Challenge: Someone That I Miss


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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

30 day challenge image with task for each day

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

Banana bread in loaf pan topped with sliced bananas

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

Vegan GF Chocolate Cookies

…and my Vegan GF No Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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.

Stacked Special K Bars

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!

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  1. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed a wonderful, loving relationship with your Grandma. My paternal grandparents lived in Italy and I never really had the chance to know them. My maternal grandfather died before I was born, but I had my maternal grandma until I was 8. I’ve always envied my friends who grew up with grandparents. I have very fond memories of my Nonna and like yours, most of her wonderful recipes went with her. She used to make deep fried, battered zucchini flowers which were to die for. My mom has never been able to replicate those delicious treats…..

  2. Thank you for sharing about your grandma. What a wonderful way to preserve her memory, by sharing her with your hundreds of readers!

    I miss my grandmother so dearly. I am also doing the thirty day challenge (in order, 1 through 30), so I will surely be talking about her on day 28.

  3. That’s a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. Thanks for sharing. My grandma will be 100 years old this summer. I keep trying to convince myself that she’ll live forever!

  4. Gosh, Averie, I miss so many people and animals, it makes me physically ill to think about it sometimes.

    I miss my nanny who died when I was 8 and my father who died when I was 12. I miss my father’s side of the family who we don’t talk to anymore, I miss my auntie that died almost 7 years ago, and most recently, I miss our kitty Gingerbread that we lost last June. :(

  5. I miss my mom the way she was before she got sick with MS. She is still here, but I cannot do things with her, or go places with her. She is bed-ridden, and it is really hard.

  6. Thank you for sharing this remembrance, Your Grandma seemed like an amazing, inspiring wonderful person. I am sure you miss her very much.

  7. This is definitely the sweetest (and the saddest!) post I’ve read all day. Cheers to you for remembering your wonderful grandmother in such a beautiful way!

  8. Ugh, busy here too – lots going on at work.

    Such a sweet post about your grandma, she sounds like a neat lady. And great tribute recipes. :-)

    1. My aunt who passed 18 years ago, she was very eclectic and unique with an awesome style and driven career goals.
    2. Yes, my grandma is still alive and in her 90s activity writing and living independently. My grandpa passed a few years ago and I miss him too, lots of memories from their visits as a kid. Never got to meet my other set of grandparents because they died in a car accident before I was born.

  9. Your grandmother sounds like such a wonderful person! I think that the baking without a recipe art is one that the older generation was so good at! (Probably because they baked everything from scratch!!) I just lost my first grandparent last year, so I consider myself super lucky to still have 3 of them with me.

  10. What a sweet post. Your grandma sounds amazing. I think you sound a lot like her: active, kind, productive, and you like to cook without recipes, too. :-)

    I have a lot of fam and friends that I miss.

  11. I didn’t get to know mine very well (3 died when I was young), so I miss the chance to get to know them better.

  12. Oh, such a lovely post. You obviously had a special relationship with your Grandmother. My Nana died a few years ago and I miss her very much. She was a huge part of my life too and I think of her and remember her often. x

  13. Like you, I feel fortunate to have had an amazing, solid-oak of a grandmother (who also measured in around 4’8 – she called me her giant Banshee :)). The vast majority of my good childhood memories involve her, and a couple of nights ago, I had a realistic dream that the two of us were on a road trip – i definitely woke up happier then most mornings (and thankful to pregnancy for vivid, vivid dreams).
    Thanks for this tribute.

  14. wow sounds like your grandmother was such a special person in your life! Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us! :)

    I love my grandparents. My mothers parents are still alive and I love them dearly!
    My fathers parents are no longer alive and I have so many memories. With my grandfather we would go pick him up every other sunday adn go to IHOP for brunch. Every single sunday he would order the large stack of pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries (mind you, he was about 5’2′ and 130 lbs) he would have about 1/4 of the plate and take the rest home in a to-go container! it was teh cutest thing. he was so focused on his stack of pancakes–it was heaven watching him so happy

  15. What a great story and nice tribute to your grandma!
    I miss two people. My great aunt and my sister.
    I split my life into two parts, really. Age 25 and younger, when my sister was alive…and then 25 till now.
    Your post may be a tear jerker…but I think it’s important to remember in all different ways—sometimes it’s just sad, but still worth it!

  16. What a beautiful post, and how lucky you were to have known your grandmother and had such a special relationship.
    My grandmother died two weeks ago- she was 83 and the matriarch of our family. She had 6 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild and lived for her family. She loved to garden and walk, eat healthy and “keep her figure looking good!”. She enjoyed her 5:00 Jim Beam cocktail every evening and stretching every morning. She loved to cook Lebanese food for her family and friends. I miss her so much already, but feel that every time I get to my yoga mat, I’m communicating with her- my yoga practice allows me to get in touch with her energy and love that is still here in this world.

    Thanks for sharing, Averie :)

  17. What a lovely dedication to her. It’s hard sometimes to feel as if we are reinventing food because of allergies but I think our grandmothers did what they had to do with rations and so forth and we do what we have to do with allergies to contend with.

  18. How lucky you are to have had such a beautiful example to follow in your life! Both of my grandmas passed away by the time I was 12, but I had a very close relationship with my godmother who lived to be 95. She taught us all some valuable life lessons.

  19. This is a beautiful post. You’re so lucky you were so close to your grandmother. My maternal grandmother passed away a year and a half ago and I miss her a lot, especially her big, booming, frequent laugh. But I only ever saw her once or twice a year because she lived several states away, and I wish I could have gotten closer to her before it was too late. On the plus side, though, that realization has made me closer to my paternal grandparents, who are still alive.

  20. Oh dear…I am not a crier and this made me cry. (Cool. Now I’m crying at work, thanks Averie!) This is such a terrific post. Tomorrow is my birthday and it will be my first without my Grammy and I totally miss her so this just hit a nerve…but in a good way!

  21. Awwe, I love this! She was definitely a special woman, you painted that picture well. I could totally get down with some Polish soul food too :)

  22. I wish I had that kind of relationship with one of my grandmothers! They both are gone but I always lived far away from them. I saw them about once a year, if that. I wanted my kids to be close to their grandparents but both are out of town too.

    I miss my mom. Even though she is just a phone call away, it would be so nice if we lived in the same time, or even a car drive away. They live 12 hours away!

  23. Wow, such an awesome tribute and memorium to your Grandma!! My Gram just passed away a few weeks ago. She was 85 and had recently beat cancer. She died suddenly and unexpectedly as well. I think of her often and use her as my barrometer. I always know right from wrong when I think of what Gram would’ve said about ‘xxx’. She was a sassy lady who loved everyone and she cooked special dishes from our culture. Her social life at 65 was better than mine as a teenager! I still can’t believe she’s gone. I wish I would’ve gotten to say a final good bye. I think I’ll always regret that. Now I’m tearing up!

    p.s. When I started reading this post I was eating left over cheezy veggie bake. YUM!!

  24. Oh Averie, what a nice tribute to your grandma. I do feel like I can “see” her now. I like talking about people who have died — I think it’s important to remember them and realize they’re still a part of our lives.

    Unfortunately I don’t really have memories of my grandparents, as they all died when I was young except my grandpa who lives in Florida.

    I miss my step-mom and I miss my friend who died when I was 14. Those losses have been the hardest for me.

  25. your grandmother sounds like such a beautiful woman inside and out. I miss my mimi and my papa soo much. They meant theworld to me and were such amazing people.

  26. What a beautiful post! U got me tearing up : ( I just lost my gram back in October so this was so hard to read, but sooooo beautiful, all we have in life is memories, some bad, some good, and I love beautiful memories I have of people I miss , its funny because when my gram passed and we cleaned out her apartment , she had about 30 cans of folgers coffee, except they were just full of coffee!! lol! I dont know why she had so many, and let me tell you , carrying all those suckers out was heavy in a boxes full of them! I wish there were cookies in them instead!

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful memories of your gram, Im sure she looks over you and your loves everyday : ) xoxo

  27. Sounds like an amazing women. Makes me miss my grandma’s too. One of them was famous for her cookies that I still recreate to this day accept they NEVER quite taste the same as hers did. I used to go to school and all my friends would ask me if I had any grandma cookies cause she would send us home with bags of cookies, all the different kinds had their own bag. Thanks for bringing me back to those days… I’m sure our grandma’s are up in heaven baking away and my other grandma is playing the piano for them. :) By the way, this must be why your those special k bars are sooo good!

  28. Tissue break for me!! Gotta love grandma’s, they’re irreplaceble in our thoughts. They always know the right things to say, the only ways to make you feel better and it warms my soul to have such a wonderful grandma. I know you miss yours and I’m sure you’ll make a wonderful grandma one day :)

  29. This is so well written and very touching. She seemed like an amazing woman and it is great that you had someone that influential in your life.

  30. I miss my dad. He raised me for the most part and I learned so much from him! He was definitely way ahead of his time eating a raw food diet, practicing yoga, and trying to use every experience as a learning opportunity for me. I really regret that I wasn’t more receptive to all of that as a child- but I was just a kid and didn’t know what was best for me.
    After a nasty custody battle with my parents, I went to live with my mom in Texas and essentially lost touch with my dad. He sent me a letter and a vegan cookbook when I was a senior in high school, and I never responded. 3 months later we learned that he had passed away at an ashram in India. I hated myself for the longest time for not making more of an effort to stay in touch with him after I moved to live with my mom-but she never really encouraged it either. I wish I had taken the time to cultivate a better relationship with him, or that I had at least seen him before he died. I will never have that closure, though, and it still bothers me today. But- I am doing everything I can in my own life to be the person I know he would have wanted me to be!

    1. Omg Sonia, I had no idea. I am so very very sorry. Please know I am here for you, always. Thank you for sharing this!

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

    1. thanks jessica for crying right along with me :)

      and your wedding tribute is going to be beautiful!

  33. 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

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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!

  38. 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.

  39. 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…


  40. 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.

  41. 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 :)

  42. 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!

  43. 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 :)

  44. 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.

  45. 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!

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

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

  48. 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.

    1. thank you for saying this: “I always enjoy your attitude of sensitivity and appreciation.”

      thank you for verbalizing what you have noticed…that means a lot to me :)

  49. 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:)

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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