Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandma

"At night when it was time to go to bed, Dorothy and Lana would make me go up the stairs first. They held the candles, and up the stairs I would go. As soon as I was halfway up, they would blow out the candles and start stomping their feet. "Phyddie there's a bear, run Phyddie there's a bear!" I would race up those stairs lickety split, scared out of my wits."

Grandma Barton and Dad

"Well, one day I was out to the barn with my Dad and I found a dead rat. I picked that thing up by the tail and asked Dad if I might have that old rat. Sure, he said. So I put that rat behind my back and found Dorothy. I walked up to my sister and pulled out that rat and chased her all around the barn and back again! She was a screaming and hollering, my sister, they never told me there was a bear again!"

"Another time, why I was just a young girl, my Dad told me to take the car and drive down to the creek to get us some water. I couldn't believe he would allow me to do that! So he put the old milk container, you know, those big metal milk cans? He put that can in the back of the car and I drove off down the lane to the creek. I filled up that milk can with water at the spring and drove back home. My Mother was beside herself! Dad said I could do anything I set my mind to. I never forgot that."

On July 26, 1918, Phyliss Hope Barton was born in Steuben County, Indiana. Phyddie, as she was called, was a blond haired, blue eyed beauty who loved cooking, bowling, shows in Chicago, Patsy Cline and Nat King Cole, Yahtzee, the Moose Lodge, and traveling with her girlfriends. But most of all she loved her family. All our gatherings were held at Grandma's house in the later years. The fire was lit in the basement fireplace, the player piano started, and the whole extended family would sit around Grandma's large dining room table eating foods that Grandma spent a week cooking. Or maybe pulled out of the freezer from our last meal together a year earlier. There was one particular fruit cake that came out of the freezer every holiday for three years. She threatened that it would continue to go back in the freezer until it was eaten up. She wasn't kidding. Those were great times.

Grandma Barton helped me through the darkest time in my life and gave me the love and security to reclaim a life almost lost to depression. She was my worst critic and my biggest fan. And my world hasn't been the same since she left us.

On this day, the day Phyliss Hope Barton was born, I honor her memory and feel so blessed to have had her in my life. She left some big shoes to fill.


  1. Gone but NEVER forgotten. Miss you Gram... #3

  2. I often wished she had been my grandma instead of my great-aunt. But she certainly was great!