About Grandmothers

I am happy to report that a new generation has been added to our family tree. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life, and as a result, I have a new title.

My new title, in addition to titles of Registered Dental Hygienist and Certified Genealogist, is Grandma. But unlike the other two, I didn’t have to study for years or take an examination for this position. The title of Grandma was simply bestowed upon me when Chloe Kay was born a couple weeks ago.

Chloe & Karen

Chloe & Grandma Bennett

Being Grandma is an important position. A grandma’s duties include providing a warm, soft lap, a listening ear, fresh-baked cookies, and the ability to dry tears. But my grandmothers also taught me many important things.

I knew three of my grandmothers, Grandma Miller, Grandma Schumm, and Grandma Brewster. Grandma Brewster was my great-grandmother and I vaguely remember visiting her. But I distinctly remember the other two because I spent a considerable amount of time with them.

Grandma Miller and me.

Grandma Miller and me.

Grandma Miller taught me how to fry potatoes and pork chops in a cast iron skillet using lard, how to make stewed tomatoes, how to sew with a treadle sewing machine, to have a sense of humor, and how to win at Gin Rummy. Yes, she may have cheated a little at cards, but it was all in fun.

From my Grandma Schumm I got an appreciation of nice things, like fine China, antique dishes, and quilts. She was also like a pioneer woman. She gardened and made nearly everything from scratch. I once watched her prepare a chicken for dinner. When I say she prepared a chicken, I mean that she prepared it from start to finish. The chicken’s morning started out like a typical day in the barnyard but  ended tragically for the poor fowl.

Grandma Schumm (Hilda Scaer Schumm)

Grandma Schumm (Hilda Scaer Schumm)

I barely remember my great-grandma Brewster, just that Grandpa Miller would take Grandma to visit her in Geneva every few weeks and I would tag along. Their long conversations were boring to me back then but now I wish I could go back in time and listen to them talk.

Grandma Miller (Gertrude Brewster Miller) and Great-grandma Brewster (Pearl Reid Brewster)

Grandma Miller (Gertrude Brewster Miller) and Great-grandma Brewster (Pearl Reid Brewster)

I look forward to being Grandma, but along with the title comes a big responsibility.

What will I teach Chloe?

I want to teach her to have faith in God. To be honest and fair and to be persistent in whatever she does. To like what she does and to finish what she starts. To have a sense of humor, to enjoy reading, and to be creative.

I hope to teach her to enjoy and appreciate music and I will encourage her to take music lessons.

I would like to teach her to appreciate nature—to enjoy watching birds, walking through a woods, and to marvel at the beautiful sky at sunrise and sunset.

I could teach her some crafty skills like counted cross-stitch, sewing, crocheting, scrap-booking, and rubber stamping.

I will certainly teach her about our family history and encourage an interest in genealogy so that maybe she will want to continue family research and record-keeping. I have a lot of information and photos to pass on to her.

Chloe Kay Bennett

Chloe Kay Bennett

This is Chloe’s first “professional” photograph, taken at the hospital when she was only one day old. Chloe is wearing a sleeper I made for Jeff when I was pregnant and she is laying on a blanket that her great-grandmother Miller crocheted for Jeff and was used at his baptism.

What a wonderful way to create and pass on family heirlooms. Thanks Jeff and Erin for being so thoughtful!

And thank you for the beautiful little granddaughter.


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    • patricia corbett on February 14, 2014 at 7:56 am
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    Congratulations! Beautiful thoughts, beautiful words…

    • Kenny on February 14, 2014 at 8:26 am
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    I’m sure you and Joe will be outstanding Grandparents. I think you left out the part about spoiling her.
    What a beautiful little girl.

  1. What a wonderful new title. I think you will find it one of life’s best titles. The joy will just build day after day, and you will see new hope, happiness and love blossom as she grows. Praise to God in the highest.

  2. Congratulations, Karen! Little Chloe is already blessed to have such a wonderful grandma!

    • Marcie Edgell on February 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm
    • Reply

    Congratulations to both Grandparents and Parents! May Chloe grow into the beutiful person her family represents. God bless you all.

  3. Congratulations, Karen and family!

  4. From the second picture where you are with your grandmother holding a doll, it would appear that you have changed the way that you hold a baby! It also seems noteworthy that your grandmother was dressed in an apron with that serious, ready for the days chores look, while you are dressed very casually with jewelry and bright clothes as you hold your grandchild. Any implications in the style and design in your mind? Short, blonde hair, bright colors, lots of jewelry, standing (not sitting), smiling (not serious), etc.

  5. congratulations on the birth of your grandchild; do hope everything is okay with mother and child !

    greetings from Europe

    1. Thank you, Onno! How nice to hear from you again. Yes, everyone is doing very well and Chloe is growing. She is pretty special.

    • Erin Bennett on March 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm
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    what a sweet and thoughtful blog dedication to Chloe! I too played Gin Rummy with my Grandma (my mom’s mom, Betty Zornes) when I was a little girl. I spent close to a week at her and my grandpa’s house every year. I had a red “Going to Grandma’s” suitcase that I would pack and take. As I got older, and wanted to spend time with my girl cousins on my dad’s side, I would stay a week in the summer with my Grandma and Grandpa Ours, because my cousins lived so close. I loved every minute of it. I still have the little red suitcase that I will pass along to Chloe.

    Your remarks about teaching Chloe as she grows older made me tear up. I am looking forward to hearing all about her adventures with Grandma (and Grandpa) Bennett and listening to what she’s learned. I’m hoping her long fingers make taking to the piano easy 😉 You and Joe are wonderful grandparents already.

    Love from,

    1. What nice memories of the time spent with your grandmothers. I’m sure Chloe will love the little red suitcase and hopefully she will use it when she comes to visit! We truly love being grandparents.

    • Erin Bennett on March 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm
    • Reply

    Also, you did earn your new title of Grandma by raising a wonderful son in preparation for fatherhood 🙂

    1. Thank you!

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