Grandmas are so very special. I had two extremely different grandmas in regards to their personalities, styles, religion, and just about everything. My Grandma Bauer, my mom’s mother, was short, slightly overweight, with red hair (which she was extremely proud of), a devout Catholic, not a hugging kind of personality, and very set in her ways.
My Grandma Meister (Grace as my dad called her), was short, slender, trim, with salt and pepper hair. She was a very strict Methodist, sociable, and very stylish.
It was my Grandma Meister who taught me to appreciate style. She never dressed like an old grandma, even around the house. I never saw either one of my grandmas in pants, always a dress, or in my Grandma Meister’s case usually a skirt and blouse.
Grandma Meister taught me to sew when I wasn’t busy reading my smut books. She taught me and my cousin, Betty Ann, a/k/a Akira, how to sew on her antique pedal Singer sewing machine. I might mention that my cousin went on to become a famous doll maker having her dolls shown all over the world, exhibiting at the White House and had a display at the Smithsonian Institute. She obviously took her lessons from Grandma very seriously while I did not so much.
Grandma taught me to notice and appreciate good style. As I said, she always dressed fashionably. She was classy in my opinion. I was taught by her that when decorating you should always use neutrals for the basic items, then accent with colors if you wish. That way you can easily change your color scheme whenever the desire hits you. (A lime green leather couch would have been so much fun at our cottage, but totally impractical I might add.) She would have been proud to see that I chose creme leather instead. Sometimes this is hard to follow, but I have found it absolutely necessary financially. Another thing she said is never to corner things. Now, I haven’t always listened to her on this as sometimes as it is just necessary, such as a TV to enable better viewing. She also taught me the correct way to hang pictures. Not too high as most people tend to do and no step ladder groupings.
She also taught me to not sing too loud in church. As a teenager I would cringe whenever we went to her little Methodist church in Black Earth as she would belt her heart out totally out of tune. She was all I could hear as well as everyone else. Today I laugh about it that she was confident and enjoying herself, but as a teenager I wanted to crawl under a pew.
She also taught me the love of flowers. She had an amazing garden. Her house was situated on a double lot, and one of the lots was a huge garden. One year her tulip garden was featured in a local newspaper. I wish I could find that picture, but like so many things, it is missing.
I was always proud of her style and her ability to always look nice. She always appeared younger than she was as she knew how to dress. She didn’t dress too young for her age, but dressed like she decorated probably in more neutrals with a splash of color.
She was classy and I loved that.