Thanks for the laughter
February 23, 2012
My grandmother was one of the happiest, most fun loving people I have ever known. She was comfortable in any situation and had the ability to share that gift with those she came in contact with. Her laughter could brighten the darkest of days. No wonder her customers were loyal to her.
Working as a waitress most of her adult life, she preferred the breakfast through lunch shift in small diners even though the tips were smaller compared to the dinner shifts. To her, it was all about the customer-getting to know them, treating them as family and starting the day off with friends as she fondly referred to each of them.
I always thought of her as a lady Santa because her “belly shook like a bowl full of jello” when she laughed and she even had little prickly whiskers on her chin. She loved Wrigley’s Spearmint gum and wintergreen mint candy. She would take out her false teeth to make funny faces with her toothless grin. There never was a dull moment with grandmom.
We always listened to the modern rock and roll stations on the radio when I was in the car with her. Her favorite station was known as “The Big Ape” and they played all the current hits in the early 1960’s. I still listen to the hits of today as well as those oldies from my youth and am learning to break down the beats, measures, phrases and choruses for dance routines. Whether it’s a waltz, rumba, nightclub two step, west coast swing, salsa or any of the many ballroom dances, it’s fun to see what dance goes with what music.
Listening to the music from the musicality aspect and bringing the music to life through dance has been the greatest gift. Opening doors to friendships and new, exciting adventures, it’s hard to believe this shy girl who was content to sit on the sideline and cheer others on is now willing to perform in front of strangers, family and friends. I was so nervous when I first began last spring that I thought I’d never ‘get it’. One of the regulars said that the most important thing was to just have fun; and as long as I kept coming (to dance lessons and practices), I’d eventually ‘get it’. He was right.
I thank my grandmother for showing me that being able to laugh at myself is a gift in and of itself. It took me quite a long time to understand her philosophy to not take life so seriously. I like to think that she is somewhere smiling with no teeth, making faces at those she is with, cracking jokes to start the day with a chuckle, and enjoying the music right along with me.
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Have a Ramblin good week.