Saturday, April 8, 2023

G is for Grandma Delpha


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter G

I could tell a lot of stories about my Grandma Delpha. She was my dad's mother, married at 16 to my grandpa, had my aunt at 17 and my dad at 19. When she was pregnant with my dad, they lived in a tent while my grandpa had a job helping to build a dam. She and my grandpa moved all over the country for his job as a pilot, and while he was away on flights, she ran the farm (along with my dad once he got old enough to help). 

My Grandma Delpha didn't pull any punches. She had no filter and was (sometimes painfully) blunt, but you never had to wonder where you stood with her or what she thought. She also had a wicked sense of humor. 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Grandma Delpha, one of her sisters, and two of her sisters-in-law used to go on trips together, maybe once a year or so. They carefully planned these trips by one of them saying, "Let's go to (fill in the blank)" and the other three saying, "Okay!" and they would get in the car and start driving with absolutely no  plan and no reservations.

They went to Washington, DC, and upon their return, my dad asked which museums and monuments they visited, to which she said, "We saw all of them! The buildings were so nice!" When pressed further by my dad, he found that they got on a Grayline tour bus and NEVER GOT OFF ONCE; they just looked out the bus window all day. But they had a terrific time and had no idea they missed the entire point of going to Washington, DC.

They came to Nashville when I was living there. I took them to the Opry, so I knew they at least did SOMETHING touristy and didn't just drive around the city, look at the buildings, and leave, I went to dinner with them one night during their trip, and as we sat around the table visiting, my great aunt Georgia (who was only about 12 when my dad was born) turned to me and said, "If your daddy ain't quite right, it's because I dropped him on his head when he was a baby." Without skipping a beat, my Grandma turned to her and said, "That's okay. I dropped you on your head when YOU were a baby." 

My favorite story from my grandma's travel adventures was told to me after her funeral in 2008 by my great aunt Joanne. The little group had gone to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and were walking along the board walk. Grandma Delpha and Aunt Joanne were walking side by side, followed by my other two great aunts. My grandma leaned over to Aunt Joanne and said, "Watch this!" and she reached into her sweater pocket, pulled out a penny, and dropped it on the ground. "Ooo, look, a penny!" they heard from the two following them, and one of them bent down to pick it up. As they made their way along the boardwalk, my grandma continued to flip pennies out of her pocket onto the ground, and she and Aunt Joanne were nearly doubled over with laughter as they heard the other two exclaim in delight every time they found yet another penny. 

I don't think they ever knew that Grandma Delpha was the reason for their bounty, but to this day, when my kids or I find a penny on the ground, we look up to the heavens and say, "Thank you, Grandma Delpha!"

Great Aunt Joanne, her husband Ed, Grandma Delpha ca. early 90s and lifted
from my cousin Cynthia's facebook because I'm not home and can't access
any family photos for a few days.


  1. So it was sort of a family tradition to drop babies on the head. Yikes!
    I wonder how much the aunts made who picked up all the pennies.

    1. It explains a lot! I don't imagine my grandma dropped more than ten or fifteen pennies, but they might as well have been gold coins from how my aunt Joanne described their delight!

  2. Nice family story. Your grandmom did indeed have a good sense of humour.
    Doing a trip with little planning and on the spur of the moment has a charm and challenge to it.
    In fact, I keep telling my wife and also my friends that once I am retired after two years, we will just hop on to a train and go where it will take us. See the place. And from on to another. And so on.
    G for Gallium

    1. Thanks! My grandma was a hoot! And those trips they made were legendary. This was way before the internet, too, as if they would have been able to USE the internet! I think you should take that train trip when you retire! You'd get great blog material.

  3. Oh, they sound like a whole delightful crew, this family of yours.

  4. Pennies from heaven! What a great story!

    1. It's a terrific story! She wasn't a lovey, huggy grandma, but she sure was funny!