Prior to meeting her, my idea of a grandmother was different. When I was growing up, we did not live close to any of our grandparents. Our Smith grandparents live in Lapeer or Davison, Michigan which was 45 minutes to an hour away. Since my father worked retail Monday thru Saturday, Sunday was the only day we could go see them and it was no small task to cart 6 children in the cars one hour there and one hour back…and go to Church in the morning so we did not visit them very often. Our visits with them may have been monthly and it never involved an overnight stay. (well almost never...but that is for a different blog too.) We did see them on all the holidays but the situation was never the kind that you could drop in to see them anytime you wanted.
On my Mother’s side of the family, my Grandma Addie died a few months before I was born. Her husband, Grandpa Andrew Anderson lived in Marine City which was about 45 minutes away situated to the east of us on the St.Clair River. He came and visited us regularly at our home. He was alone and usually stayed for a few days or as much as a week. I have written several posts about him and his visits.
Grandma Kaake was the type of Grandma who you wanted to visit regularly. She always had a smile and a big hug for you when you arrived and when you left. She appreciated every visit whether it was daily, weekly or less often, whether you stayed for 5 minutes or for hours. You knew when you left how happy she was to see you. She was a patient lady who always listened to what you had to say. She wisely offered advice when it was needed and knew how to say it so as not to hurt you or your feelings …And most important, she knew there were times when the best thing to do was to not say anything at all! I stopped by to visit her often and there was no place in the world which felt safer or more comfortable than at Grandma Kaake’s house. Sometimes we would sit on the front stoop and other times at the kitchen table. There was always something cooking on the stove and an open invitation to stay a while and cookies in the bread drawer.
When I left
Imlay City for in 1981, I knew that I would miss everyone but I knew that I would miss Grandma Kaake the most! I think of her often and have tried my best to be more like Grandma Kaake to my grandchildren even though I am not fortunate enough to live near them. Phoenix
Miss you Grandma Kaake!