As I have mentioned before a time or two, my Nana Wells, my mother’s mother, was pretty much my heroine growing up. We were closer to her than to my father’s mother, as Mom was an only child, so my siblings and I were her only grandchildren. My father had five siblings, so there were a lot of kids on that side of the family.
But, we had Nana Wells to ourselves.
I remember her as being rather formal, not really the kind of grandmother who made cookies and snuggled on the couch. In fact, she wasn’t much of a cook at all. She was really rather terrible at it.
She wore dresses, hose, and sturdy heels daily; it wasn’t until the end of her life that she ever wore pants.
I do remember her hugs. only because she wore impressive girdles her whole life. Hugging her was akin to hugging a tree trunk. A very solid, rigid, non-giving tree trunk.
She was a prolific letter writer; at one time, I had stacks of her letters to me. They were sadly lost in a move, and I feel their loss now.
She taught woodshop in the 1920s and 30s, graduated college, supported her little family on her teacher’s salary, held down the home front with my infant mother while my grandfather searched for work in the far reaches of California, and had her driver license and her own car at a time when it just wasn’t done.
And, for all her formality and, well, frankly uprightness, she was a fierce woman who blazed her own trail. And, the photo below epitomizes her spirit to me. It’s my favorite picture of her.
‘Til next time.