This is a picture of me with my adorable Grandma. A living, breathing Mrs. Santa Claus. Complete with a starched, white ruffled apron and silver-haired bun. She'd always squeal with delight when she opened her door and found us standing on her front porch, waiting to come in. And then she'd envelop us in big, squishy, bosomy hugs.
This woman brought sheer magic to my childhood.
This is the woman who:
- never raised her voice, and would choose to sing "tra-la-la" rather than scold;
- let us drag her bathroom rug and her best teacups outside so we could have in impromptu tea part under the lilac bush;
- engaged us in a game of Avon Lady ("Bessie") by cheerfully allowing us to gather up armloads of her perfume and shampoo bottles and then ring her doorbell and sell them back to her for a quarter apiece;
- would let us build a fabulous block tower, and then leave it up for an entire week, politely asking her club ladies to step around it;
- took me on an impromptu roadtrip to Paris, Idaho when I was nine because I complained I'd never been out of the state;
- would insist on feeding even a casual visitor, and then take the care to clip a small individual candle to the edge of their plate.
- And don't even get me started on Christmas! (That's a post unto itself.)
But the real magic took place in her heart. She had a knack for entertaining, even though they lived their entire married lives in a little tiny duplex. There was an amazing spirit in their home. Everyone who came within the circle of their household felt understood, appreciated, loved. Everyone. And everyone left feeling full. Full of delicious food and little goodies, but also filled with her special brand of enthusiasm and joy. She made everyone feel like the most important person in her life. Made them feel like family. Her home was the center of her universe, the place where she laughed, loved, served, and ministered. And it felt like heaven.
At the base of her front door was a little gold music box which would automatically start to play when she opened the door, and rewind when she shut it again. The song it would play was "Bless This House"...clearly something she lived by. Yesterday I went to lunch with my über-chic designer friend, Michelle, and she showed me some of her latest creations. This particular image reminded me of my grandma and the music box on her front door. So much so that I had to have it...for this post, and to frame for my house.* To remind me that there IS a Mrs. Santa Claus, and I used to fall asleep on her lap. (And tomorrow would have been her birthday.)
*(If you're so inclined, click on the typetypetype link on my sidebar, and you can get one too!)