DAYS AND NIGHTS WITH NANA
This is my paternal grandmother. I know her as Nana. Her sister , Edith Fountain, referred to her as “Sister ” . She still does when she tells stories of her. My Nana, passed away in 2000. I was one that always enjoyed visiting my grandparents, even as I got older. As a small child, we still lived in Tampa, and so did my paternal grandparents. The house they lived in on Crawford St, just a few blocks from us on Flora St. This is s the house I remember before the age of five. They had a beautiful yard, prettiest one around. She would fix me and Chris ( my sister ) picnic lunches to have in the yard.
I would stay over at their house and on the large dining room table, put together large puzzles. Word games and puzzles became a staple of entertainment for me and Nana. Later they moved to Bradenton, where I spent the rest of years until age 22. I would visit often, and when I would stay overnight, we would play word games while laying in bed. One of the best was a memory game. You would say, ” I went to the store and bought, A Apple”. the next person would then do the same, and then work backwards through the alphabet.We also played card games, like Rummy and Concentration. And the best was Scrabble, still my favorite. She supplied me with endless copies of Readers Digest, this is how I learned to enrich my word power ( a segment within the Readers Digest ) ….National Geographic, where I was able to visit all the continents, I still love geography. She subscribed to Highlights magazine, a popular children”s magazine that had games, puzzles and a little bit of history. And of course, she had the Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia set. I studied and drew all the state flags, learned state capitols and used these for many a report in school.
When we baked, it always seemed to be the banana bread, I still make it. She never used an electric mixer of any kind, they were about, but, she did not own one. She said you couldn’t really “feel ” if it was mixed properly. I think she invented Orange Julius. For dessert, she would make vanilla ice cream and orange juice floats. Yummy!! I never saw her but prepared food at the grocery, and you could always be guaranteed a nutritious meal and well-balanced!I inherited the interest in gardening from both grandparents. I worked planting flowers with her, usually petunias or moss rose. We ate beans from the garden which we snapped ourselves.
I am thankful I had so many great times with my Nana. I learned a lot from her, and credit her with many of my interests today. Especially the genealogy part. It was her that I first asked, ” who was your mother ?”