oval dining room table in it.  I loved hanging out in there looking through the old 'Coles' books and not having a clue what the political jokes meant, but liking the drawing in Indian ink.  Then, I'd wash my hands and play the piano... but only my right hand would work whereas my left hand wouldn't move; or know how to.
I did try but would get the shakes if I tried too hard at making both my hands work on the piano at the same time.  It just wouldn't happen for me; not until recently.

But the things my Grandma taught me over my life was amazing... and I didn't realise exactly what she taught me until I went to high school and put those lessons to use in Home Economics.  Grandma taught me to cook with a wooden spoon - a few of them for different things - instead of a metal one; as the metal one would taint the food if you left it in the pot, whereas the wooden one wouldn't.  That goes the same for a wooden chopping board... but you have to keep it clean and oiled so it doesn't warp (and I have a $15 chopping board which I've owned for over 3 years and it looks brand new!).
She used vinegar in her laundry as a softener instead of regular 'Cuddly' softener; as the ones you buy at the shops caused a rash on her skin.  Well, when I found I was getting itchy from the same problems, I changed my washing softener to vinegar and have had great results.  And then I added Bi-Carb Soda in with my towels and they're fluffier than ever; and they absorb more water than ever before and smell wonderfully fresh.  

I have found that it's the little things that have made a big difference in my life that I have learned from Grandma.  I stayed overnight at her place 4 days before she passed away; and stayed at her house for the whole day the next day instead of going home straight after breakfast.  This is something I have never regreted doing... as I just had a feeling I had to stay with her for the day; and it was the best thing I ever did, because it was the last day I saw my Grandma alive.  Happy Birthday Grandma.  I miss you so much as you taught me so much; and your memory still lives on through your piano which I have in my house, which I'm learning to play - with both hands this time (yay!).  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.


  1. My Grandma had her birthday in November too! But she has been gone to eternal life for 22 years now.

    1. It's nice to remember the good times about Grandma's though, isn't it?