Happy Birthday Grandma! Look at this cute couple. You can imagine anything you want to about who they are, what they think and what kind of a life they lived. These are my Grandparents on Poppy's side. They met and married in Minnnesota in about '45. 10 mos. later they had Poppy then bam-bam-bam 3 more kids! They moved the family out West in '53 and that's half the reason I live "somewhere wet in Washington."
My Grandma Grace is one of the most gentlest women you could ever meet. When I was little and would get upset and cry, she would say, "Don't cry now...your going to make Grandma cry!" I have never seen her mad. Many other things, but never mad. I always used to say that she was the kind of lady that would never hurt a flea. But then she started killing ladybugs. Well, they were infesting her house one autumn, getting in through the small cracks where the air conditioner was. So her solution was to turn on her Rainbow vacuum and violently suck them into oblivion w/ the longest attachment she could find! Now, one of my secret pet names for her is Ladybug Killer. It's comical to me because she is so mild-mannered.
Grandma wasn't very active, and really, that is an understatement...but I'm trying to be respectful here. One Spring I did convince her to go to the Hulda Kluger Lilac Gardens with me in Woodland, WA. That is quite a special memory, because Grandma never went anywhere with me. She was a real stay-at-home kind of 'gal. She bought a few lilac bushes but they never really grew into much of anything before she moved away from the farm.
This is one of my very most favoritest (I know, bad English here) pictures of her. She is holding Meyers D. If I knew where it was I would include it, but my other favorite picture is when she's holding me as an infant. Same smile, same lighting, same holding position, only 25 years earlier and in black&white. It's beautiful really, I think all Grandmothers would like this picture.
My Grandfather isn't with us anymore. He passed away a few years ago, right about the time the lilacs were blooming. Strange, really....one of my favorite things about their farm was the Giant Overgrown Lilac Bush. I was in the process of moving when he passed away and walked into my new house one day and right out my bedroom window, reaching all the way up just so I could see it was a blooming lilac bush! I didn't have any idea it was even there when we bought the place and then surprise! It bloomed, and every year I think of Gramps when it does....
My Gramps would be so proud and so happy to know how well his "Brown Eyes" is doing. I've never in all my 34 years seen my Grandma so alive, so happy and so enjoying the little things in life. She's even getting adventurous and has asked to move from one retirement home to another...all because she wants to be more involved. It's shocking really, the whole family just grins, shakes their head and thinks....well, its nice to meet you! Gramps would be amazed by it all...that's the wonderful part of modern medicine...sometimes, but not all the time, it allows us to be who we were meant to be....it's Grace.** We all need it in our lives...some need chemical grace and we all need spiritual grace.
The silly picture of Gramps is of us making Coumpa (pronounced Koom-pa). Some call it klub (Kl-oo-b). My Grandpa was 1/2 Swede & 1/2 Norwegian and Coumpa was about the only traditional meal that our family has held onto. It's a poor man's meal, consisting of potatoes, flour, salt and salt pork. This was the only cooking my Gramps helped out with. He would hand grind all the potatoes for Grandma. It takes about 2 hrs. to make, unless you use a food processor. One hour to wash, peel, hand grind all the potatoes and mix it up and one hour to boil the balls. I set out to learn how to make it and I'm told I'm pretty good. I don't have a recipe, just do it by taste and memory. But we have a family cookbook and I found a recipe in there for it. I haven't tried it myself but its got all the same ingredients. Try it if you are brave and adventurous. Always eat coumpa hot and with lots of butter. It is best fried after its been boiled. This recipe was submitted by my Aunt B.I.
Norwegian Potato Klub
8c. grated or ground raw potatoes 4 1/2 c. flour 1 pkg. salt pork sliced into chunks Salt to taste (you are going to need a lot of it!)
Mix the potatoes, flour and salt in a large bowl. The dough should be very sticky so that it will form a loose ball. Just add enough salt until it tastes pretty salty, it's difficult to over-salt this. Form into balls the size of an apple; put pieces of salt pork in the center and reform into a ball. Drop balls into a large kettle of boiling water. Boil all the balls for 1 hr. Makes about 13 large klub. Hint: Sometimes it helps to wash hands in cold water after making every other klub ball.
Now Meyers is learning the art of being a great coumpa maker. She cried this Christmas when she thought she wasn't going to be able to help grind the potatoes. Here is a picture from when she was 2 to prove to her that yes, she has helped before!!
*Grace: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
*Grace: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.
I'm happy to say that Grace has been GRACED! Happy Birthday Grandma Grace. I love you.