There is nothing more satisfying than to find a common interest with your grandchild. When I was a pre-schooler, I spent quite a lot of time with my Grandmother whom I adored. As my mother was overwhelmed with a new baby, I was sent to stay with my Grandma for weeks at a time. This is when I learnt the value of her love. Although I didn’t realise it then, in reflection, her love gave me the basis for being a good grandma.
One of her passions was horse-riding. Now that I am a grandma, I don’t have the facilities available in the city to do that. However, I recall with fondness how much I loved my pony which she had bought for me. Although she was aged 75 at that time, I remember how she would ask my father to saddle up her favourite so she could ride out after the cattle.
Another love of mine originated at that time: the love of landscape and gardening. More than any other natural element, I love trees. Those magnificent eucalypts which grow along the creeks and rivers inspire my awareness of the majesty of nature.
Rainy Day Activities
On wet days, she taught me how to crochet. It was a lovely, relaxing thing to do as we sat and counted loops on the crochet hook. She started me off with thick wool and a large hook to crochet a beanie in different coloured stripes. I loved that beanie and I was so proud of having made it myself.
Decoupage became another favourite pastime. We would scan through old magazines to find the chosen colours to create our design. My favourite was an old baking tray we covered with what seemed like thousands of layers of torn paper strips to produce an elegant serving tray for afternoon teacups.
Nothing makes a story more memorable than accompanying actions. My clear memories of how my grandmother made scrambled eggs evokes images of her Chinese cook chasing her out of the kitchen with a frying pan! She told me how he had taught her to rub the pan with a clove of garlic before adding the whipped eggs. Early in the previous century, my grandparents had owned a country hotel (pub) in a small town. Offering accommodation and meals meant that they hired staff to help.
My grandmother told me how fortunate she was to have the Chinese cook who had failed to find gold. So, he resorted to using his culinary skills to find employment. She said she was the lucky one as their hotel dining room was always crowded with people enjoying the food served there.
With my grandmother long dead and myself an excited grandma, that story is a clear image in my mind and the taste of perfect scrambled eggs and parsley evokes such happiness. Clear memories of a happy time with grandparents is a great gift to be given to your grandchildren.