Today is my Grandmother’s 91st birthday. Her name is Virginia King-Smith. I want to celebrate this woman and her amazing life she has had. You will not meet another woman her age that has such a sharp mind, sense of humor and…well, love for cats and all things Boyd’s Bears ????
I mean a love that borders on obsession but they are actually pretty cute and she has them all arranged in little groupings all over her house. In her front sitting room she has a seasonal display that she rotates according to the weather/holiday. Sometimes it is like looking through an old LS Ayres display window which makes sense because she worked there for a time.
Everything she makes is with delicate care. For example, all of my female cousins (all 5 of us) have been the recipient over the years of her handmade dolls, rabbits, ceramic girls, bears, mice, etc. When I was younger I obviously liked getting them at Christmas time but never really knew what to do with them. As I got older it dawned on me how lucky I was to have this keepsake. And I am lucky.
I have a lifetime of memories of my time spent with “Grandma King” and I am happy to say that they are mostly good. How many people can say that? She is always happy to see my family and I when we come to visit and is sad to see us go. I wish she lived closer (she is only 45 minutes away, though) so I could spend more time with her as well as with my Boys.
I have 7 other cousins that are mostly spread around the country and she does her best to keep up with all of their lives. I have been there when she is talking a family member on the phone and she is always glowing after a conversation with one of them. I know they all see her as much as they can and all of us were able to gather together last year for her 90th birthday. It was a huge event that we all put together in her honor. I have to admit we did a great job.
She has shaped my life in many ways she will never know. I have tried to make sure I tell her how much she means to me on a regular basis. I appreciate the little things she has taught me over the years, a cousin calls then Grandma-isms ???? Like the many uses for macrame in the home, you can never have too many animals you feed outside, how to make a killer Russian dressing and that every woman needs to carry a nice handbag. I kid with a few of those but for the most part it is true.
She absolutely loves my husband. We joke that she really wants me to come over so she can see him. One year she sent him a birthday card in which she had written a sonnet about how much she cares for him and he is so great, blah, blah…and at the bottom it said “Oh, and make sure to tell Heather I said happy birthday”!
True story ????
Here are a few pictures I could quickly find of her and at the end I have the recipe for the birthday cake I have made for her the last several years.
Enjoy, and make sure to hug your Grandmothers a little tighter the next time you see them.
|One of the biggest influences on my life, how I live and I am proud to say she is my friend.|
|Her wedding portrait. My bouquet’s love knots were patterned after hers.|
|All of the cousins in front of the Center where we had her party (minus Corey)|
|My cousin had an idea that we all get our picture taken in these glasses. It was hilarious!|
|After her 90th birthday luncheon at the re-created LS Ayres Tea Room|
|With my Dad|
|I love the look she is giving my brother|
|Always an animal lover|