SETTING: Joanie's house >> cafe
CHARACTERS: Joanie, Grammy, and the waitress
Joanie's grandma is visiting from Rhode Island (her grandpa passed away a long time ago)
When "Grammy" arrives, the whole family is very happy to see her
The next day Grammy takes Joanie out to tea, as they walk Grammy asks great questions and Joanie remembers how intentional and kind her Grammy is
At tea, Joanie shows Grammy her drawings, because Grammy loves art, and she gives very thoughtful and encouraging compliments
When they finish their tea, Granny gives the waitress a big, generous tip
Throughout the chapter, Joanie realizes she wants to be more like Grammy
Tea With Grammy
I was thrilled when my mom told me that her mom was flying in to visit us this weekend. Grammy lives by the ocean in Rhode Island and loves art and laughing.
Her husband passed away when I was a baby, so I never really knew my grandpa. But Grammy is one of my very favorite people. (And I’d like to think I’m one of hers!)
Friday night, Ruby and I colored a big welcome poster to hang on our door, and my dad went to pick her up from the airport. I waited in the front hall for them to come home.
As the door opened, in came Grammy, and in came warmth.
“Joanie!” She exclaimed, wrapping me in a big hug. She smelled like lemons, just like my mom.
Pressed against her, I noticed small flowers embroidered on her blouse, and I thought, when I’m a grandma, I will wear a white linen blouse with flowers and give giant hugs, too.
She pulled away, only to place her soft, smooth hands on my cheeks and look me right in the eyes. Her eyes were blue, like the sky in the morning, and they were just a few inches from mine. “You’re a treasure,” she whispered to me, smiling.
Ty and Ruby raced in from behind me, yelling “GRAMMY!!” nearly knocking her over with a double hug. Our dog Fudge trotted over to Grammy and wagged his tail while she petted him. Then came Grant from upstairs; he received a kiss on the cheek.
* * *
The following day, Grammy took me out to tea. That’s one of the things I love most about her visits: she always makes sure to spend time with each of us.
I put on my bright striped sweater and grabbed my notebook of drawings and sketches to show Grammy.
Then we walked to the tea and coffee shop, hand in hand, as she asked me about friends, school, and life. I decided that when I’m a grandma, I will ask many good questions, too.
At tea, I told her about my best friend Clare getting hit by a giant snowball and the flying egg stuck in a tree! She laughed heartily and added some cream and sugar to both of our mugs of tea.
Then I pulled out my notebook, asking if she wanted to see my drawings. She said, “Most certainly,” and put her glasses on to get a better look.
She turned each page of the notebook slowly, giving specific and unique compliments:
“...Look how you’ve used complimentary colors here.”
“Simple yet complete, like a Matisse line drawing.”
“Sublime spacing on this one—it’s a wonderful graphic….”
I wasn’t sure what most of it meant, but that added to the special feeling. I was an artist, sophisticated beyond my own understanding! I thought, when I’m a grandma, I will give compliments with specific details, too.
When our cups were out of tea, and there were only biscuit crumbs left, it was time to pay. Grammy took the check from our waitress, attached a bill, and handed it back to her.
The waitress asked how much money my grandma would like in return, and Grammy simply said, “No need, sweetheart; you were wonderful!”
The waitress’s eyes lit up with a smile, and she looked at my grandma gratefully and said: “Thank you VERY MUCH, ma’am!”
And I thought I will be good, kind, and generous, too.
Chapter Six Discussion Questions:
Does Joanie have a special friendship with her grandma?
If you answered yes, how can you tell?
Do you have an older person in your family you admire?