Grandma's Teacup #5 of 6


Mansfield, United States

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Artist's Description

My grandma had an amazing house—top to bottom. Built of solid brick in 1941, it will still be standing in a couple hundred years, I have no doubt. The basement was so much fun for us kids. There was a crawlspace under the stairs that we hid in. I loved the fact that my dad had written his name (‘Neil’) on the wall—he used the crawlspace as a hiding place, too. There were cupboards literally full of treasures. Antique beads, buttons, zippers, and tiny beaded Hopi Indian dolls that Grandma had collected in her travels over the years. She was of the generation that saved everything, “just in case”. Various and sundry finds from nature were also stored in jars—dried milkweed pods, empty cocoons, a colorful beetle or two—a throwback to the Victorian fad of collecting oddities from nature and life.

I particularly loved the laundry room. Grandma had a Maytag washer and dryer, circa 1965 or so, also built to last. She never gave up, however, on her ancient clothes wringer, which I now have. She didn’t feel the washer spun the water out of the clothes well enough. Among her other laundry quirks was her fear that letting the washing machine fill on its own, by simply turning it on, would make it wear out too fast. She had a hose leading from the ceramic sink to the washer, and filled the washer from the sink. When I was 20, and living in an apartment, I didn’t have a washer or dryer. Grandma allowed me to do my laundry at her house, which was a delight. I’d go to the basement and become rebellious….I’d turn on the washer and let it start filling. When I’d hear her footsteps on the wooden stairs, I’d hurry to the sink and turn on the hose, and shut off the washer. She always checked to make sure I was “doing it right” so that her washer would last. It must have worked, because my youngest brother had that washer well into the ’90s. Grandma also recommended I use the wringer so that my clothes “would dry faster” and not tax the dryer so much.

While the clothes were washing, we had amazing conversations about her childhood, and my grandfather “courting” her. Sometimes we made her amazing popcorn balls (it’s such a complex process, I’ve only made them twice by myself over the years), and laughed when we forgot to butter our hands before forming them into spheres—they would stick in clumps all over our palms and fingers. Grandma would laugh till tears came to her eyes.

My Grandpa Mac is the reason my nickname is “lindybird”. He coined that name on a walk with me and my cousin David in Seltzer Park when I was about 4 years old . We went to feed the ducks. The ducks swarmed us—I laughed hysterically, while David cried with equal gusto. I loved chasing the birds in the park, and asking about the mourning doves and cardinals that frequented their huge Crimson King maple trees. I’ve been Lindybird ever since—proudly.

The teacup and saucer made their way to my laundry shelf, along with a bleach bottle and some paint brushes as homage to my Grandma’s quirky laundry habits.

Ebony Design graphite Pencil on Rives paper


grandma story

Artwork Comments

  • WonderlandGlass
  • lindybird
  • Alice McMahon
  • lindybird
  • cougarfan
  • lindybird
  • barnsis
  • lindybird
  • daveivey
  • lindybird
  • riverotter
  • lindybird
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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