Over the last few years I always liked to try to write to you a real note and then. I learned that habit perhaps in part from you. You were so good at writing notes and sending birthday cards to all of us- something so many people don’t do anymore- but that is so appreciated when it is done. Thanks to those of you who still do send REAL cards and letters!
My earliest memories of you were of you being my “Grandma in Wheaton.” We loved going to your house at Thanksgiving which was a placed so packed to the gills with grandkids that we usually stayed at your friend Arija’s house.
I loved getting to help you in the kitchen when I got interested in kitchen work- making those countless dishes for Thanksgiving with a Latvian flair- complete with sauerkraut and piragi 🙂
How I loved when we switched from Thanksgiving to Christmas and we grandkids got to put up your Christmas tree. You had the most amazing lights- bubble lights and bird lights and such unique ornaments.
One could feel the excitement in the air when you would disappear and then come clomping down the stairs in costume- every year you surprised us with you new persona that you were dressing up as. You would give each of gifts you had made, and some you had bought. Your creativty and resourcefulness were amazing. . .
Over the years you made us so many special gifts; circle skirts, stilts, engraved Bible stands, trinket shelves, quilts, dresses and I am sure more that I cannot at present remember.
Then there was the next morning when we would come downstairs or into the dining room area and the mantle was busting at its seems with all those stockings filled to overflowing- how we loved those mornings. Our last mornings with the clan before hitting the road again. Those warm feelings have stuck with me my entire life and are something I am attempting to pass on to my kids. It wasn’t so much about the gift- but about the giving, the caring, the being together.
How much fun we always had at your house. . . so much laughter.
It was from you I learned to eat mushrooms. . . After we got back from our year in Latvia we spent several months living with you. You loved mushrooms- and since no one else wanted to I started eating them with you. . . and learned to love them too.
You were the one who taught me to knit- I remember sitting on your couch in Wheaton as you taught me how to do it- Latvian style- (different than the American method) and I made my first scarf.
Oh how I loved the treasures and delights of your attic- and how we older girls loved getting to go up there and be allowed to find and take home some of those special items of days gone by- I still have such lovely things you let me have. Thank you!
You have always been so transparent- moved to tears by music- I get that from you. Speaking your mind- loudly– sometimes when it needs to be said- other times when it embarrassed me. . . (ha ha)
I could go on and on. . . all night about all the memories I have of you and with you.
And how I would love to hear the stories of all of my other cousins and siblings and their kids. An entire book could be filled with all of our memories of you. . .
Goodnight till next time