Thursday, August 23, 2012

In Memory of My Grandma Ellen

In one area of my life I have been very blessed.

At the time of my birth not only were all my grandparents alive but so where most of my great grandparents. Add in on one side I was the first grandchild and on the other I was the first granddaughter (my cousin Todd beat me being the first grandchild by 10 days) I was very spoiled and always knew I was much loved. 

Then when my parents divorced and remarried I was again blessed to have wonderful step-parents and step-grandparents (not to mention step-cousins, step-aunts, step-uncles...etc). 

I imagine its not easy being a step-grandparent. You miss out on those early bonding years and what you get is a moody 13 year old with a loud laugh, a definite attitude and who spent more time with her nose in a book and headphones on her ears than talking to you. Or that's what one of my step-grandparents got. 

But not once did they ever make me feel left out or not part of the family.

Grandpa died back when I was in college...Grandma died two days ago.

And I want to share one of my favorite moments with my Grandma. The one that made me realize as a moody teenager that I was a part of her family.

Back when I was in high school (lets not talk about how many years ago) I decided my senior year to take a cooking class to get an easy A. One day the teacher decided to teach to make Native American Fry Bread (although we called it Indian Fry Bread). I was excited. My grandma made amazing Fry Bread and I thought if I learn the basics maybe she will teach me to make it as well as she does. 

To this day I have no idea what the teacher was making but it was NOT Fry Bread. Since I was an outspoken snotty teenager I made a point of informing the teacher it was not Fry Bread. And while I don't remember the exact conversation it went something like this:
  • Me: That's not Fry Bread
  • Teacher: Yes it is
  • Me: No it is not (I am pretty sure I said this in the most snotty way possible) 
  • Teacher: This how you make it.
  • Me: My grandma is Native American from the Southern Ute tribe and she makes Fry Bread all the time and that is not how you make it. 
  • Teacher No your not
I can't remember what happened after that but the result was me going home and telling my mother my teacher is stupid and while I think my mom was more upset about my teacher not believing me. In the teachers defense I was blonder and whiter than then I am now and that is pretty blonde and white.

My mom informed my grandma about what happened and my grandma volunteered to go to the school and introduce herself to my teacher as my grandma and to teach her to make real Fry Bread. 

Being a cool teenager I declined the offer but when Grandma insisted on teaching me how to make Fry Bread I let her. 

Since her death I have been searching for the recipe and trying to remember all the tips that she taught my like how you can tell if your grease is hot enough. I haven't made it in years but I have no doubt after a few attempts I will remember all she taught me.

After she offered to have a showdown at the high school I started to feel like I belonged to her family...that and we shared a birthday.

I am so glad that she was part of my life. 


  1. This is a great story. What a great memory. I wish you would have let yoru grandma come in. I could just imagine that teachers face.

    ((Hugs))to you.

    1. Thank you. I have no doubt Grandma would have set my teacher straight.

  2. First let me say, I am so sorry to hear about your recent loss.
    It sounds like you were truly blessed by a wonderful grandmother. None of us are easy as teens, and I'm sure she understood how hard those years were for you then. I love that you have that memory of her, ready to defend you.

  3. I'm sorry you lost your grandmother.
    I've learned over the years that family is so much more than just being related by blood. It's what's in your heart and how you feel towards each other.
    I'm glad you were able to feel the acceptance of being family.
    Hugs to you!

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. Your grandma was a pip! Love the story.

    1. She was a pip and ready to defend any of her family.

  5. Thank you for visiting my blog today at Pride in Photos.I enjoyed reading about your grandma...I was close to my grandma too...still miss her and its been 10 years.


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