My grandmother passed away on October 26, 2008.  She was a kind, easy-going, and fun person.  She never met a stranger and didn’t hesitate to tell you what she thought.  She lived with us for 14 years in NC; prior to moving here, she had spent her life on Sip Street in NJ.  Her absence is as large as her personality.

Today we celebrated her memory and ate Chinese food – it was her favorite.  She always smuggled an eggroll out of the buffet in her purse and complained about the size of the ‘shrimps’.

Last summer, I took a raku workshop and one of the assignments was to hand-build a sealed box.  In the process, I found myself making a memory box for my Grandma.  I used her prizzelle machine to imprint the sides with texture – even though Lucy never made prizzelles.  Why should she when there was always some one else on Sip Street who would make them?  I also imprinted some of her clip-on earrings.  The family jewels may be costume but Grandma wore them well.  The box is triangular with a coffee cup on top because coffee and cake were staples on Sip Street – no matter when we arrived, we were always offered coffee.  We have a picture of Lucy standing on Sip Street wearing heels and smiling.  Grandma always pointed out that she had good legs so I put the box on heeled shoes.   Finally, Lucy always had a paperback romance or word search book beside her chair.  She said was getting smart when she did word searches so I included a book on the box.

I didn’t intend to make such a box.  But, I am pleased with it.  Lucy wouldn’t have appreciated raku – or a sealed box.   She would have put on her smarty-pants and had something to say about the sooty and useless thing.  Sometimes it is about the process.  I have the box on my bookshelf and I am remembering her again tonight.