Saturday, December 19, 2009

Incredible Woman #18 - Francis Irene Evans - Saturday

To wrap up this week - the feature on my maternal grandmother, Irene, I thought I'd include some thoughts from my sister, Kristin (a former Incredible Woman). My cousin, Candy Jo also send a few thoughts. Here are hers first:

"The first thing that comes to mind is her ability to adapt. She grew up in a small town on a farm, was raised with rather limited education and a rather narrow perspective on the value of diversity and yet was able to move far away from home as a young woman and make a lovely home for her new husband and family. And she did raise two pretty cool people." -Candy

And, here are the memories Kristin shared with me...

"My earliest memory of her (Grandma) was at her house in Bountiful. She was baking in the kitchen and we were outside rolling down the hill in her back yard. We picked her flowers and she came out a saw that we had and she said "Oh Shhht!" Boy did we think we were in trouble! But she just hugged us and told us not to touch them anymore!

I remember when we were little and going to Great Grandpa's farm in Virginia. She was always in the kitchen surrounded by her sisters and they were so funny! She took me out to the chicken coop to get eggs and I thought that was great fun. Then we went in to cook them for breakfast, she broke one in the pan and it had blood in it and had already started to form. I watched as she calmly scooped it out of the pan and threw it in the trash and then went back to cooking! I was so grossed out I vowed to never eat an egg off of a farm again! Only the ones that came from the store! She would take me out after breakfast and we would throw the garbage in the pig pen, I thought that was pretty fun too!

As I got older I too remember every year Grandma and Grandpa's silver bullet trailer in our driveway. I couldn't wait to see them pull in! I also remember riding in their old rust colored car with the cactus scene in the back window! I thought we were so in style! Ha!

I remember cooking with her and her teaching me how to make different dishes, though I never could make it like her because she would measure things with the palm of her hand. "You put in this much of this and this much of that." Unfortunately I don't have the same size hands as her so nothing is the same! I loved her pies, they were the best pies in the world! Especially strawberry rhubarb!

I loved that she quilted my kids blankets, I loved that every stitch was perfect, it always amazed me!

I loved seeing them (my grandparents) after I had kids! They loved the little ones and after I married Dave and had 5 more, she would get confused about all their names, she would say "How is whatchacalla?" and she would explain to me who she was asking about, "The one who likes baseball", "The one with diabetes", "The littlest one", every phone call would last an hour at least. She wanted to know what each of them were doing and how everyone was. She was just so sweet. She really loved all of her grandkids and great grandkids! She was thrilled when Nathan and Haley had her first great-great granddaughter! She asked all the time how she was and wanted to see her! Dave and I took a road trip with our 8 kids to visit her when we were first married. Our 2 oldest slept on the pull out couch and the 6 boys slept in sleeping bags out on her big covered porch! It was quite an adventure! She loved spending time with them all and talked about that for years!

Visiting her in Arizona was always so much fun! We would go to the swap meet and look around and everything I would buy she would ask "What do you need that for?" I had to explain every purchase! There was never a good reason! We would sit at her kitchen table and paint flour sack towels with fabric paints for hours. First she would iron on the pictures and then we would sit and color together so I had something to take home and use. I loved spending that time with her! For her 80th birthday, Mom, Kara, and I flew down and celebrated with her and her sisters. It was so much fun to be around them all! We got bumped off our flight, but our bags were checked! So the three of us went back to grandma's but stopped to buy sweats to wear and makeup to share the next morning! It was fun to spend an extra night and grandma's though and she wasn't disappointed at all!

In the past year I had the privilege of visiting her twice. In November I drove down with my parents and little Ellie. They went in the back door and Ellie and I went to the front door and knocked, she was so excited to see us standing there! It was so fun to surprise her! She just loved having the baby there! I was able to visit her again for the last time with my sister Kara and Ellie in the spring. We drove down together and had so much fun when we got there. We pulled in and she was waiting at the door. She got a real kick out of Ellie playing on the air vents and would laugh and laugh at her! It was a great few days and I will cherish those memories with her. The best part of our trips there was looking at photo albums and listening to her tell stories about the pictures! We laughed for hours and had a great time!

We were so blessed to have her as part of our lives for so long! What an amazing woman! I love you grandma!!!" Kristin

Some fun pictures of us with Grandma Evans...

This is at Grandma's 80th birthday

This is Kristin, her daughter Ellie, my mom, Barbara, and Grandma Evans earlier this year.

This is Grandma Evans with great-granddaughter, Ellie.

And, finally, this is me visiting my grandmother for the last time - I'm just recovering from breast cancer - no hair! Grandma died a few months later.

This has been a real treat - featuring my grandmother this week. I look forward to next week, when I'll be featuring my paternal grandmother.


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