Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to G.G.B.

This is my Grandma Barb, known to her six great-grandchildren as G.G.B. (Great-Grandma Barb). The kids absolutely love their G.G.B. and the feeling is mutual. She is Bella's semi-imaginary friend, joining her for tea parties even when she isn't here.

She is not your typical granny. She lives in Las Vegas and loves her sequins, fast cars and buffets. She is the queen of organization. I remember her futile attempts to teach me how to iron a shirt or smack all of the wrinkles out of a perfectly made bed and I wish I had paid more attention.

She's a woman to be reckoned with, a force of nature. I won't tell you how old she is because it's impolite to mention the age of a woman older than me, but I will tell you that in spite of our age difference she runs circles around me. The woman cannot sit still. She'll come to your house and, restless after a half hour chat, she will climb up on a chair and wash your windows just to have something to do. She's the last of the Old Guard who grew up in the days of hard manual labour and very little luxury. Sometimes the vastly different worlds we have inhabited makes it hard for us to understand the other person's perspective, but we love each other and that gets us through.

So here's to you grandma. Here's to a woman who was an entrepreneur at a time when women didn't do that sort of thing. To a woman who made it from abject depression-era poverty to an American success story and still makes a mean rhubarb torte. Happy Birthday from your loving family!