Skip to content

Time for a few Nana Images

Dear Reader,

I’m in a reminiscing mode so I’ll take a break from programming to share a few mental images I’ve collected over the years of my Nana. These aren’t stories…just memory fragments.

Nana sold “World Book” Encyclopedias (think dead-tree wikipedia) for a long time. She also drove a Forrest green Olds 442 with white leather interior. It’s no wonder she won”Top Salesman” more than once. In that car she could cover more ground! (Given Pop’s life-long hobby of collecting grease, he was only allowed in the car on Sundays or when he was working on it.) :)

Nana is into her 90’s but still has the energy to visit ‘the old folks’ at the nursing home every week like she’s been doing for 20 years. I’ve just got to wonder how old these people are!

My Nana is a staunch Conservative and one of the most God-fearing women I have ever met. The night before my wedding she told me to make sure that Kathy had a nighty with fur around the bottom…to keep her neck warm.

Nana gave us so much but the one thing I remember her for more than anything is “Jesus’ birthday cake.” We still do that every year at our house, just like she taught us to. Christmas isn’t about presents, it’s about yellow-cake w/chocolate icing.

Nana grew up in a vastly different generation than I did. She can dye her own hair…sew anything that Donna Karen can design, and I’ve seen her grow her own vegetables for many years. Honestly, I believe she could spot-weld if she had to. It’s too bad that my generation has lost a lot of the generalization that her generation had. If my car doesn’t start, I call someone…Nana rebuilds the engine.

Summer at Nana’s consisted of 3 things. Swimming, great hamburgers in plentiful supply, and fighting with my cousin’s and sister. Good times….Good times.

I don’t drink a lot mainly because of Nana. When I was 18, I moved to Orlando and lived with them while working at Disney. One night we had an impromptu party after work. I woke up the next morning still at the party. I finally made it home but was too sick to stay upright for more than about 5 minutes at a time. Once I could sit up and talk, Nana made me tell her about it. Nothing more humiliating than having to explain to your sweet grandmother how you got totally ‘faced. Every since then I’ve tempered my drinking.

Every Christmas we drove from wherever we were (Charlotte, Miami, Mobile) to Orlando for Christmas. Many years we arrived in the middle of the night. Regardless of the time of arrival, it always coincided with a chocolate pie coming out of the oven. There were already 2-3 on the table of course but I always remember her pulling one out of the oven soon after we arrived.

Upon arrival every year for Christmas we were greeting by the same artificial tree. An entire generation has come and gone but this artificial tree, with it’s 1950’s Christmas lights permanently melted into the plastic pine needles, still stands. The last time I saw it it was looking a bit mangie…patches of needles gone in some places…but it’s still one of my favorite Christmas images.

I remember one year traveling – I guess to Miami – with my sister and brother and Nan and Pop. I remember going through the Everglades. We were all real little. I was the oldest and I couldn’t have been more than 6. We took turns sleeping, one in the back window, one on the seat and one ‘on the hump’. (The floorboard of the car) I had a little cigar box full of bubblegum I bought at a gas station. It was my treasure chest. That was one hot trip.

Until I was 14 my favorite seat at Nana’s was the highchair.

Nan and Pop’s house was the setting for ‘The Young Boy and the Sea’.

But there are 2 overriding images in my mind when I think of Nana, food and Jesus. She always made sure we were full and she always made sure we knew who to thank for that. (and it was NEVER her!) Thank you Nana, I love you.

Until next time, the weekend is here and you aren’t.