Comely and Capable

The weather turned on Thursday, so there was no danger of food poison once my turkeys hit their brine-y baths on the porch.  As usual we had a full house.  That was just fine.  That’s the way Thanksgiving should be.  We had an amazing table of food and all the relatives we could pack into one place.

The house was so full, niece Marissa and I had to eat with our plates in our laps on the couch.  I have eaten in more awkward situations.  We were just fine.  I would do it again if I had to and I probably will next year.

I won’t swear that Gigi knew who I was or where she was, but she is a very fine actress.  She covered her tracks well.  Every time I talked to her she looked at me funny and opened her mouth to say something.   Then she closed it again without saying a word.

It reminded me of when she had her brain aneurysm.  I went to visit her in the ICU and the dietician came in.  The dietician wanted to know what she had eaten.  Grandma was sure that she was asking about insurance and insisted on telling her she didn’t wish to discuss the insurance while she was in the ICU.

“No, Grandma,”  I said.  “She wants to know what you ate.”

Grandma fixed me with a terrible look, “Lisa!  You are a very nice granddaughter, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I guess not.

That was at least 10 years ago.  I can’t remember.  On Thursday, I felt she wanted to say the same thing to me again . . . only she wasn’t so sure this time whether I knew what I was talking about or not.  She seemed more open to the possibility that maybe she was the one who was wrong.

I’m not exactly sure when this photo was taken. Some time around 1962.  She is younger than I am.  She is a widow.  Her husband — mere months before — uprooted the family from Minneapolis and brought them to West Central Minnesota where he had bought a newspaper.  It was a dream he had which took several years to put together.  The newspaper was worried about the readers when he died suddenly.  An article I read for the first time a few days ago assured the readers that Grandma was filling in and she was “comely and capable.”  They were not to worry.

I think if you took a picture of me in the same situation, I’d look like a mess . . . but she does, indeed, look comely and capable.

Here’s a candid shot of us from Thursday.  That little boy in the photo above turned into that big guy on the left.  Grandma looks serious, doesn’t she.  We were looking at pictures my uncle was showing through the TV.

I like that’s she’s holding her purse — just in case.

She is still comely.  She is still capable.  She made it through Thanksgiving dinner charming everyone there.


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