Truly Powerful People (394)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

My grandmother grew up in a gold mining camp in the mountains of Colorado. There is a wonderful picture of her as a young girl, riding a mule, dressed in overalls and a straw hat, a female Huck Finn. In her lifetime she experienced the advent of electric light, flush toilets, hot water on demand from a faucet, and central heat. She saw two world wars – each the war to end all wars that, ironically, gave birth to the war industry. She lived the mind bender that came with the atom bomb. Airplanes took flight, automobiles took over, and she saw a man step on the moon. Hearts became transplant-able, credit was forever associated with a plastic card, food became fast, ovens could microwave and salad could be found at a bar. Serve yourself.

Once, she hid an old horse in her kitchen because the truck from the rendering plant was trolling her neighborhood. She lived near Pearl Harbor on that day of infamy. She out-lived two of her children. She was a tiny woman who technically could not ride some of the rides at the carnival (she was shorter than the clown) but no one stood in her way. She taught me that formidable had nothing to do with size.

I once half-joked that if the world came to an end the one thing I wanted to guarantee my survival was my grandmother’s purse. It was shaped like a punching bag and was a bottomless source of food, bandages, water, rain gear, tools, utensils, maps, wire, string, duct tape, clothing, shelter and toys. Her purse was something out of Harry Potter: pure magic.

She drove an orange Volkswagen bug and was not above tying her wet clothes to the antenna to dry as she drove to the next adventure. She could barely see over the steering wheel. Once, in her little bug we were surrounded by a herd of buffalo and although I initially tended toward terror it was her laughter that defined the experience for me. It is her laughter that I most remember about her. It was her laughter that carried her through.

Everyone lives a big life story and few know it so adept are we at reducing our lives to the mundane. So gifted are we at not noticing the extraordinary in the day-to-day ordinary of our lives. She was not a movie star, she never won a Nobel prize or took the blue ribbon at the fair. She worked a mind-numbing job on the line at a candy plant and achieved almost nothing that this world might recognize as valuable. However, she lived every moment of her time, she never once lost sight her glorious life. She walked a beautiful life. How’s that for a legacy!

2 Responses

  1. this is very fun, thanks I enjoyed your grandma allot, she was a giver.

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