My grandma, Katherine Baker, was a very quiet, timid woman. My earliest memory of her is of visiting her in the Creighton Hollow home, a row house that no longer exists because it was torn down for the new highway to go through there. I remember going through the living room, at the front of the house, into the kitchen and meeting Grandma there. In my memory, the first thing she would say was, “Do you want a piece?” “A piece” was a piece of bread with butter and jelly on it. My brother, Ed, and I would sit at the kitchen table and eat our jelly bread. We liked the jelly bread and expected to have it when we visited Grandma. It was a treat.
Grandma did not show affection in a tangible way. I don’t remember hugs, or kisses, and she never, in my memory, said, “I love you.” I remember once when I felt really loving toward her and I said, “I love you,” to her, she did not respond in any way. I wanted her to say that she loved me, too. I felt disappointed, kind of let down. But I think I felt love, even though there were no hugs that I remember, and no expression in words.
I remember sitting on the porch swing with her one day. It seems like I was visiting her by myself. I asked her, “Grandma, what is your name?” She told me, “Katherine.” I said, “Katherine, can we go for a walk?” She was indignantly upset. “Don’t ever call me that,” she told me. “I am your Grandma!” I never tried to call her that again. I think we didn’t go for a walk either.