Challenge: Someone That I Miss

How’s your day been going?

Mine?  Busy.

But not too busy for a sentimental trip down memory lane. Grab the Kleenex box.

Time for Day 28 of the Challenge – Something/Someone That I Miss



Something/Someone That I Miss

I miss my Grandma.   She has been gone about 10 years now.   I will try to paint a picture with words of this woman for you since I have no digital photographs of her.

She was at her peak, about 5’0′ tall and by the time she was 90 when she died, probably about 4’8″.  I am almost 5’11” so I was taller than my grandma from the time I was a little girl, about the fourth grade or so.  I loved the day I passed her up in height, and my mom, too.   My grandma was short in stature, but was the biggest giver and had the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known.

She would give you the shirt off her back, or cook or feed anyone and everyone.  She worked at her Catholic parish serving funeral luncheons, retirement luncheons, working rummage sales, fundraisers, you name it, and she did it for for over 50 years.  Yes, she belonged to the same parish for over 50 years.  That’s the last of a dying breed.

She walked to 7am Mass every morning.  Even in brutal Minnesota winters with -40F windchills, Grandma walked to Mass.  It was about a mile each way.  And she did it up until just a few years before she died.  She only drove for a few years of her life.  And by about 1950, never had a driver’s license.

She walked everywhere.  She always said that walking kept her young.  I agree whole-heartedly.  She never “worked out” a day in her life.  She lived her life, and that included lots of walking, and exercise was a by-product of living.

She loved life.  She never complained.  She believed in all that was good and right about the world.  She was not cynical, jaded, and did not have a mean bone in her body.

She believed in God and had a faith stronger than anyone I have ever known.  She didn’t need to talk about it, either.  Just being in her presence, you knew this woman had strong convictions and didn’t need to evangelize or proselytize.

She loved all babies and children in a deep, reverent, spiritual way, and believed that they were truly a gift from God.

I attribute my psychic tendencies and abilities to my Grandma.  In today’s terms, one may call her a medium.  To me, she was just Grandma.  But she could sense, know, predict, and foreshadow things and events.  I know this is who I got my abilities from.

And this woman could cook.  And she cooked without recipes.  And to top it off, she was legally blind the last 20 years of her life.  So not only was she cooking without recipes, she was cooking without much of her sight and truly cooked by feel.

Her savory dishes were referred to as “Polish Soul Food” as she called it.  Russian and Polish-inspired food like piergoies and dumplings, cabbage, and always lots of homemade chicken noodle soup.  Those are the savory smells of my grandma’s kitchen that are etched in my memory forever.

But the sweet smells are what my Grandmas was known for.

Bread.  She baked bread without a recipe.  Loaves of bread from wheat to banana.

My attempt at Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread with PB

But no one could ever duplicate my grandma’s banana bread or chocolate chip cookies.  And since she cooked without a recipe, much of it is lost forever.  I talked about this here.

My Vegan GF Chocolate Cookies

…and my Vegan GF No Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

…will never hold a candle to anything she made.  Or my memories of them.

After she died, we found cans of Folgers Coffee in her deep freeze and they had batches of chocolate chip cookies in them.  All little old ladies who survived the Great Depression have deep freezes and massive food stashes, I think.

The childhood memories I have of being with her, of riding the city bus with her and going shopping, of her coming to stay at our house for a week or so at a time, of her loving me unconditionally and doing anything she could to make me happy and make my life better and happier, those memories are so cherished and so profound.

The only recipe of her that I have blogged about is her Special K Bars.   I am so grateful to even have that recipe.

I miss you, Grandma!

Kleenex break for me.


If you missed my other Challenge Posts, so far there is:

Day 2 – Where I’d like to be in 10 years

Day 6 – 10 Facts

Day 21 – Favorite Shows

Day 26 – What kind of person attracts you

From my last post about Tackling Tuesday, it was fun to hear what you tackled and it seems we all love that feeling of being productiveAll the time. A blessing and a curse, no doubt.


1. What is someone/something that you miss?

2. Do you have special memories of your grandparents?

Please share!

See you later, gang!

72 comments on “Challenge: Someone That I Miss”

  1. Aww this is SO lovely! Your grandma sounds like an amazing and inspirational woman, and from the sound of it, you take after her in so many ways :)

    I miss my uncle, who died suddenly from a heart attack just before Christmas, aged just 45 :( He was absolutely hilarious, an inspiration to me (he was a runner too) and was unbelievably generous. I miss him too…now I need a Kleenex break! :P

  2. oh, what a heartfelt and beautiful tribute to your grandma, averie. she sounds like an amazing woman. i am so happy you got to know her, and that she made such an impact on your life. thanks so much for sharing.
    i miss my grandparents, too. grandparents give love like no one else. haha, after my great-grandma died, we found money stashed in odd places…just like your gram and the folgers tin in the freezer! i agree with your grandma – walk everywhere, any weather, as much as possible – such a healthy lifestyle choice.
    thanks for tackling this challenge today. loved reading about such a special lady.

  3. Your grandma sounds a lot like mine. She was a tiny woman, but full of life. Walked everywhere, never missed Mass. She taught me to cook and bake and I never measure anything because she never measured anything. It drives people crazy when they want a recipe of mine and the instructions are something like “add enough flour for cookie dough consistency.” I cook and bake on a daily basis, but I don’t even own measuring spoons. Her favorite thing was feeding people good food, and it’s one of my favorite things too.

    The person I miss the most is my mom. She died way too soon, and especially with raising young children, I really miss having her advice and her wisdom and her friendship.

  4. This is such a sweet post:)
    I miss my uncle, who was practically my father as I grew up and my grams (what we called my grandma) passed 2 yrs ago…She use to make me her beef stew-minus the beef:)

  5. What a beautiful tribute. I bet your Grandma was and is very proud of you Averie. What a blessing to have the special people in our lives- far better than any material comfort or “thing”. Your post stirs up a lot of feelings about my Uncle Tommy who passed away 15 years ago this month. He was a good man and the closest thing to a father I had growing up. Thanks for this post Averie. I always enjoy your attitude of sensitivity and appreciation.

  6. oh what a great post. I can tell your grandma was an amazing woman. A beautiful spirit! I know you inherited that from her.

  7. I definitely miss my grandmother – I’m nicknamed after her, and people say I look like her when she was in her twenties.

  8. What a great post! Your grandmother sounds like an amazing lady :)

  9. What a beautiful post! I am so lucky that both of my grandmothers are still alive. They are both remarkable strong women. Have a great day hon!

  10. Awe, Grandma…ya gotta love her. She sounds like an incredible force that will always live through you. I love this post Averie! I have been thinking about my Little Granny (that’s what I call her). She is not doing well and I miss her so much. She sounds a lot like your Grandma…height, cooking, giving…it is so weird you posted on this since I have really been thinking so much about mine. Much love your way and thank you for sharing this. I think it is so important to focus on the good in our lives and she put so much good in yours.

  11. You know, my grandmother is 82 and in tip tip shape. She doesn’t live where it’s cold, but she still goes to Mass everyday :)

    Something I miss…being a kid!!!!!!!! Now I have three daughters ages (almost) 8 and under.

    Special memory of my grandparents? My grandfather would explain EVERYTHING in detail. He was that person who knew everything about everything….and wasn’t afraid to explain it to you :)

  12. That reminds me how much I miss my grandpa:( He is the only family member I have ever lost, and he was the sweetest, most soft-spoken man I have ever known. Thank you for sharing your story, love dove!

  13. I’ll miss my grandfather so much when he goes. He’s in amazing shape for his age (nearly 91 and still bikes and walks and boats), so hopefully he’ll be around for another ten years or so…I’d love for my kids to meet their great-grandpa. He treats EVERYONE he meets with so much respect. Like, he’ll go out of his way to talk to a waitress about her life, and he knows his trash men’s names. He loves to dance like no one’s business. He sang God Bless America at my brother’s wedding. And even after nearly 70 years of marriage, he still loves my grandma more than anything in the world and holds her hand and calls her his “little girl.” He’s amazing :)

  14. Oh wow, this is beautiful. I even started tearing up. Your love and admiration for her is so apparent in your words. A wonderful tribute.

    I’m finding myself missing my grandfather these days… He died two years ago and although we always had a somewhat formal relationship, I find myself feeling closer to him lately. He (and my grandmother, who died when I was 5) lived an upper-crust, NYC high society life that was very different than my own. Visiting them as a kid and having tea at their place was always a thrill! He was a consummate gentleman, impeccibly dressed, and more socially graceful than I’ll ever be. He wrote letters and birthday cards on engraved stationary in his beautiful script that I saved and still have today.

  15. so i guess you are a replication of your grandmother…you’re also truly kind and you have a very big heart…and i see the goodness emanate from each and every photograph of you!

    i definitely had tears in my eyes when i read this…

    sending you love and hugs…


  16. Averie, what a great post. I dearly miss my grandmother and my great-grandmother. My dad’s mom was a spunky lady. I would give anything had she lived to see my niece & nephew. I also miss my friend who was killed. She had such vibrancy about her.

  17. Ive recently lost both of my Grandfathers, both my dads dad and mothers dad. They were both very old school. Strict and quite. They only talked when spoken too, and when they did you listened because each word they said meant something and was full of wisdom.

    But the one thing I will carry with me from both of them is that they both played sports. Im a huge sports fan and know you arent the biggest sport guru but My dads dad played college basketball and unfortunately had to stop due to being drafted into WWII, but before the war he was one the best I guess and led his teams to alot of wins. And yes he played during the times of shooting free throws “granny Style” underhanded! Luckily they have alot of pictures of him playing so we can imagine what it was like to watch him play! Also he was one of the biggest Greenbay Packer Fans, he even had the big yellow plastic cheeseheads!!! So when the Packer won the superbowl this sunday it was a very bittersweet day for us! Go Pack!

    Also my moms father I guess was a heck of a softball player and played minor league softball for a local team. They say he was one of the hardest throwing pitches and would even practice pitching from SECOND base instead of the pitchers mound!
    Miss those guys. Sorry for your loss but just remember they are in a better place, with much less pain and worries! Heres a cheers to a better day and celebrate their time and place here while we could spend time them!

  18. My two grandfathers passed away last year, but my grandmothers are still living, and this post makes me want to call them up RIGHT NOW and tell them that I love them!

    Post brought tear to my eyes, girl!

  19. Your grandma sounds so special. Thanks for sharing your memories of her.

  20. What a fantastic post. You’ve mentioned your grandma before, but this post was so descriptive I can picture her in my mind’s eye :)

    Special memory: On Sunday’s after Church, we would head over to my paternal grandparents’ house. There they taught us how to play poker. We each had our own of pennies that was used for this special occasion. They taught us 5 card stud, as well as the different wild cards that could be called and used – dealer’s choice of course. Through my grandparents we learned how to shuffle cards, how to deal cards, and perfected counting in our heads (through dealing the cards, and keeping track of the anty). Important life lessons of being a good sport, no sore loosers, how to bluff, when to go “all in”, and when to fold / walk away. Another great lesson: don’t count your money in public (aka: at the poker table).
    While we played poker, my grandmother had the hot dogs boiling on the stove. They boiled until they were swollen and split open down the centre. While we cleaned up after the poker game, my grandmother would toast the hot dog buns, and fry up some onions. Then we would all sit down to a the most wonderful hot dog lunch I have ever experienced – followed by servings of McCain frozen chocolate cake or chocolate swirl ice cream.
    I’m positive that the meal was so good, not because of the food that was prepared, but because of the time that we shared together at the table, and the conversations that we all had. Special and wonderful memories.

  21. Averie what a lovely post! Your Grandma sounds like one heck of a woman.

    My mom’s parents died before I was 2 years old, so I don’t remember them at all. My dad’s parents died before I was 12, so I don’t remember them much either. They lived in Milwaukee and we wouldn’t see them much. It makes me sad to even think about it. I do my best to stay close with my parents and Jason’s family because if and when we have kids one day, I want them to know their grandparents. There is so much to learn from those with experience!

  22. This was a wonderful post. I miss my grandparents so very much too.

  23. averie, this is such a sweet post and touched my heart because it is so similar to my grandmother. My grandmother was right off the boat from Poland, tiny little woman, loved to cook every day in her kitchen for all of her grandchildren and I never saw her look at a single recipe. Everything she made came from her head- the best breads, pierogie, homemade noodles, soups, Polish crepes (nalesniki) stuffed with a sweet cheese filling.. I could go on forever. I would spend weekends with her when I was younger and write everything down because I knew one day that I would cherish all of those recipes and make them for my own family, and I loved spending every moment with her. She would pray every morning for a good two hours and had a heart of gold. Thank you for sharing your story with us because it really touched me

  24. I didn’t think this post would get me but it did.

    My grandpa died about 6 years ago, he was my favorite person in the world. So many memories, I don’t even know where to start. I hold onto the fact that hummingbirds remind me of him (and I see them often in strange places) and the number 2:22 was our lucky number, and I look at the clock and see that # most days!!

    I am honoring him at my wedding too, as long as it arrives safe and sound, I’ll have a small hummingbird in my bouquet and I have one of his *blue* hankies to keep with me when I cry! He would have been so excited to see his “J” get married, so I feel like a special part of him will be there with me. *ssshhhsshhh, now you got me crying more! :P

    Thank you for sharing your memory, that was a very special post!

  25. Thanks for sharing! I miss my dear friend who was a best friend/sister at one time in my life. She is the only person my age that I was close to, who I have seen leave this earth. It really puts life into prospective for sure. Love your blog and thanks for the quick and mess free recipes!

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