One of my earliest memories of my grandmother was when my mother was gone on a trip and we were staying with our grandparents. I must have been in Kindergarten. The grandparents had recently moved in with my aunt in her tiny house about six blocks away from our house. My mother was gone for a week and my father had to work, so my two brothers and I had to stay with the grandparents.
I just remember how my grandmother set my hair to go to school the next day. It was school picture day and she had used ancient metal ringlet curlers on my hair. They were miserable to sleep in. And the next morning, oh, how I hated the way I looked! I had never had ringlets before and I thought it made me look awful! Yeah, the school pictures reflected that, too. My face was all pinched from a 5-year-old sourpuss attitude. (I may or may not have destroyed all of those school pictures.)
A couple of years ago, my sisters and I came across a life-sketch of my Grandma Lora written in her own handwriting. She briefly told about some exciting events in her life that I really had not known. For example, when she was young, she worked as a clerk in their family's General Store. She told of how Butch Cassidy's outlaw gang tried to rob their store multiple times. She was absolutely infuriated when the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid came out in 1969. "How dare they aggrandize those hoodlums!" she wrote.
She actually led a very full life and had many interesting experiences. I am sure while she was going through them, she didn't think much about them. It was just life out on the frontier. Most of day to day life was just dusty, mundane and difficult. It's only from a distant viewpoint that her experiences seem interesting. I have been enjoying doing some research about her life, the areas where she lived, the fashion and architecture styles of the times, and learning more about her family situation.
She especially liked to sing. She sang so much and had such a beautiful voice, she was nicknamed "The Carbon County Nightingale." I have this idea for a picture book project telling the story of how she earned money by singing to send to her father on his mission. He kept track of the money she sent him. It was a total of $98.50. Pretty good earnings for a six year old in 1898! That's the story I want to tell.