As promised, a few words about my nana…come to think of it, a few words about BOTH of them.
My Nana Barbara, my father’s mother, went by the name Ida. She always had Tic-Tacs in her purse (she called it a “pocketbook”) and she made meatballs and gravy at our house every weekend when she came to visit. She had the strongest hands I’ve ever held and a laugh so hearty I can still hear it. She taught me and my brother and sister our prayers while we played on the swing set in our backyard and she smelled of Jean Nate after bath splash. She was a devoted Yankees fan and said her rosary while she watched the game. She had to drop out of school after the 8th grade to help earn a living for her family (she was the eldest of nine children) but she never, ever stopped learning and had a particular love of geography. She died when I was 12 and I miss her and think of her every single day.
My mother’s mother was Kathryn but we called her Nana Kay. She always wore a string of pearls around her neck and she loved watching football. She had beautiful, delicate hands and fantastic cat eye glasses with tiny rhinestones at the corners. When she laughed very hard, she shook and was completely silent except for the occasional (she’d be horrified that I’m saying this) snort. When my sister and brother and I were very young (5 and 6 years old), Nana Kay came to live in our town. We saw her almost every day. She took care of us when my mother was out of town on business & my father was a work and we stayed with her if we were home from school with a sore throat. She was a college graduate, a more-than-meticulous note taker and she taught French and Latin. She also died when I was 12 and I miss her and think of her every single day.
These two ladies, as different as they were from each other, became great friends in my parents’ house, sharing the bond of grandmothering the three of us. When I think of them, the only thing I feel is love and gratitude. That’s why, if you visit my Pinterest page, you’ll see that it’s called, “Designs for Kay & Ida.” Simply put, it’s named for two of the most important ladies in my life.
Love, Shoestring Lizzy