My paternal grandparents got married in 1929. Grandpa was a Nazarene minister, so he didn’t put a ring on Grandma’s finger. Jewelry and other forms of personal adornment were frowned upon. Wanting to be a good wife, Grandma accepted the “rules.”
Well, she did for a time. Three years later, she had two sons and was heavy with a third child. Wounded by the judgmental looks people on the trolley gave her, she insisted upon wearing a plain, thin gold band.
Six kids, a minister’s salary, and the Great Depression made for plain living. Sort of. Grandma loved her hats, and pictures show she got quite creative with adorning them. I’ll bet she still got very odd looks on the trolley!
Time passed. Buttons and scarves were acceptable; so were suitcase-sized purses.
Years went by. Grandma wore "appropriate" clothing and did without many of the pretty things she wanted because of what other people might think. But strictures within the church eased.
Like the black-and-white world that suddenly explodes into Technicolor when Dorothy lands in
, Grandma's life blossomed. Wonderfully, Grandpa enjoyed that change and did what he could to encourage her metamorphasis.
Suddenly Grandma wore brooches and necklaces. Always an artist at heart, she now embraced color. Her wardrobe became rainbow-esque. She’d laugh and say, “If you’re going to be a fool, be a fancy one!”
Beneath her gauzy shifts and Hawaiian muumuus, she had a very painful secret. God spared her face, but psoriasis covered 80-90% of Grandma's body. The only relief she got was from taking chemo, steroids, and phototherapy. Yet, she wasn’t going to wear sackcloth and ashes. She grabbed for whatever was beautiful.
I’ve thought of Grandma each morning this week. You see, I fell (again) last week. My foot is Technicolored and swollen. (Can feet get stretch marks?) But each day I go to my sock drawer and find the zaniest, brightest pair available. I’m not wearing a hat around the house, but I have on my wedding band. I'm counting my blessings.
God looks on the inside, but we gals sometimes need to put on something to brighten our outlook!
Grandma, I’m being fancy. I learned that lesson from a very wise old woman.Cathy