Friday, August 22, 2008

The funniest nonagenarian I know -OR- I could tell you what her real name is, but then she'd have to kill me

I might have to make this a regular feature.

My Grammy is 94 years old.  She lives by herself in an old farmhouse in the middle of the country.  She has always been hard of hearing and, for all practical purposes is just about deaf now.  She insists on keeping up with some of her own yard work (like pruning bushes and sawing off rogue limbs) and sometime within the last few years was caught up on a ladder cleaning out a gutter.  Need a dish she's stored up on the extra-high shelf?  Not to worry -- she'll just climb up on the counter and pull it down for you.  (This is the same woman who didn't want to walk down her own front stairs during my wedding because she "usually just hops off the retaining wall instead.")

Hello!  She's 94.

She's also a lot like her son, my dad, in that she's stubborn and reluctant to accept help.  She is in considerable pain a good deal of the time due to osteoporosis and degenerative disease in her spine.  "It's just like my mother, nothing you can do about it" is what she says when you ask her if she'll go see the doctor.  That's great Grammy, just great.

Well, Grammy has fallen a couple of times over the past few months.  We tend to find out about these little spills accidentally.  This last time she did consent to go to the doctor and, good news! -- no fractures, no damage to her spine.  Just good old arthritis and osteoporosis.  He did suggest that she get a doughnut pillow to sit on, use ice instead of heat, up her dose of Tylenol (a placebo if ever there was one) and get some rest.  My cousin Molly, who just happens to be a nurse, goes out to check on her frequently and moved a chair into her regular "spot" that she thought would be easier for her to get in & out of.

And this is where we pick up our tale.

Sent an e-mail to my aunt earlier today, who replied with a couple of new Grammy stories.  I think I'll just cut & paste:

[Grammy] was in a really good mood when I got there... she was still sitting on the south end of the sofa...kidded me about being "late" compared to other mornings.  (Didn't feel any better, she said.)  I should have know she'd succeeded in putting one over on us.
Couldn't quite figure out what she'd done til I got ready to leave and realized her little LaZBoy was back in its old spot, and the higher, bigger upholstered chair that I had moved from its spot by the piano to the former LaZyBoy site in the family room was now in the dining room. 
I thought perhaps she might have asked Molly to move it yesterday.  So I asked her, "Did YOU move these chairs?" 
She replied, "Nah, I didn't really move them.  I just leaned on them a little bit."

And then there's this little gem:

Earlier this week Grammy was watching the weather, and I asked her how the "hurricane" was shaping up.  She raised her arm in the air and gestured as she said, "I'ts going 'round and 'round!"

Honestly.  I'm not that quick and I'm, well...  a lot younger than 94.

My aunt made me promise not to mention this to Grammy, as she is always afraid we're laughing at her.  Well, we are --but it's really in a good way (if you know what I mean).  So do me a favor:  If you run into a wicked funny old lady at the hardware store, in sharpening her pruners or looking for a new saw, don't mention that I shared these stories with you.  She wouldn't like us laughing at her.

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