Monday, April 11, 2011

Goodbye Grandma Mae - April 11, 2011

Blue Plum Brandy

My Grandma Mae passed away over the weekend.  She was my last living grandparent and had been struggling with Alzheimer's disease for the past few years.  In healthier, happier times Grandma and Grandpa lived a little north of here, on a lake.  My Grandpa, who passed away ten years ago now, fished every single day that he could.  I have many fond memories of fishing for sunnies with him out on the boat, off the dock, and even in the cozy little ice-fishing house in the winter.  When we returned home, we always had a fish fry for dinner that night.  To this day, I have never eaten fish better than those fresh sunfish, pulled out of the water mere hours before, expertly battered in flour, egg and beer and fried up by my Grandma into perfect, golden, crispy nuggets.  I have resigned myself to the fact that I will probably never eat fish that delicious again.

Grandma Mae was an avid gardener and, at the lake, had a front yard full of her favorite flowers.  She was a beautiful crocheter and I am lucky to have some of her hand crocheted snowflakes.  She was a prolific painter of landscapes, a talented bowler, and a beautiful polka dancer.  She also had a mean collection of stamps.  Perhaps most importantly, she was my Polish Grandma.  She didn't drink, but was a firm believer in the curative powers of Polish blackberry brandy. Have a head cold?  Upset stomach?  Headache?  Nothing that a nip of blackberry brandy couldn't fix.  Well, we didn't have any blackberry brandy in the cabinet, but  we did have a bottle of Clear Creek Distillery's Blue Plum Brandy, or as it's known in Poland, slivovits, or sliwowica.  Nick and I raised a glass in honor of Grandma Mae this weekend. Goodbye Grandma.  Godspeed to that big polka dance in the sky.


Jaime said...

Jess, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. Your tribute to her and your grandfather here is beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. Hugs...

Jess said...

Thank you Jaime for the kind words and hugs. While I am obviously saddened to lose her, I have to say that after seeing the Alzheimer's progress over the years and take everything from her, I truly feel she is in a better place. I am happy that she is released from carrying the burden of that disease. I have many happy memories of time spent with her and embrace all that she has shared with me, especially my Polish heritage (I think it really helped me fit in in Wisconsin)!


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