I remember going to her house at Christmastime to bake sugar cookies. First flour was sprinkled on her kitchen table and then I got to create shapes with her unique cookie cutters. While she transferred them to the cookie sheet, I'd eat the scraps. (Scraps from dough that has already been rolled out are better than the actual cookies.)
Grama decorated them like an artist, with paint brushes. Her Santa Claus cookies set the standard for the rest of my life: coconut enhanced his beard, red hots and silver ball candies trimmed his hat. The frosting was made with real butter so they tasted as good as they looked.
She could decorate cookies very fast, and my feeble attempts usually left me disappointed and impatient—until I ate them. We saved hers on a plate for me to take home, and I made sure mine disappeared.
An unheated room behind the kitchen was used to store old furniture and boxes of clothes. That is where Grama set up a table with a big marble slab where she would dip chocolates.
Fudge, caramel, divinity and nut centers were made first, and then the marble was smeared with melted chocolate. She quickly rolled the center in the chocolate and made a tiny swirl decoration on top to indicate which center was inside. It was fun to watch her at work.
In the living room a Christmas quilt was usually set up. The furniture was pushed back to line the walls of the small room and we kids would play under the quilt while Grama and her friends sat around chatting and quilting.
Their legs all looked the same from that vantage point, with the rolled stockings and clunky shoes, knees apart as they reached under the quilt to stitch. I learned who was "expecting" and what that implied while I was laying underneath the quilt staring at the pattern of stitches. It looked so different from the design being created on the top, with all the pieces of contrasting fabric telling stories of log cabins, sunflower girls and building blocks.
Looking at the quilt from the bottom was like looking at life while we're in it. Heavenly Father sees the beautiful pattern from above. He knows how it will all turn out, while we're wondering if anything worthwhile can come from the pokes and knots we see from our perspective down here.
I'm the age Grama was when we made Christmas cookies together. It would be so fun to visit her as she was then, and as I am now. I really think we would be good friends. Maybe thinking about her is a way of visiting.