I am trying to get the house ready for my in-laws' arrival this afternoon, but I've been thinking about my grandma today and just wanted to write about her here.
Her name was Ida Louise Briars Edgar. October 11 was her birthday.
Grandma grew up on a farm in upstate New York. When she was a young woman, a local church got a new pastor, a handsome guy from Colorado, newly graduated from seminary and in need of a wife. They married on July 15, 1935, sixty years to the day before I got married, but they didn't know that was to come.
They moved all over the country, serving wherever the Lord led, serving whomever the Lord brought to their table.
Grandma loved to cook and loved to make a pretty table for her guests. This was way before Martha Stewart and her ilk came along and shamed us all into stressing over these things. Grandma was a hostess who made her guests feel welcome; fed them good, filling food; and sent them away feeling blessed. I would even say, she showed them a tiny bit of the fellowship of heaven.
Of course, she and Grandpa were a team in this, but Grandma set the tone for hospitality.
Grandma loved Christmas. She loved the bustle and fuss. She loved picking out presents and wrapping them and arranging them under the Christmas tree. She loved decorating the tree (no matter what scraggly thing we found in the back pasture!) and decorating the house. She loved all the baking and cooking. She's the one who used to suggest we pester Grandpa to be allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. He never gave in, but she tried valiantly every year.
Grandma could not carry a tune in a bucket. I know she was self-conscious about her voice because she would sometimes stop singing in church and just listen. When I was very little I thought that she hated the Psalm tune I loved (53B, aka "Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus) because she wouldn't sing it, and for some reason that delighted me, naughty child that I was. Later I figured out that she loved good singing, but could not do it herself so sometimes she just listened, especially to her husband and daughter who had/have lovely voices.
Grandma loved people. That was the "secret" to all of the ways in which she left her mark on the people around her. She cared about people and was interested in them, from old friends to folks at church to eccentric neighbors down the road who carried potatoes in their pockets to keep away the rheumatism.
When she was in her 90s, she was still baking treats to take to the "old people" down the street.
She was an extraordinary woman and I am so thankful for the years I had to know her and learn from her and love her and be loved by her.
I miss her.
Lisbon RP Church where my grandfather pastored and my grandparents met. They retired to land on Grandma's family farm and attended this church as retirees.