Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Favorite Creature of Habit

My Granny's parents came from "The Old Country"...Poland. She was raised very strict Catholic. Granny remained faithful to the Catholic religion until she died. I'm not Catholic, so I don't understand all of the beliefs and 'rules', for lack of a better term. At some point, Catholics were allowed to have meat on Fridays during Lent (again, please forgive me as I don't know the ins-and-outs). Granny stuck to the rules...Fish on Friday. At Mass every weekend, she covered her head. Creature of habit.

Granny wasn't always easy to get along with. Very set in her ways. When she and I would go out to lunch or dinner, we went to the same handful of restaurants. At each restaurant she had a specific dish she ordered. That's it...No chance she was going to change her mind. There were two things that could set Granny off during dining out. 1) God forbid the restaurant STOP serving Granny's favorite dish. What in the world would she order now? That's the end of visiting that restaurant. 2) Bennigan's Reuben Sandwich was ALWAYS served on light rye bread. No matter how many times we visited Bennigan's, Granny never failed to ask if it was served on dark rye. And then complained, during the entire meal, about how it should be served on dark rye. God bless her. Creature of habit.

I do not like iced tea (yes, I'm REALLY from the south). And I've never like tomatoes. Ever. Dear Granny would ask me, "You don't like tea? Have you ever tried it? What about with sugar?" "Why don't you like tomatoes? When did you stop liking tomatoes?"
"Granny, I've never liked tea and I've never liked tomatoes."
"Do you eat ketchup or spaghetti sauce?"
"Yes, Granny. I also love salsa. But I've never like tomatoes."
"Well, that just doesn't make sense."
(In my mind..."It also doesn't make sense why we keep having this same conversation.")
"I love you, Granny."
"I love you, too, Amy Jo."

The year I was born, Granny and Grandaddy bought 4 lots in Granbury. Two of them on the water, side by side. And two of them in two separate neighborhoods, not on the water. The two side by side lots (strategically placed) were to eventually belong to me and my father, Joe (another blog for another day). For 13 years, my brother and I spent some of the best times of our childhood on Granbury Lake with Granny and Grandaddy. The time (limited...but that's another blog) we spent with them was pure Heaven! And it was always the same. Grandaddy would pick Brother and I up from home, drive us to Buddies grocery store where Granny worked as a checker. (I remember being so impressed that Granny could remember the prices on all of the produce.) Once he was done 'showing us off' to Granny's friends, we went to their house to wait for Granny, then we would all head down to the lake. We always had green grapes to eat in the car. As we crested the hill into Granbury, it was a race to see who could call "Comanche Peak" first. (Comanche Peak is a 'mountain' where the Comanche Indians lived and watched for invaders...or something like that...don't quote me on that ) Breakfast at the lake was Granny's homemade pancakes. After breakfast we went for a boat ride, while our food settled, so that we could go swimming in the neighborhood pool. (Can't swim for an hour after you eat, ya' know!) After the swim came lunch. Ham, pea salad (my comfort food), and cantaloupe. Always. After lunch came a small rest and another swim. Supper was hamburgers on those big Kaiser rolls. We'd fish while letting the food settle, then a night swim in the pool. Noxzema on the sunburn. Next day...breakfast, fishing, swim, lunch, boat ride, Noxzema, then headed home. Always stopping at Dairy Queen a few blocks from home. Pure Heaven. Creatures of habit.

Looking back, I giggle at the photos Granny took. I have years of my life, chronicled in pictures...always in the same pose, in the same places.

I wasn't old enough to understand why, but these routines of time with Granny and Grandaddy were comforting when I was a child. I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew exactly what was expected of me. There was no wondering. Ahhh...to go back to such a time.

Granny. My favorite creature of habit. Comfortable.

This is a picture of me, Granny and my daughter. I've posted this particular photo for two reasons.
1) It's too hot in my garage to hunt older pictures of me and Granny. This one was handy.
2) I wanted to show you my favorite "hair don't". It was the early 90's. Don't judge me.

1 comment:

Mrshappy said...

such a sweet story! My Mamaw was also a creature of habit and it is so comforting to know NOTHING was ever going to change. I so miss that!