Posts Tagged 'Grandmother’s influence'

Mimi Musings

The Oldest

I’m thinking about my grandmas a lot these days. Grandma Schwartz and Grandma Wiewel. No cutesy names for these women, I don’t think the thought ever crossed their minds to be called anything else. ..not like me and most of my girlfriends.

Their birthdays are both this month, one today in fact, but I know it’s more than that.

Mostly I’m very aware that my beloved Grandma Wiewel died the December I was eleven. My oldest grandchild is now eleven. I’m suddenly seeing me from her eyes and wonder how deep the imprint is going. More than wonder, I pray all the time for wisdom to impart what has been sewn in me to pass on to them.

The Youngest

All of us have/had a grandmother, two of them in fact, even if we never knew them. Most of us will be one as well. Unlike motherhood which often takes us by surprise, lots of time is provided to prepare a nest in our hearts for the new generation of little ones to land. Make it soft, cozy and very secure.

The seven year old

More than the snippets of conversation or the fun outings, I remember how these strong women made me feel. Welcome, wanted, loved, safe. Many things I often didn’t feel on the playground. They never raised their voice at me or made me feel less than anything.

Painting at my kitchen table.

So today I’ve painted and baked with one and will pick up another one from school for tea soon. With seven in town and two a train ride away, it does take some juggling of the calendar to make it happen and still get a work week in.

I go on a train to see this one.

What drives me is the thought that someday, not too far away, their array of options of whom to spend time with will be very vast. I hope to stay on the list!

Sometimes Papa comes along.

So I’m in it to win it, this role I will own the rest of my life. Can you help me out? If you are a grandmother, tell me your best tip. If you remember your grandmother, tell me what you loved the most.

Hope for the best,

Tish (or as I am known to nine, Mimi)

PS More Mimi musings:Grandma You Left me Too Soon, Pray it Again: My Grammas’s Rosary, Freeze These Moments!,Dates on Our Hearts

Babi and Baby

Babi with my Baby

Babi with my Baby

Everyone I knew in Quincy, IL called their grandmothers’ “Grandma” followed by their surname. I never met a “Babi” until I met my husband’s. Her parents named her Bohemila when she was born 117 years ago today in what is now the Czech Republic. All of her 21 grandchildren called her Babi. As I came into the family I called her that too although the first time I wrote her a note, I addressed it to “Bubby” as I was sure that was how it was spelled. Much teasing ensued!

Babi loved the Cubs, her garden, her kitchen where she produced delectable baked goods for all the family occasions. Her Bohemian kolachys were legendary as was the recipe…add a ½ egg shell of water and a pinch of salt.

She invited me over to her Cicero home to learn the basics of canning bright green pickles and chili sauce. Once I wondered aloud about making soap and she told me to gather a coffee can of bacon grease and come back. Enough of my friends saved their bacon grease too so a few months later we spent an afternoon shaping three bars of the loveliest soap.

I remember once she asked me thread a needle for her as she couldn’t see the hole well. I did it in about a second and wondered if I would ever need help with that task.

I do.

Babi died 26 years ago and last week our fourth grandchild was born. What feels like all of a sudden, I am now in her role. I like the Cubs too, pretend to garden, and tried making kolachys once. I don’t have any bacon grease.


Mimi and Baby

Mimi and Baby

I don’t think any of my recipes could be called legendary unless you count homemade pizza. Instead of pickles and chili sauce, I hope to teach the art of preserving family memories, love of celebration, following Jesus.

Each month I display a few photos on our piano of past highlights of that month. Babi and Baby with their April birthdays now sit side by side as both have/will profoundly influence us all.

Babi and her Great-great-grandbaby

Babi and her Great-great-grandbaby

Hope for the Best,


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