She was born Odessa Pearl Drobny on December 17, 1905 in Ft.Bidwell, California. Her younger years were spent in Ft. Bidwell. The family later moved to Grandview, Idaho. In 1925, she married Ed Craig from Bruneau, Idaho.
Ed and Odessa lived on the family ranch in Bruneau for several years and later settled in Healdsburg, California on the Double J-N Ranch.
Grandma, as she was known to me, had the most beautiful yard I’ve ever seen. Fragrant colorful, flowers of every kind lined the entire perimeter. Butterflies, bees, and birds, filled the air, making her yard seem like a magic fairy land to a small girl!
Grandma died in 1966 from a brain aneurysm.
I was going through old photos the other day, and there was Grandma, cloaked in that familiar old apron. It flooded my mind with so many memories, that I felt like that small child again. What a special time that was! What a special woman she was in my life. What a special place her memory will always hold in my heart.
I began to think of the young women of today’s world. So many work full-time away from home, either because they have to, or want to. I bet most don’t even own an apron. If they do, I doubt very much that it is an extension of them, the way Grandma’s apron was of her.
I know life is always changing. That’s the way it has to be; we call it progress. I know that progress has brought many good and amazing things into our lives. I know that now that we have those things, most of us, including me, wouldn’t really want to be without them again. But sometines…..oh, how sometimes I wish I could feel the warmth and peace of those simple, uncomplicated times again!
Don’t get me wrong, Grandma may not have had a job away from home, but she worked. She worked very hard; harder than most that hold jobs today. Grandma’s work was centered on home and family. She was chocolate chip cookies and milk after school. She was apple pie, and cinnamon rolls in the fall. She was fragrant flowers in summer. She was warm hugs and tender smiles. She was Grandma…and I loved her.
I wrote “Grandma’s Apron” in 2009. It was based on memories of my Grandma Odessa, Grandma Lillie, and my mother, Harriett.
Grandma’s apron was a part of her.
She wore it all the time.
The pockets held the wooden pins,
when she hung clothes on the line.
They also carried fresh-picked peas,
and other garden fare.
It often hid a carrot treat
for Star, her favorite mare.
She used it when she gathered eggs,
if the bucket she forgot.
A pad and pen in the pocket stayed,
for a note that she must jot.
She could carry as many apples
in that apron that she wore,
as I could pack in a five gallon pail,
maybe even more!
She used the tail to wipe her brow,
while stirring a boiling pot,
or to protect those loving hands,
if the handle was too hot.
It wiped the tears from many a child,
of which I was just one,
and somehow turned the saddest day,
into one of fun.
I know it was meant to protect her dress,
that apron that she wore,
but it was Grandma’s favorite tool,
and to me…so much more!
It’s wrapped around her memories,
oh, such special things,
my childhood full, so warm, so blessed,
by Grandma’s apron strings!
Sheryl Craig Russell