Getting ready for the holidays always makes me think of my Grandma Norma and my Grandma Margie.
Grandma Margie is my Dad's Mom. I think she worked for a time in the Terminal Tower making costumes. Her and her friend Bernice (whom I've never met, but I imagine to be much like the character Bernice on Designing Women) made costumes for the Cavs Girls and the Cleveland Ballet among others. She had a room FULL of fabric, sequins, beads, yarn and all sorts of other notions. We would often come out with something we wanted to take home with us. Poor Mom!
Grandma Margie made these tutus for my sisters and I once. They were red satin with LOTS and LOTS of pink netting under the skirts. They also had lots of sequins (Grandma was big on sequins!) and hats to match. There is a picture of us (with our cousins) somewhere at Mom's house standing in the yard side-by-side in them. I'm sure this is where Steven gets his yen for costumes. :o)
I also remember a green vest that she crocheted that had green faux fur panels in it. It was a sight, I'm sure! I remember that, much to my Mom's dismay, I loved wearing it. I'm positive that I couldn't have grown out of that phase fast enough for Mom.
Grandma Margie's clothes were always the fun and interesting variety and when you opened one of her gifts, it was sure to be a surprise.
My Grandma Norma is quite the opposite. She grew up on a farm- the oldest of 8- and she sewed to repair torn work clothes for her Dad and Brothers. The things she sewed were mainly practical. She made my Dad flannel shirts every Christmas. She made bath robes for Mandy, Ea and me one year. She made a new bottom half of an outfit that I loved when it got ripped. She made my prom dress my senior year and she made my bridesmaid and flower girl dresses for my wedding. For our first Christmas after we got married, she made throw pillows from the leftover fabric of the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses and crocheted an afghan to match.
Grandma Norma makes fun stuff too. Before the advent of the Cabbage Patch doll, she made dolls to resemble my sisters and I with matching outfits for us and the dolls. She makes 30 to 40 stuffed animals every year and gives one to each couple and child for Christmas. She also usually makes some kind of stuffed animal for Easter for everyone. One Christmas, she crocheted a 6 foot long stuffed alligator for me and a huge turtle for Mandy. I slept with that alligator every night (like a body pillow) until I was probably 12 years old.
I'm sure my sisters and I were a handful when we visited- sitting in front of their makeup mirrors, putting on whatever perfume or makeup we could get our paws on, "cleaning" their bathrooms (which was a bigger mess than a help) and begging for them to let us bake or cook something in their kitchens. And while I can wait patiently till I have grandchildren of my own, I know that whenever they visit, I will think of my Grandmas and smile.