When I was a little girl every time I visited my paternal Grandmother she let me pick a sweet from her candy bowl. It sat on one end of her gleaming coffee table in the heart of her completely neat and tidy 1970’s bungalow. Depending on the season Grammy filled the soft green depression glass vessel with Werther’s caramels, Ganong’s peppermints, liquorice all sorts, ribbon candy or my favourite – humbugs.
Grammy’s exercise program was her housework. She’d waited over 40 years to own a home and she washed walls, baseboards, curtains and every knick knack off every shelf twice a year. She did the laundry and hung in on the line on Mondays. She vacuumed and dusted every few days. She grocery shopped, cooked and set a perfect table for every meal. She looked after my grandfather and her beloved pets – cats, dogs and a bird. She doted on her only son, grandchildren, friends and neighbours. She also worked as a sales clerk in a shop until she was 60. Every Sunday afternoon she sat at her kitchen table to write letters to her family “over the river” in Maine and to me and my siblings when we were away at college. She sat everyday after work to watch her “stories” as she called the soap operas she adored. She savoured this life she made and it was really sad when she died of renal failure due to adult onset diabetes at only 74 years of age.
I miss my Grandmother but I don’t really miss her candy bowl. I think I inherited my sweet tooth from her well-intentioned gesture of hospitality. I’m determined to live healthfully and contribute to life well beyond 74 years of age.
I haven’t watched television since 1994 but I have a different kind of screen time issue as I sit and write for hours at my computer daily. That’s why I keep track of how much I move and walk at least an hour each day. It’s raining and cold right now but I’m going to drag my butt out the door and go for that walk now. I want to be around to savour it all with my only son and hopefully my grandchildren and friends until my 100th birthday.
The photo you see above is my update on a candy bowl. Hopefully my grandchildren will love having me around more than they’d love humbugs.