polar opposite great grandmothers
“Granner” or “Granner Grump” was my dad's dad's mother. As her name implied, she was a bit of a grumpy old woman. She had a mobile home located between our mobile home and my grandparents’ house on Lilac Road. Grandpa had moved her to the farm in the 1960s, built a small storage shed which remained on the farm long after the home was gone, and provided a small garden for her. She didn’t like us kids, and she hated cats, of which my grandparents had many. We thought it entirely harmless to walk back and forth in front of her house with the kitties from the barn. She would come out with a broom and shoo us away.
She attended the Assemblies of God Church in Plymouth and my grandparents would leave after church in LaPaz to go pick her up after her service. Sometimes we were allowed to ride along. You might wonder why we would want to, but it was because my grandparents could be talked into stopping at the A&W Rootbeer stand for ice cream….that made up for riding with an angry old lady. She was in her mid 80s when she died. Only the good die young.
Or maybe they don't. My Great Grandma Edna Hochstetler, we just called her Grandma Edna, had retired from the farm northwest of Bremen quite some time before I was born, and had moved with Great Grandpa to a small brick house on Montgomery Street in Bremen, across from the Salem Methodist Church, and around the corner from where her parents had retired to many years before. Grandma Edna had a particularly interesting way in speaking that I remember my grandpa mimicked some, but can hear it particularly well in how my Great Aunt Lorretta speaks. I wonder if it wasn’t from some German influence of her ancestors. Grandma Edna’s house was pretty sparse of furniture and décor. Everything seemed particularly clean and orderly when we would sit and visit with her. She had a few games that we could play, very old board games that she kept in a room off the kitchen. Grandma Edna would always provide us a little something for Christmas, near the end it was a card with a single dollar bill inside. I do remember one Christmas getting a marble track made of wood. And once while visiting she gave me an old metal toy road grader that had been my grandpa’s. Thankfully I still have that.
Grandma, along with her three sisters, were stalwarts of the Methodist Church across the street. All were involved in the women’s temperance society, and the suffrage movement. They all lived to be incredibly old and insisted the family all come together for the Ewald (their maiden names) Reunion each year. Grandma Edna died at 96 years of age when I was a freshman in college.