I was lucky to have three living grandparents for a good chunk of my life. I'm lucky enough to still have a grandmother (Grandmommy to the family), who loves all of us grandkids more than anyone could imagine.
But there are days when I really miss my Nana, who died when I was in middle school. I hear that I'm a lot like her as she always wanted her table set just so, as she dirtied every pot in the house to make dinner on any given night. Yup, that's me. But there are lots of ways that I'm not nearly as much like her as I would like to be. Her house was always spotless (at least as far as I knew.) Her freshly ironed sheets always smelled faintly of roses. Come to think of it, her whole house smelled like roses because she grew them in her yard, and like to keep fresh ones around. She always had little candy dishes around that made you feel as if you were the most cherished of people. And until her later years, I'm not sure I ever saw her without pearls and a set of spectator pumps. (Which I guess is why I love spectator pumps so much now.) In short, before I ever realized it, she was what became my definition of elegant.
I would love to become the hostess she was, the housekeeper that I believe she must have been. I too would love for people to think of me as elegant-- but maybe that's what I want to be when I grow up. I don't know if it's the life Nana would have chosen for herself, or if she just did what all the women of the time did. Either way, she's a role model in my eyes.
Today, I think Nana must be smiling. I've baked two pies and have rolls rising, and before the day is through, I'll make two more pies and a stew for dinner. I thought I was doing all of this because it was my job, because I was trying to be effecient and get ahead of the game. But the farther I got in the process, the more I realized it wasn't work. It's been a holy sort of day where the person my Nana was is shining even through me-- domestic goddess though I'm not.
Tuesday was All Saints Day, and I'm still celebrating. I'm still remembering a lady who would laugh if she heard me call her a saint. And I'm thankful for a woman who still challenges me to be the woman I want to be.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.