Meet my Grandma Tootles. Her given name is Lorraine but my Grandpa's term of endearment for her was "Tootles", and so it carries on in our FAMILY. Plus don't you think Tootles is just the cutest name ever? I love it!
I know most of us would say our Grandma's are amazing - and I am sure they are...but my Grandma is really truly outstanding. (Before you get all possessive of the Awesome Grandma Award just take a deep breath and read through my post. I am MOST certain by the end you will agree our Grandma's can indeed share the title.) ;)
You may know the Bible verse that says
" Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches."
This verse so beautifully captures the very essence of my Grandma.
Let me take a second to clarify one thing. The word "riches" to me is not speaking of money, earthly wealth and acquired possessions. I believe to my very core the word RICHES describes the quality of a person's life, a person's spirit, a measurement of love lived. You see the verse goes on to say...
"The remembrance of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot."
For years, well for a lifetime, Grandma Tootles has kept her hands, heart and spirit hard at work in order for others to feel appreciated, cared for & loved. She spent time with lil' old me reading stories, disco dancing, swimming, driving all over Seattle searching high and low for Bugles & Green River Soda, taken me to see the Easter Bunny, sang songs on the piano, taken me to downtown Seattle finding the perfect Snoopy outfits at Nordstroms Department Store, searched for agates by the hours while chatting with me about sillyness I now know must have made her giggle. Oh the list goes on, and on. This type of love is not always an easy task, although somehow she makes it seem as if it were light work. I am constantly seeing the LOVE of Jesus every time I am with her.
This last weekend we helped my Grandma move from her lakefront home with beautifully manicured, parkscaped property to an apartment in a nearby historical city that is nestled on the Puget Sound. It is a FABULOUS & FUN new location for her. She grew up on the salt water shores and will absolutely LOVE being able to smell the salty air on a daily basis. She will finally be able to have some time to relax from all of the hard labor that her large property required of her. I am really, truly happy for her...and yet I am also a teensy bit sad.
SO. MANY. MEMORIES!
A couple years ago my Grandma introduced me to one of her friends with an additional title. "This is my Granddaughter Kimi, she is the nostalgic one." I pondered on this for awhile... hmmm. Could this be true?
nos·tal·gia[no-stal-juh, -jee-uh, nuh-]
a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time
After the bustle of the move we returned to my Grandparents house of 40 years. It was quiet, it was empty and it was speaking so loudly in my heart. Nostalgia was most assuredly brewing deep within my very being...and it could not keep contained. It was about to blow...
I needed to walk, smell, see and touch the places where so many of my childhood memories were formed.
You see my Grandparents would have me come stay with them for a few weeks every summer. The cousins would come for part or all of the mini-vaca. It was a BLAST!
We would :
Swim, Fish and bob Bologna on a string
to catch Crawdads.
Run on the pathways, play in the grass and picnic.
Play make believe in the trees
It was a magical time!
We ended our time together that day by going through some of the books belonging to the generations before us. If there were any that sparked our interest Grandma wanted us to take them. Looking through the stacks led to some great conversations and stories of the past. Do I need to tell you these are some of my very favorite pastimes?
All of a sudden Gram pulls out the hidden treasure chest...
When Grandma pulled out the Billy Graham books I knew we had struck gold. I knew the honorable place that Billy Graham held in our family. His calling transformed our family for an eternity.
My Great Grandma, Grace Carter, changed the lives of her children, grandchildren & great grandchildren she would never meet by going to one of his Revivals. She made one decision at a Billy Graham Crusade that would forever change her family downline... RICHES.
I didn't get to know Great Grandma Grace very well, I was in 1st grade when she passed away. Although I am certain she will be greeting me again one day. I do know her life choices impacted my Grandma Tootles deeply, who in turn has greatly impacted my Mom and myself. We stand strong, sure-footed in our FAITH, because of our loved ones before us.
Keep in mind that the LORD your God is the only God.
He is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and
obey his commands.
The things of today make an impression on tomorrow.
What you stand for today will be represented later by your littles who are watching you, and following...trust me! My Grandma Tootles and I have spent quite a bit of time talking about Jesus and living it out for HIM! Over the last few years I have started up the "spend-the-nights" with Grandma again. We have had some precious times chatting about God's tremendous love reaching out to our family. I cherish every word she shares, every second I witness her living it out.
Even in the move she had people she was reaching out to - she had specific things she wanted specific people to do. Not because they could do a better job - but because it was her way of reaching out to help them. She was hiring them for odds n' ends because she knew they were in need. What appeared to be the smallest of details were instead seeds of love being planted by Grandma Tootles. Even in the stressful situation of moving lives were being changed because she cared and she took the time to show them.
She is an INSPIRING Woman...
I truly want to be like her when I GROW UP.
(Now tell the truth...doesn't she deserve every bit of the
"AWESOME GRANDMA AWARD"?)
Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
- Proverbs 22:6