Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's 10-10-10. Do You Know Where Your Grandma Is?

The night we got back from attending my Squirrel 'n Dumplins Grandma's funeral she tried to contact us through the blender.

It makes sense really - she did always love to stir things up. (This was, after all, the woman who was in a constant battle with  Mayberry City Hall, loved the slot machines, and once, long ago, according to family legend, spent a night in jail for hiding an arrest warrant for one of her sons in her bra.  She was only 4'11'', but she was a force to be reckoned with, a tornado in little canvas sneakers.)

The first strange incident was in the middle of the night.  The husband was up doing mysterious dead-of-night man things that are beyond my ability to understand, when, he reported later, the blender suddenly began blending. A blender unexpectedly blending at three in the morning has all the impact of a 747  landing in your kitchen, so after pausing to have a small heart attack, he ran in and turned it off.  It was weird, he said, but the husband was ready to put it out of his mind.

Until ten minutes later, when the blender suddenly roared into action again. This was enough to freak out even Phlegmatic Man, so after turning it off a second time he backed warily out of the kitchen and went upstairs to bed.

Then, two days later, when my son returned home from school, Grandma was busily blending away in the kitchen again,and judging from the level of the dog's hysteria, had been for awhile.

All this blending made us hungry for smoothies, but upon inspection it was found that the plastic blades inside had melted into a pungent abstract sculpture. 

Those skeptics among you may point to my history of appliance anarchy as an explanation, and you would be right in asking whether the blender was plugged in at the time of the visitation. It was.  Probably.  But the blender has sat on our counter top for several years, minding its own business and blending only when asked, so I like to think all this sudden coincidental activity is a sign from Grandma. She loved to visit.

The last time I saw her, in July, we were late to a wedding, and she was sitting in the passenger seat, little sandal-ed feet barely grazing the floor, arguing with the GPS lady. The last thing she ever said to me was You and your sister have always been my favorites.  I'm not supposed to say that, but I'm old. I can say what I want.  Then she patted my cheek and walked slowly into the sunset in her peach dress, the same one she would be buried in a month later.

She left me her desk, the one that sat for half a century or more under the lace curtains in the front room, the one I played "school" at for years when we visited. There was also an old black phone with a rotary dial, and when you picked it up you could eavesdrop on the neighbors' conversations (because Grandma had probably one of the last party lines in existence) but the phone disappeared long ago. It's hard to imagine her desk anywhere but under that window, the light through the leaves of the walnut tree outside making patterns on its worn surface.

Dear Grandma,
It was nice of you to keep in touch.  We had to throw out the blender, but I knew you'd understand.
I hope heaven has televised baseball, and vegetable gardens, and that slot machine game you like with the chicken on the top.  You deserve that and so much more.   It's not going to be the same here without you, for any of us.  
Much love, 


nova said...

That's so going on the list of things to do when I'm a ghost.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Wow! Does she look like your daughter or what?

You're like the Ghost Blenderer. Or the Ghost Smoothier. Ghost Frapper okay I'm done.

She sounds like a fun lady, I'm sorry, Vic.

But I'm so happy you're back.

Jules said...

I get that. My great aunt turns on my Chi straight iron. I always have to ask her not to. She's going to burn down the house........

I wish she'd turn on the blender in the morning. I have smoothies every morning. Maybe I'll ask her to do that instead.

Gaston Studio said...

She sure chose an interesting way to manifest herself... I love it and I love the way you told the story because it reeks of love!

Fragrant Liar said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Vic. Obviously, though, G-ma is still with you, and she's going to make sure your appliance anarchy continues in perpetuity. Perhaps that's a family thang?

My G-ma once spoke to me in a dream. She shouted. Her words were: "I'm your grandma, you better not forget about me." So I haven't.

I miss her. I know you miss yours.

Fragrant Liar said...

P.S. Glad to see you back.

Kez said...

Aww sorry for your loss!
Years ago when my friend (19 at the time) passed away in a motorcycle accident it was reported by his family that he liked to fart when they were trying to work on the eulogy :)
They would smell a horrible fart and then blame each other before realising that he had always loved to fart before leaving the room so they couldn't yell at him.
I love those types of stories!

Ed said...

What happens at 10:10pm tonight?

P.S. Granny was a looker.

diane said...

Vic, I've really missed you, and I'm sorry for what you & your family have been going through. So I guess I'll have to forgive you for being away so long. Sometimes we can't talk about what we're going through until it's over. I know this from experience because my MIL was diagnosed with lung cancer this Spring and I haven't posted a thing about it yet. It's been hard so far, and I know my kids will feel very similar to how you are feeling when they lose their grand mom. So my heart is with you, and I'm sending you hugs.
Thanks for sharing this with us, in your humorous way. Welcome back. xo d

Vic said...

I think I'll just want to fly around when I'm a ghost. Maybe torment mean people.

She does! (especially in that picture.) It's really good to be back. I feel like I have so much catching up to do! (Ghost Frapper is my favorite)

Your great aunt is so fashion conscious! Hey I heard there was a nice girl in the garage while I was gone? What's up with that? My world is all upside-down!

Thanks --she was great. It's good to "see" you!

It's true, I do. I like that your grandma was so direct - no room for misunderstanding! Blenders can be so ambiguous. (It's good to "see" you too. :)

Hey Kez!
I love that fart story! You have to love someone who's irreverent even as a ghost. My kind of people, for sure. :)

10:10 is when the portal opens?

I missed you too! I'm so sorry to hear about your MIL - that's not an easy way to go, and so hard for the family. How is your husband doing?

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I totally believe this.... We have friends whose late mother haunts their house via the electrical appliances.

Logical Libby said...

I hope she doesn't start turning on the stove.

Pearl said...

Vic, that was absolutely lovely. What a beautiful post.

And her picture? Beautiful as well.


Kurt said...

I like ghosts that can make fancy blended drinks. Those are way better than the ones that kill you. A+

ps: IT'S VIC!!!! YAY!!!!

diane said...

Hubby actually opened up and talked about "it" for the first time last night. He said "when my mom passes...". It really caught me off guard, but I told him how proud I was of him for being able to verbalize.

Eric said...

Was it a Sunbeam blender? Mine's been acting up lately and I was curious if granddad could be sending a more subtle message.

Anonymous said...

Ok, that made me tear up. Your grandma was a special woman, and clearly had good taste in grandchildren. - ShoesFit

erin said...

My kids always think I'm insane when I start crying while reading something on the computer.

This was beautiful Vic. Thanks.

And I've added you to my 'They Love Me' list.

The Jules said...

I didn't know her, but I like her.

And the internet just got rebetterer cos you're back!

Eva Gallant said...

I totally believe it was your grandmother. One of my friends says her car radio would come on mysteriously by itself often after her dad died, and she was convinced that it was him stopping by to say hello.

Shannon Green said...

I can just picture your Grandma up in heaven screaming, "what does a person have to do to get a decent margarita around here??!"

離婚 said...

Keep the faith, my Internet friend. You are a first-class writer and deserve to be heard.