If you are lucky enough to have a relationship with your grandmother, then you know it's a special one. No one in my life has influenced me like my grandmother did. Sadly, back in April she passed away at 90 years old. She was known to my family as Granny and was the only grandparent I ever had. It hasn’t been easy losing her. We spent a lot of time together and my favorite childhood memories involve her. Some examples include going to the library with her, eating at McDonalds, and watching hummingbirds from her porch swing. We made lots of other memories and I cherish them all, and a lot of those memories involve the things she loved: Dollhouses, knitting, and cats. Granny instilled a love of these things in me. I wouldn't be who I am today without her. Who knows if I ever would have become a cat lady myself, or be obsessed with dollhouses, without her sharing these things with me. Because of this I want to carry on her legacy and as I’ve grieved for my loss I have found solace in all she gave to me. So this blog is for Granny, and anyone who, like her, loves dollhouses, knitting, and cats (oh my!).
Dollhouses have been an integral part of childhoods everywhere for a very long time, and Granny being born during the Great Depression did not get to have that experience. So finally when she was an adult she built her own dollhouse using a kit and then personalized through accessories. It brought tons of joy to her and our family. It’s pictured above in all its glory as it looks today in my house (Grogu is my personal addition). It’s looking pretty good for being constructed in the 1980's and surviving decades worth of play and a plethora of moves. Now, if you want to see a cool dollhouse live and in person there is a pretty neat one here on display at LPL in the children's area. Have a look next time you’re here! And if you’re interested in making your own dollhouse for either you or someone else to enjoy, here are some books to help you get started.
Now, knitting is something I didn’t exactly pick up from my grandma, as I’ve just started to learn. However, I did acquire all of her knitting needles, yarn, patterns, and unfinished projects. As I continue my knitting journey, Granny will be there right by my side because I’ll be using her knitting needles. She was a fan of the larger sized needles, great for chunky sweaters. Here are some knitting books that, judging by Granny’s wardrobe, she would have loved to make and wear.
And that leaves us with cats. Granny was a cat lady through and through. She had this stone cat in her hallway that I was mesmerized by as a kid. Next to the dollhouse, this stone cat was my favorite thing at my grandma’s, and now it's one of my favorite things in my house. When I was a kid she also had an actual cat named Kenya. Unfortunately this cat and I did not get along, she was not a fan of small children despite me being a big fan of hers. At the time of her passing Granny did not have a real cat, only several ceramic ones. In honor of her love of cats, here are some books that I'm sure Granny would have loved to flip through.
I love my grandma and I'm glad I got as much time with her as I did. While losing her is still a fresh wound, its nice to have what she shared with me and I'm glad I can now share them with others. So channel your inner Granny and build a dollhouse, knit a sweater, or cuddle a cat, maybe all three.
-Mary Gomer is a Cataloging Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.