I have been reflecting this month on how lucky I have been to know my grandparents so well in my life. I made a tribute to Nana, but it was after she had left us. I want my other two grandparents to know how special they are in my life too. I don't have all of my pictures out, but I do have some special memories to share.
My Grandma Harmston is almost 94 years old. She grew up on a farm in Utah, and entertained me growing up with several stories about her childhood. Grandma would type me letters and I looked forward to each of them because she would include a story. My favorite was about Shorty, a work horse that they had who would not cooperate with her. Even though that may have been a difficult thing in her life, I always got a lot out of her stories.
Grandma is amazing to me because she accomplished many things that women did not do in her day. First of all, she served a mission for the Church. She was called to the Eastern states mission. This was in the 1930's. She was there for the beginning of the Palmyra pageant.
After her mission she went to college and earned a degree. That was amazing to me also, because not many women went to college in the 30's let a lone finished their degrees. She met my grandfather there. He told me once that he had heard that she was a wonderful cook, and that she was smart and beautiful so he felt compelled to meet her! It was love after that!
They were married, and Grandpa was called to go to war. Grandma stayed at home to work, and care for their first child Linda. She taught school. When the war was over Grandpa continued his education. Grandma cheerfully followed him with their family wherever he needed to be. They ended up in Missouri with their 4 children. My Grandfather finished his PHD there, and became a professor in Economics. They were married for 64 years!
I have wonderful memories of going to their home, playing in the woods behind their home (which to me felt like the never ending forest) My Grandfather had a Library, with lots of book shelves. We were sure that there were secret passage ways if we could just find the right book to pull out, we knew the book shelf would open. We never did find the right book.
Grandpa was told right about Grandma's cooking, it is wonderful! We always looked forward to her meals. We would awaken to wonderful aromas and race down stairs to see what there was for us! She always was making cookies, and had plenty of ice cream on hand! A kids paradise!
I fondly remember playing Uno around the dining room table, and Ping Pong in the basement. They have 2 fireplaces, and we had so much fun getting cozy in front of them. They had a large area rug in the living room. There was a border that we loved to run around. Grandpa would sing Indian chants and try and grab us. Grandma said that is one of her favorite memories.
We also had single beds in a room with our pictures over our beds. Even though other grand kids slept in those beds, we really felt they were ours. (My sister Holly & I). In this picture of the beds, Spencer & Logan are sleeping in them. Since Grandpa passed away, Madison has had the pleasure of being Grandma's room mate at the beach, and sleeping with her in her bed at her home. What a treat!
Grandma & grandpa traveled a lot and they always had neat souvenirs for us to see and pictures to view. I think my love for picture taking stems from that. I loved seeing where they had been, and could feel as if I had been too! In this picture Grandma came out to the New Jersey shore for Thanksgiving with our family & my Aunt Linda & her family.
I could write forever about my happy memories of my beloved Grandmother. There are too many memories too count. I will say that she is very good at spoiling Grand children. Every time I bring my kids to Columbia, she takes them to the Merry Go Round. I think she enjoys it just as much as the kids do. I enjoy every visit that I get with her. She always makes me feel special and loved, and my kids feel that way too. I love you Grandma! Thank you for the example you have been, and the love that you freely give.
Interview: Virginia Oakley Shutt
6 days ago