Today is officially the first Day of Spring! It would also be my Grandma Kima Probst's Birthday if she was still living. My Grandma passed away in 1999 from illness' related to her Alzheimer's Disease. She always comes to mind this time of year.
Kima was a very talented hairdresser, seamstress and cook. You may remember her Melt-away Cookies that I shared with you over the holidays. She was also known for her Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Catfish... yum! The holidays she created for us were filled with rich and fattening southern inspired foods.
Her home was warm and comfortable. While she never had any toys for us to play with she did have a basement beauty shop we loved to explore. Plus she was the "stuff" collector for the Elk's Club's annual rummage sale; so the basement was filled amazing treasures! Antique exercise equipment; like this crazy contraption with a belt you'd just wrap around your waist/hips/butt/ and turn on. Supposedly it'd vibrate the fat off you! We used to love to stand with the belt strapped in place shaking ourselves sick. Grandma also used to save her Elk's club variety show outfits for me for dress up, and let me have her out of style costume jewelry to play with. I felt like a princess many a time all made up, looking at myself in her dressing table mirror.
As a small girl I'd sit on her lap and admire her jewelry; she always wore a gold Charm bracelet, a pearl and diamond watch and several large cocktail rings, even when she was just sitting around in her house dress. She was ultra glamorous; smelling of Estee' and cigarettes she would show up to our backyard childhood birthday parties in her satin dresses with bleached blond hair and red lips.
It was after I had graduated from High School that she started to loose her memory, and years after that before she started to forget who I was. I had moved away to Arizona by then and we could still talk on the phone about her older memories; but she wasn't really sure who I was. After I moved back to Illinois I would visit her in the nursing home and she would not remember me unless I showed her a photo of me at age 4. She'd say "oh, I loved her! She was my favorite!"
I think of my Grandmother often, and I miss her very much.