By Leslie Lindsay
She is round and plump. She’s a little bit sassy and downright funny. She’s my grandma. And today she is 92 years “young.”
As a little girl, I can remember going to her home–which smelled vaguely of cat pee and cake–to be engulfed into a giant Grandma hug, complete with large bossoms pressed against my cheeks. Ahh…grandma. A lover of animals, she had at least one cat (who would skitter under the bed when anyone came for a visit), two birds, and a beagle pup named Sparky (aka, “Lil Son”).
Her home was a haven for grandkids–crayons and paper, cookies and milk. “The Price is Right” would blare from the television, her chair sqeaking in the corneer with every rock and caress.
Just this month, her retirement home featured Grandma Effie on the “cover” of their newsletter. The article covers everything from her early days as a little girl in Branson, Missouri to her days at Culpepper Place….things even I didn’t know.
For example, as was the custom back in the day, the community in which one resided in was named after the postmaster. And so the little town where grandma grew up was called Branson, after grandma’s Uncle Reuben Branson. Hummm…Branson ain’t so little anymore, is it?! (her parents were Eva Augusta Barbarick Branson and William Virgil Branson).
While I knew Grandma’s father was a carpenter, I never knew he built their house! He also built two large homes in Springfield, Missouri as well. And he was a baker?! “I was a daddy’s girl. I thought he walked the waters! He always called me ‘the kid,’ and I went everywhere with him…I even had myself a little carpenter’s apron and hammer.”
Of course, I didn’t come into Grandma’s life until sometime in the 1970’s. She would pick me up from preschool some days and I would go on and on about how I was going to marry a little tow-headed boy from my class, “We’re gonna get married and live in Kansas City. I’m going to be a Soild Gold Dancer and have twins,” I would rattle on, my lips developing into a tight lined smile. She would giggle and her eyes would crinkle, “Yeah? And what else?” she would ask.
“Well, I think I’m gonna be a writer someday, too. Or maybe a doctor.” She’d nod and ask if I wanted to “go for lunch?” We might end up at the Picadilly Cafeteria with her friends or McDonalds where she’d spoil me with a Happy Meal.
At night when she’d let me stay for sleepovers, we’d have ice cream in bed and fall asleep to the television set on “Green Acres” and the hound in the middle.
You know how there are some people who come into your life–if only for a little while–or for a long while–but you remember them? They make an impact. Well, that is the case for my grandma Effie Katherine Branson Cox. She will always be my special grandma and I will always be her special girl.
Happy 92nd Birthday, Grandma!
P.S. My girls and their second cousin are all redheads courtesy of Grandma Effie!
And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday July 28th 2011.