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Life like weeds

January 18, 2011

My grandmother’s cherry pie was the only one I could eat because it was the only one fit to eat. It took me a while to come around to it, since I still profess to not not like cherries. But hers was good and before she passed away one of the uncles or cousins or maybe my dad, put together a thin binder of her recipes –– some of which involved Circus Peanuts and all of which involved mountains of sugar. All the recipes were handwritten in her perfect, schoolteacher cursive and my favorite note of hers was that if you wanted to make this certain recipe sweeter, just add more sugar; “kids like sweet things.”

Gramma Sullivan was a tough lady. She raised four boys and at barely 5 feet tall maybe she felt she had to be. It’d be easy to go on about why she’s better than everyone else’s grandmas –– or why she’s in the top percentile –– but I’ll just leave you with this hardcore photo and a description from my uncle below. A while back an email was going around with “wacky” photos of old folks with jokes about getting old and going a little crazy. Turns out, Grandma should’ve been included: she’d kick your ass in euchre and then possibly pull a gun on anything that moved in the yard.

From my Uncle Kevin:

Dad always took care of the nuisance wild life when he was alive. After Dad died Mom took over the responsibility and she went at it with a vengeance. She started trapping groundhogs, rabbits, coons—anything and everything. One day there was an Opossum walking across the back yard. Now, Opossum’s are about the most harmless animal there is. They bother no one, they are not mean, they will not attack you, and they are great scavengers, cleaning up dead stuff lying around. Anyway, Mom saw an opossum walking across the back yard and it was too much for her. She grabbed her rifle and went after it. Opossums are notoriously hard to kill as they are so prehistoric and their brain runs down into their spinal column. Mom pumped a couple of rounds into the poor animal and didn’t do it much damage as it just wandered off. When she told me about it I had to have a talk with her and convince her she didn’t need to just randomly kill all the wild life that wandered into her yard. We decided she would no longer go after Opossum’s. She was still pretty proud of all the coons, rabbits and ground hogs she trapped. And shot.

Thanks for reading, P.

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