Thursday, April 14, 2011

For Granny on her 97th Birthday

Sarah (Robertson) Currie - aka Granny

On April 14, 1914, Sarah Robertson was born in Greenock Scotland.  Years later, she married George Currie and she and her family immigrated to Canada, creating a new life in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada. In November 1946, she gave birth to my mother, Anne.  Today I am remembering my Granny who would have been 97 years old today.  She passed away in January 1992.

I have so many fond memories of Granny.  My mother's family is exceptionally close.  We grew up knowing much of our extended family.  Granny had a very strong sense of family and values.  Many of my memories of her revolve around family gatherings.  There were so many over the years.  People moved away over time.  People passed away over time.  But that strong sense of family always remained, and has to this day though the family is so spread out now.

Granny was a true lady.  She was gracious and loving.  She was strong.  She shaped my mother into a wonderful lady with the same strong qualities.  I can't compare myself to either one, but hopefully there's a glimpse of those traits in me.

I can't even begin to list all the memories, but here are a few things:
  • Our family picking up Granny and Granda for church most every Sunday, often followed by breakfast at Muio's, The Windsor, or perhaps the Voyageur or Smitty's on occasion.
  • Lots of family gatherings.
  • Empire biscuits.
  • Little sandwiches made on baps (can't even remember the last time I even saw a bap!!).
  • The odd sleepover at Granny and Granda's - tea time at night (you have to know the little pink tea cups and the aluminum tea pot she always used), the sound of the trains going by at night, and Bert in later years (the only Budgie I know of that spoke with a Scottish accent and who loved a nice nip of Scotch on occasion).
  • All things Scottish - Having a strong tie to her homeland which translated into a great love for a country I've never lived in and have only visited once - Scotland.  I wish as a child I could have appreciated bagpipes and years of Scottish dance lessons as I should have.  I gained love and respect for both over time.
  • Knitting.  Up until she had her stroke, Granny was always knitting something.  She did beautiful work.
  • Anything to do with the kitchen at her house at 22 Wemyss St.  I can still hear the click of the old refrigerator as you opened it.  I can still smell the smell of the bottom drawer in the cabinets next to the fridge which had all the cookies.  I can still smell the smell of the little narrow tall cupboard that was to the left of her washing machine in the kitchen.  I can still hear the sound of feet walking across the linoleum in the kitchen and into the back room where she kept the tins of Coke lined up on that little corner shelf.  
  • I remember the latch hook wool wall hanging of the grandfather clock that hung in the stairwell.  Speaking of said stairwell, I also remember being deathly afraid of those stairs as they were so steep!!  I also remember the tiniest little bathroom sink EVER in the tiniest little bathroom at the top of the stairs.
  • In later years, after Granny had her stroke and she and Granda moved in with us, I remember the determination she had.  I remember how frustrating it must have been for her at times to not be able to speak the words that were most definitely all there in her brain just waiting to escape.  I remember the day when she got so fed up with not being able to speak after her stroke that by the grace of God, she uttered, "Ach, I'm no' Shake-es-speare!!"  (how does one spell the gutteral "achhhh" sound anyway??) I remember she fought through this inability to speak to somehow come to a point where she could actually recite a couple of old prayers with us at bedtime.

Today, I am remembering some of the old songs that were always part of family get togethers.  I am remembering a few silly things like "Oh you cannae push your Granny off the bus....", "Oh we're no' awa tae bide awa' ", and so on.  I hope Granda is singing "The Rose of Tralee" to her today.  That was one of her favorites.  

Maybe, just maybe, before I get Moira to sleep, I'll play a little "Roon' aboot, roon' aboot catch a wee moose" with her.

I remember how Granny smelled.  Every so often - quite often since she passed - I'll smell her.  I could be in the middle of anything and anytime, anywhere and I'll suddenly smell her and I know she's with me.

Happy Birthday Granny!

The Robertson Girls
Agnes, Jean, Sarah & Bessie (L-R)

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