So I decided to call my Grandma Lola today because it's been a while since we've talked. You never know which Lola you are going to get on the phone -- she can be sassy, laughing, frustrated, or ready to argue. She's always sweet, but like all of us, Lola has her days. And if I reach 82 years of age, I want to be like Lola -- cuz she rocks and I wouldn't want her any other way!

I have learned a lot from Lola. She taught me how to cuss properly. When she's frustrated, the four-letter words are released. She talks about wanting to clean up her act, but it's not like she's foul-mouthing the server in the restaurant or cursing out the other BINGO players. It's endearing, and I say, let the damn shit fly!

She has taught me that family is important. She is the martriarch of our family, and she has always looked out for my mom, my brother, and me. I owe my success today, in part, to her contributions and support. I think she bought a new car once so I could buy her old one. When my brother and I visited on the weekends as kids, she would stock the fridge and freezer with our favorite drinks, ice cream, and microwave dinners. She would take us to the movies and hide sodas in her purse because she didn't want to pay those "damn crooks" for their overpriced drinks. She clips coupons or saves newspaper articles she thinks we will like. Most of all, she taught us what it is to love unconditionally.

Lola and I are birds of a feather. We are both night owls. Lola would go to bed at 5 a.m. and wake up around noon. We both drive with a heavy foot and yell at annoying people on the TV. We both understand the therapy of eating out by yourself in a restaurant. In that way, we are both independently minded.

Lola loves to gamble. Bingo, slot machines, lottery, instant scratch tickets. If there is a place on Earth to which each of us is drawn, her spot is Las Vegas. But in the interim, the gambling boats in Indiana will suffice. She always tells me that next time, she is bound to win because she lost the past several times...her win is due. Oh, Lola.

Lola used to fly airplanes. She once told her boss that if he wants her to work faster, does he expect her to stick a broom up her ass because she only has two hands. I used to work around her house for extra allowance -- washing the car, cleaning the windows, running the vacuum. She makes the best peanut brittle you ever had.

She watched after my grandpa for many years as his health was fading. Before that, they would argue and chide each other as only a married couple their age can do. She would always bring home meatloaf and mashed potatoes or instant lottery tickets for him. Or beer and cigarettes, even though she didn't want him to have them.

Lola and Bob raised my beautiful mother. She is truly the best, too, so it looks like Lola has created a legacy of herself -- generosity, love, a sense of independence, and humor. Get us together, watch us interact, and the relation is clear.

So I called Lola today and we chatted for some time. She was telling me about how she could not believe that old witch would not let her grandchildren have fun or how this so-n-so was like an old mummy that must have thought a smile would crack her face. She promised to clean up her potty mouth. She told me she can't wait to see me and that she will keep Grandpa's tradition of giving me money on my birthday equal to my age...I told her, like I always told Grandpa, that I'll be 100 this year.

I'm lucky to have a cool grandma like Lola. Many people have told me how wonderful she is, and they are right. I told her she's the best. We laughed about being horrible morning people. We talked about how happy we are for our family. You have to love Lola. I do.


Allie D. said...

Hey, I remember playing Bingo with Lola! Fun stuff. :) Lola rocks!!

Army said...

Oh yeah, I completely forgot about our Bingo excursion! All the old women with their eight Bingo sheets and two daubers in each hand, hand sewn Bingo bags, bifocals aligned precisely - they meant business!!

kEnny said...

Hi Chris!

I was looking for something to read, and wound up here from Allie's blog. Reading about you and Lola reminds me of all the fun times I've had with my many grandmas (some great-grands, some "adopted" from my parents getting remarried).

As I was reading, Nat looked over and saw Lola in the Mini (did you know there was a British company named Lola known for their race cars? That picture has to have some odd significance. Is there any German in the bloodline to ring back to the BMW ownership of the current Mini?), and said "That's a cool car, Daddy. Who is that in it?" It seemed very special to remotely introduce her to Lola. Nat was also happy to remember that she had an additional uncle which hadn't been named the day before when we were conversing about relatives.

mr. F said...

Lola sounds like a super-fun grandma.. I wish I had memories like that from my grandmas...

Army said...

Kenny, that's too funny! Since I am Uncle Booby (inside story, everyone else), I guess that would make Lola Great Aunt Lola?

Now that you mention it, I do remember the race car called the Lola! I think her side of the family has some German lineage...and her maiden name is Wright. Could I also be related to the Wright Brothers?

Mr. F -- Lola is a kick-ass grandma, and when I think back, I haven't always done as well by her as I should. Chalk it up to being an obnoxious kid, I suppose. I appreciate the readership from across the Atlantic...and the Mediterranean!