When I was little girl….
My grandma used to call me…pretty girl
…for as long as I can remember…and it made me feel so special.
For many summers I would go to visit my grandma in Marrero, La.
She was a baby sitter for many children and so for many summers….I was blessed with meeting so many new friends…
Each time I visited grandma, I would look forward to what kind of New Orleans Creole dish she would be cooking and which children she had coming over.
…As many years passed and I grew older I was always intrigued to see what kind of casserole grandma was cooking…..
The casserole continued to get more and more interesting….
Grandma is the only person I have ever known that can make “Stuffed Merliton”, yet alone the only person I know that cooks them!
My first memory of grandma serving them…Was kinda toward the way of what the heck is that?
I had no idea what a merliton was…but I tell you what…once you tasted one you were in love with it…
Grandma’s version was stuffed with a shrimp or crabmeat dressing. Yum…
Actually, a mirliton is not in the dictionary…but it is also called a chayote. A mirliton is grown in Louisiana is also the same as chayote (everywhere else)
It’s a gourd that needs to be cooked… when cooked it’s sort of like cucumber but slightly more tender…. And great for stuffing it with rice dressing.
It is grown on a vine.
Here is a link to Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for Stuffed Mirliton.
Grandma was born in the year of 1919, when life was just so much more simple. When the woman of the home made the clothing. When cars and planes were just coming about in life.
She grew up her whole life in New Orleans.
My grandma loved to take pictures…I can just see her taking out her disposable camera snapping away. I cant help but think…that back in the early 1900’s when the first portable camera came out if she found a way to get one!
Grandma never drove a car in her life and I wonder if her family even had one, considering cars were such a luxury items…back in the day.
I should know this family history but I don’t. (Guilty)
Although she didn’t drive, that sure did not keep her home, she traveled all over the United States in her life time.
She had such patience and strength and was a huge role model for me, my children and so many others in her life.
I remember visiting grandma and taking the ferry across the Mississippi river, and looking over the sides of the ferry guard rails and she would say don’t fall in, it will suck you up!
Grandma also took us on the trolley car to Canal Street and having a fountain drink or Coke Float on a bar stool at Walgreens.
I remember it was her to have me experience what a city bus was…and I remember thinking how cool it was to stick coins in the ching ching thing when you got on the bus.
Phonographs were still available as a common entertainment device, so during my summer visits, me and my friends would play the old records she had on the phonograph she had in the garage.
The record I remember the most was “Knock three Times” I have no idea who sang it but I can still remember some of the words.
Grandma loved her garden and all her flower pots…She had the greenest thumb I have ever seen in someone. Her African Violets were always so bright and blooming.
Over 20 years ago, Grandma went to visit one of her brother in California…(he was a tug boat captain/Uncle Buddy) When she returned she brought back a plant wrapped in a wet paper towel….
As I became a young woman and wanted my own plants she began to share the plant in the wet paper towels with me.
One of the plants she gave me was a shamrock plant…that plant has gone through so many hurricanes, storms, cold spells, dogs digging it up, dogs sleeping in the pot, the list can go on and on..
I still have it today…And…It is still beautiful and living in pots on my front patio!
Grandma had this magic about her…
Sports…Oh my gosh, this woman my grandma…was the biggest Saints fan ever…she also was a huge fan of Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, and I think her heart was broken when he convicted.
Random thought I was in Wal-Mart yesterday when I passed a very long line…and freaked out that was the line to check out in…
However it was the line to the pharmacy….I over heard two men chatting about the line and the senior citizen said…looks like the line at the Food Stamp Office.
My friend commented that the older we get the bolder the statement we make, because we don’t care…
It reminded me of my own grandma…never in my life do I remember her losing her temper, blurting out anything crazy…
Odd…because…unlike my grandma…I always say crazy things…always talking what on my tongue…but what’s on my heart the most…
That’s why when mama told me Saturday, the 19th 2009 was her 2 year anniversary of going away…
I wanted to share a few memories about her…I know in todays world there are many kinds of grandmas out there.
Many are raising our children these days.
Many are too busy in their own life or just don’t have the patience, like they used to.
I was blessed to grow up with 2 sets of grandparents still alive…Grandma Miller from New Orleans was the last one to go…
Her final years with us were incredible! My grandma and my Aunt Carol were rescued from a 3 story building in St. Bernard Manor in Chalmette, La after 3 days of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans.
Grandma and my Aunt Carol, climbed out of a window and into a boat off of the 3rd floor of her building.
She spent the night on the lawn of the Chalmette Prison, by the Mississippi River.
She rode in a Helicopter for the first time, to the New Orleans Airport…We lost her for a few more days…
Finally…a few days later we found grandma and Aunt Carol who were picked up in Houston, where some friends of mine from long ago had stepped in to help find them at one of the many shelters.
Woman of strength, and love, never complained even as her last few moments on earth were painful.
I hope this helps you appreciate the women in your life. We all need to be a role model for our daughters or someone else’s daughter.
If your looking for answers in your life, I recommend you go to the eldest woman in your family, I bet she has the answer for you.
Many Blessings xoxo