Sunday, January 6, 2019


I went to visit Grandma Matthews last week.  She did not come over to my parents’ place for a belated Christmas celebration because she was sick.  She gets sick every year about this time.  We agreed it was due to holiday stress and lots of germs in the air.

I wanted to make time to go see Grandma while I was in the area.  Melissa, my sister, and her sons Cole and Clayton stopped by Grandma’s the day before I did.  Grandma had snacks for them I’m sure.  When my parents go visit Grandma they always try and talk Grandma out of cooking anything.  Grandma is always serving up food when we visit.

 I don’t even try and stop her anymore.  Grandma is 91 years old and has earned the right to do whatever the hell she wants.  Why fight it?  Even when I try and limit her efforts to feed me, it is futile.  Grandma will make food.  Grandma will be in the kitchen after her own funeral making sandwiches.  I’m sure of this.

Here’s how it all went down last week -

Me:  Hi Grandma, how are you?  You sound sick.
Grandma:  Oh I’m okay.  I’m a little hoarse.
Me:  I’ve been sick too.  Day 10 for me, but I’m not too bad.  Can I come over and visit?
Grandma:  Sure!  What do you want to eat?
Me:  I just ate so I don’t need anything thanks.
Grandma:  How about a ham sandwich?
Me:  Okay.  A ham sandwich would be great.
Grandma:  Is that all you want?
Me:  Yup.  A ham sandwich will be great.  Can I bring you anything?
Grandma:  No, I’m fine.

I drive into town to visit Grandma bringing a bottle of wine from Dancing Rabbit, a coffee cake left over from all the stuff Mom had for my visit which we never ate and a container of leftover chicken fettuccine.

I arrive at Grandma’s in town-

Me:  Hi Grandma!
Grandma:  Hi Troy.  It’s so good to see you.
Me:  Good to see you too.  Sorry you’re sick.
Grandma:  Oh well.  You know.  Seems like I get this every year.  I’ll make you a sandwich.  And there are some peaches if you like.  And some chips.  Do you like chips?  How about some chicken noodle soup?  What’s this you brought?  Would you like some of that?  Let me heat that up.  I love this coffee cake.  You want some coffee cake, don’t you?

I surrendered.

Over the next hour, on an already full stomach, I ate 2 ham sandwiches with Miracle Whip and mustard on white bread, a bowl of chicken noodle soup, a big glass of milk, a slab of coffee cake, a bowl of peaches, some peanut butter filled pretzels, and half a bag of potato chips.  To my credit, I fended off another sandwich and bowl of soup, chicken alfredo, a milk refill, a slice of cheese, coffee, pork and beans, and a gift box filled with coffee, a mug, and cookies.

To my chagrin, I did leave with a candy cane, an individually wrapped piece of dark chocolate, and a partially eaten chocolate covered pretzel stick.  These items collect in a tin on Grandma’s kitchen table.

I put up a good fight, but Grandma always wins.

We had a nice visit and covered the usual topics; card parties, eating out, football, doctors, her friend David, and things she doesn’t really care for and has told people about.

Grandma plays cards with a group of friends a couple times a week.  She has cut down on her driving so only plays every other week in Concordia about 6 miles away from her house.  She enjoys the 7 Days a Week Diner especially when she gets offered a discount by the owner at the register.  Unfortunately the owner has not been there lately and his daughter does not offer the discount.  The Kansas City Chiefs football team has been good this season but lost the last two games.  We agree they will win their next game.  Her doctor talked her out of taking an antibiotic right away after Grandma got sick on Christmas but prescribed one just in case Grandma did not start feeling better.  Well, she hadn’t started feeling better and wishes she had taken the pills right away.  Grandma’s friend David will turn 90 in April and Grandma has noticed, “He’s slipping a little bit.”  Grandma will be 92 this year.

After collecting cats for several decades, live and manufactured, she has turned her attention to elephants; elephants of only the manufactured variety.  She offered me “the whole lot,” but I explained I’m paring down my collectibles.  I was relieved to hear that she is saving a scarf I gave her many years ago and has never worn it but knows “it will mean a lot to you someday so I’m holding onto it so you can have it.”  Phew.  I can imagine Grandma wrapping a sandwich in the scarf in case I “need a little snack.”

Thanks Grandma.  Love you.  As always, thanks for the sandwich.

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