August 11th would be my Gramma's 108th Birthday. Although I would have told you I couldn't live one minute without her, I find that I've lived nearly 23 years. I think it's universal. We love our grammas or a dear aunt, or someone who just seems to light up when we walk into the room. August's flower is the poppy, and my grandmother had a lovely bed of these hot orange favorites of hers. She gave me the chocolate pot, and I bought the plates on Ebay. These are called Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. Beautiful, with words and phrases sprinkled on the rims. My friend has them, and they set a beautiful table. I have four plates and some cups and saucers. The little poppy red, raspberry cup is actually a brush mug I bought at that big auction a couple of weeks ago.
The photo is one of my gramma and of me on my wedding day. She made both wedding dresses for me, my white, first wedding's dream dress with lacy overlay, long tiers of ruffles in back, and a headress with hand sewn lace... and this one of blue lace, for my second wedding to the father of my child, my heart throb, THE ONE.... I hoped and believed. And somehow I know she could have helped me through the heartbreak and lingering devastation of losing that "married" soul of my life which seemed to have changed me to the very core. Gramma's maxims live within my spirit: "Little bit do good; whole lot do better." "If you're hurt, paint something pink; if you're mad, do red." "They be silly; you be silly." "Never say die; say damn and keep on trying." "Stick your head in the air. You're better than that." and the last words she ever said to my mother: "I love you more than tongue can tell." I said that to my three year old son after her death SO many times that once he looked at me squarely and said, "Momma? Just who is this Tunkatell?" What a hoot. Gramma was no doubt sparkling and howling with laughter on that one. Quilts, clothes, my eye and heart for china, a passion for old things and for family--- many gifts she gave me, and many traits. Sometimes I feel her rise up inside me and I become my gramma. It's always spectacular. Other times I dream of her, and it is a little visit. Only five foot, one inch... less as she aged, but full of feist and spunk. She saw me at my worst, told me off, and hugged me hard... In her I felt and met that unconditional love we all desperately need. There was never any performance based acceptance with Gramma. I was "in" and I was the only granddaughter, so I was always going to be "in." So, in honor of your birthday, I set my August table with these poppy china dishes, hug my family close, and whisper to all I care about: "I love you more than Tunkatell." Happy Birthday, Gramma. I've been painting with pink.