Grandma was not a beautiful woman but she carried herself as if she was. She went to the beauty parlor every Friday morning. She never wore pants. Dresses were hemmed at the knee, blouses were tucked neatly inside skirts. Handkerchiefs were pressed. Silver belt buckles were polished, and so were shoes. Silk scarves were knotted around the neck.
My Grandma Elizabeth lived to be 104 years old. In her lifetime, she witnessed World Wars I and II, The Great Depression, the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, September 11th and a few other events. Without an iPhone, undergoing Botox, owning a flat-screen TV, or joining Cross Fit, she was the strongest woman I have ever known.
Paul was just the kind of grandfather a little girl wants. The goofy jokes, the songs sung to me, the big, strong paw of a hand gentle on my arm. When he and my grandmother retired to Florida, we would spend every vacation with them, and he would sit on the terrace for hours after dinner with a glass (or two, or more) of wine, looking out at the ocean.