My Special Person, Grandma Bushue
“By golly, Cheri. That is the prettiest painting yet!” I remember sitting in her kitchen tiled with black and white-squared linoleum smelling of smoke painting a picture by numbers. Soon as my grandpa left, my favorite grandma would sneak out her secret cigarettes, flip on the exhaust on the stove, and lean right into it, so Grandpa wouldn’t smell the smoke. This is just one of the many stories I have about my grandma who is so special to me.
Every Thanksgiving, we would go to my grandma’s house as a child. I remember running inside to the sweet aromas of turkey, homemade noodles, and my favorite dessert, bread pudding. I would find my grandma at the kitchen counter winding the crank on the noodle machine. I loved to watch her mix the batter, form the dough, and then crank out the noodles. Those noodles tasted even better knowing how much work they took and how much pride Grandma took in them.
“By golly” was just one of the funny things Grandma says, and the whole family smiles when she says it. When I’m having a bad day, I just have to give my grandma a call, and she cheers me up immediately with her funny sayings and optimistic attitude. “How’s the weather out there?” “Oh, you know, I’m getting along.” “Well, it’s mighty cold out there, I reckon.” It makes me smile just thinking about these phrases.
My grandma would amaze me when she played her organ. She learned how to play all by herself and she never read sheet music. She played by ear which means she just listened to the notes. Then I would jump up on her wooden organ bench and try to play but I would have to use the piano book. My playing didn’t compare to Grandma’s, but I had fun trying to sound like her.
I have so many good memories that I couldn’t tell them all. Unfortunately she has lost most of her eyesight, so she cannot play the organ or do much cooking any more, but I still call her up to check in and see how she is doing. She turned 90 years old last year which sounds so old, but she is still the same to me. I cannot imagine my world with her not in it. I hope that I will be as special of a grandmother to my grandchildren one day, by golly!