Writing Challenge: What Reminds you of your Grandmother

What is something that always reminds you of your grandma? This was a question that was asked by Connections-Experiment in a Twitter post. My first reaction was instantaneous. Grandma’s Trinket Chest.

Grandmother’s Sewing Box

Before I tell you more about this former candy box, as we all know we have at least two grandmothers. I only had the opportunity to know one of them. So my first response was to pick something that reminded me of her.  Carrie died when I was 14, she developed dementia long before that, so when I say I knew her, I really mean the vestiges of who she once was. However, my father told me when he was dying that of all the people he knew, I reminded him, most of her. And so I will trust that I might have an idea of who she was.

The box symbolizes so very much about my grandmother and I did not even think of those things when it popped into my head. I love boxes, flowers and chocolates. I particularly love the way this box is decorated in flowers and with intricate detail of identifiable flowers: roses, tulips, morning glories, bluebells etc. I did not know that Schrafft’s was a confectionery founded in Boston by William F. Schrafft in Boston, in 1861. But I note the name is German and so was a significant part of her ancestry.

My grandma Carrie kept her many sewing notions in the Trinket Chest. As a young girl it sat upon her Singers Treadle Sewing Machine, and I loved to look through it. I later did the same keeping pieces of lace, rickrack and bias tape in her box. She was an avid seamstress and supported herself and her family as such during the hard times of the depression and war.  But aside from being a box that was hers. I suspect the box reminded her of the person who gave it to her, perhaps on a special occasion? I wonder if it was my grandfather, Milo that bought her a box of chocolates. Speaking of which, my grandmother loved chocolates. My grandmother always had a box of chocolate covered donuts and a dish of Nonpareils. The name Nonpareils refers to the small white candy balls and is from the French word that means “without equal.” But the white balls covered dark chocolate disks…and well I share my grandmother’s dark chocolate addiction…so you see there are many things that remind me of my grandmother.

Carrie Ethel HENAGER Lewiston, Idaho 1914 Colorized

These days I keep mementos of hers in the box. Her autograph book from 1905. A shopping list pad. A copy of Mary Baker Eddy’s “Science and Health with a Key to the Scriptures,” 3 brassiere fasteners, some hand tatted lace, a tatting shuttle, a bracelet with the charms spelling mother and the Marine Corps insignia (sent by my father to Carrie during WWII). We also, it seems, shared similar vision issues and for a time similar taste in glasses. For inside the box today you can find her prescription glasses whose correction is quite similar to my own. Although a slight bit rusty– it has held up well. Wishing that I do as well.

There’s lots more to share about my grandmother Carrie. Your mission is the next Writing Challenge.

Writing Challenge: What Reminds you of your Grandmother?

  • Is it a special memory, an object or maybe a recipe.
  • Perhaps it is a smell of her favorite perfume, something she cooked or flowers she loved
  • Can you tell us a story about your grandmother that makes her real to the reader
  • Do you like your grandmother? Were you afraid of her? What stands out for you?
  • What similarities or differences come to mind when comparing yourself to your grandma?
  • Was there something particularly playful about her?
  • Did you ever get in trouble with grandma?

Kelly Wheaton © 2022 – All Rights Reserved

3 Comments on “Writing Challenge: What Reminds you of your Grandmother”

  1. Pingback: What Is It About Boxes? Writing Challenge | Wheaton Wood

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