My grandma was born on April 15, 1927 in Lamont, Alberta. She was raised on the family farm near Bruderheim, along with her two brothers and twin sisters. She was the second oldest.
Grandma, back in the day
She married my grandpa in 1948 and before he passed away, they celebrated 61 years of marriage together. They had three children, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Grandma & Grandpa – I love this photo!
In the ‘70’s they started to travel and Europe was their first big trip. Then they went to Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and Fiji. They also went to Hawaii several times; cruised to Mexico, the Panama Canal and Alaska, and even drove up to Dawson City and Inuvik.
Her kids remember that when they were young, if they didn’t like what was being served for a meal, Grandma would always remind them that she used to take mustard sandwiches for her school lunch. And it was those mustard sandwiches that would keep her going through the long bike rides to school, and to another town to play softball – probably uphill both ways!
Everyone remembers Grandma’s homemade bread and her famous crushed potatoes. If Grandma was making bread, every surface of the kitchen would be covered with loaves of fresh bread, buns, and cinnamon buns. And when it was time to make crushed potatoes, she would make enough to fill a freezer! A well-traveled relative vows that Grandma made the best biscuits, and her chocolate layer cake has been made for every family birthday for as long as I can remember. Without a doubt, she could work magic in the kitchen.
Everyone also remembers Grandma’s handiwork. Ceramics, needlepoint, crocheting and knitting – she was always busy with some sort of craft. And she was willing to teach others, although most family members were poor students. More importantly, she was willing to create these things for us, so that everyone in the family now has at least one of her crocheted blankets sitting on the back of their couch at home.
I remember my grandparents being around every summer at our family cabin at Amisk Lake, and I remember visiting them in Vegreville, on my own. I remember picking berries with Grandma, and her nonchalant attitude when I told her that I’d just seen a bear. I remember that she never cried, but that she had tears in her eyes when I said good-bye before moving to Japan for two years. I remember that when we decided to get married in Nova Scotia over six years ago, she and Grandpa hopped on a plane to be there with us.
Grandma & Grandpa at our wedding in Nova Scotia
All of these memories are my grandma. She traveled… before it was the thing to do. She played ball… without using a glove. She made delicious meals… without relying on recipes. And she helped others… without asking for anything in return. On May 4, 2013, Grandma passed away at the age of 86. We will all miss her, but in our memories, she will live on.
Grandma & Grandpa – February 2005
Visiting Crowsnest Pass after the Calgary Stampede – July 2006
Grandma with Baby Ella – January 2009
Jackie, Ella & Grandma – three generations