There has never been a day in my life that my Grandma LaRue hasn’t been a presence, a memory, or a thought away. Growing up, Summer vacations, holidays, birthdays, weekends, all found me at Grandma and Grandpa’s house on Riverside Drive in Prindle, Washington on the great Columbia River. The memories of that time in my life are the sweetest memories I have and I will cherish them always. I find that the older I get the more often I take those memories out, and relive those days in quiet, contented, loving reflection.
My Grandma (Nana, as I called her when I was very young) was always very active and engaged. She was not one of those grandmas that sat around observing or admonishing me to “go out and play.” Grandma was the Ring Leader in my adventures. Whenever I would visit she would always have great things planned. Some of the things I remember doing with grandma: walking to the Columbia River, building dams in the streams, picking blackberries, and vegetables from her garden, swinging on the old wooden swing, hikes in the woods, visiting with great-grandma and feeding the fish in her pond, splashing around in the Washougal River, fishing, rock hunting, the hot, sweet smelling kitchen during summer canning, the cold fall mornings standing by the wood burning stove, sliding down Sunshine Mountain, learning to climb the tree outside her kitchen window, watching the hummingbirds fly by for a drink from the feeder, weeding her flower beds and picking flowers for her house, “driving” the old tractors and cars parked permanently in the field, sledding in the winter, FIRES!, digging around in the attic, playing table games, cooking, baking, and making crafts….And so many, many more things to do. There was NEVER a dull moment with Grandma.
And oooh lots of wonderful things to eat; things that my parents wouldn’t generally let me eat at home. Candy, sugar cereals, Twinkies, pies, ice-cream, soda, and the never empty cookie jar. There was also corn on the cob, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, crookneck squash, peaches, pears, blackberries and other wonderful things from her garden and orchard. I was not a big fan of squash, but Grandma made scrambled eggs with crookneck squash that was always a big hit.
My Grandma was a loving, giving, fierce, determined, strong minded, strong willed woman. Grandma always had a knack for making everyone in her life feel special and unique. She is my hero, my role model and simply put, the most amazing Grandma ever to walk the earth and I am so proud to be her granddaughter.
My Grandma, Marvel Mae Applegate Huson Goldman LaRue (That name is a story all in itself…ask me sometime, I’d be proud to share it with you.) January 18, 1920 – July 17, 2014.