Good morning friends~ Today would have been my beloved grandmother's birthday.
She was born Laura Melissa Downing on December 2, 1904, one of two daughters born to my great-grandparents.
When Granny was only three years old, her father deserted the family, leaving behind my great-grandmother to fend for herself, my grandmother, and her baby sister who was only a few months old at the time. He was never heard from again.
At the tender age of eleven, she lost her dear mother to TB, leaving her and her little sister orphans. Her mother had left her enough money to buy herself a doll, an Eatons beauty doll, the only doll she had ever owned! The two little girls were taken in by their paternal grandparents and while living with them, my grandmother had to work very hard to earn her keep.
When she was about fourteen, my grandmother's uncle got her a job as a housekeeper in another community, so she went there to live.
While living in the community, she eventually met and married my grandfather.
She took her hard work ethics into the marriage, raising six children, including my mother and my Aunt Phyllis, for whom I asked for prayer in the post below.
The above photo was taken on my grandparents' twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in September of 1950, before I was born.
Granny helped my Grampy run the family farm, which was a pretty big operation, as well as taking in boarders. She was an excellent cook, and her big stove was always cooking or baking something.
She sewed all the family clothing, was a gifted knitter, planted her own garden, churned her own butter, and hung the laundry out on a one hundred to one hundred and fifty foot clothes line. When the clothes were dry, they were all ironed.
But she always found time to tend to the needs of someone else in the neighborhood.
Her day began at dawn and ended when she went to bed at night. Her hands were never idle and her door was always open. Not a soul who turned up on Laura's doorstep ever went away hungry.She was a very busy lady but she was very much the Lady of the Manor who was loved and respected by all.
She was a tall lady at five-foot-nine, which in those days was considered quite tall. I don't know what happened to me!
My grandparents were both hard workers and they were well known in the community as charitable people who were always willing to lend a helping hand. They were active in their home church as well.
When I was born, my parents were living with my grandparents, so theirs was the first home I ever knew. We lived with them until my father built their first home, just through the apple orchard. I could skip through the orchard and visit my Granny any time I pleased.
She was one of the key people in my life when I was young and she is the first one I can recall in my memory. I have such wonderful memories too.
She and I fed the chickens together, gathered their eggs, and caught the big bus to the city, to shop in the big department stores. Life was an adventure with her by my side. I remember she made the best homemade ice cream ever!
I was very close to my grandmother as we spent so much time together and I saw her every day. Even though her chores kept her busy from dawn until bedtime, she always made time for this little girl!
My earliest memory is sitting beside her in church, listening to the preacher when I was about three years old. Granny was a warm, hard working lady, well repected and loved by all who knew her. This little girl adored her and she still brings fond memories to mind.
A series of strokes took her life when I was only seven years old, and my life was changed forever after that day. She had owned only the one doll in her lifetime, and because she knew I loved dolls, she left it to me. Unfortunately, the doll's face was broken before she came to me, so I can't show you a picture of her. She's not very pretty at the moment but someday I hope to get her face restored.
I still miss my sweet grandmother to this day, but I'm so thankful that this special lady played such an important role in my life. It is because of her that I can say, I had a happy childhood.
Among her many descendants are accountants, artists, successful businessmen, nurses, and professors.
Granny, you did well, and you will always have a special place in my heart; always loved, always remembered.
Sharing from my heart~ Sandi