Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My hero

I never thought I'd say this but I am ready for the fall! It is just so gross outside. I want cool crisp air and not being completely covered in sweat by the time I walk into my office!

I hope this humidity lets up a little bit by this weekend. I am going to my grandma's on Sunday for her birthday and she does not have any AC in her house. With all the cooking and people in there it will become an oven in no time. I defiantly see myself hiding in her basement trying to cool off!

Besides the heat I am excited to be going. She will be 87 and is healthier then me. It's amazing really, she lives by herself, cooks, cleans and gardens all the time, and even walks (she never learned to drive) to the supermarket to get the things she can't grow outside. She's always had this great outlook on life and managed to do very well for herself despite never learning how to even write.

She came to America when she was 13 and because her family was struggling went right to work in a sweat shop. She never went to school. She learned how to speak English from a woman she worked with. A woman who to this day is her best friend. She eventually learned how to read but never was able to write. Only to sign her name.
When she got married she still had to keep working. My grandpa was a TV and electronic repair man and didn't make a lot of money back then. After WWII not a lot of woman kept on working. My grandma was the ultimate superwoman. She worked hard during the day but always made sure she was home before her children. She made sure to always have a clean house and a feed family.

Even though they didn't make a lot my grandma knew how to stretch out a dollar. She saved any chance she got. She's always lived in the same house. It was pretty large, it housed my grandma and her family, her sister and family. Plus her parents and other siblings lived there. Soon her sister moved on, as did her brothers. She was able to make 3 apartments in her house and began to rent them out.
She was able to stop working and really enjoy her life. Because they saved so well my grandparents were able to travel all over. They never had to skimp again.

Now 74 years after she came to America, my grandma is still in the same house and still doing great.

My grandma on the left with her sister in the garden.


Karen said...

Happpy Birthday Gram!! That is great.

But no AC at that age can be dangerous, no? Get her a unit for her b-day!

magda said...

What a sweet, sweet story! Although her life was certainly harder than we can imagine, it sure sounds romantic looking back. Keep on writing her stories down!

erin - heart in ireland said...

What an awesome story! Did she go through Ellis Island? If she did, she should get in contact with their Oral History Department, as they have an AMAZING archive of interviews with immigrants and your Grandma's story would be a great addition.


Anonymous said...

This reminded me a lot of my grandma too. I hope the celebration is fun despite the heat! :)