Harmonious Homestead
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Octogenarian Joyce

Today my family will celebrate my Grandma Joyce's 80th birthday. I've mentioned her before as the originator of the family fascination with gingersnaps, creator of the rhubarb crunch recipe, and a very clever lady. granddaughter and grandmother

Grandma Joyce is often in my thoughts as I work through chores. Her farm was where I first collected a chicken egg fresh from the hen as a young girl. I fondly think of her rows of glass jars holding home-dried fruit and egg noodles as I fill my own.

Grandma grew up making everything by hand and, thanks to tight economic circumstances, she never fell prey to the lure of meals in a box. Because she's done it all, she understands the real work involved in growing, harvesting, and preserving real food. She appreciates practical handiwork more than expensive baubles - a trait we most definitely share.

If there's a way to shave time off a chore, Grandma knows it. She doesn't rush through tasks but she never wastes a movement. When she says "why don't you just XYZ", her suggestion always makes more sense than what I was doing.

In another time and place, Grandma might have been an executive or tech guru. As it is, she's the most computer-savvy eighty-year-old I know, the only one of my grandparents who will read and likely comment on this blog post. Grandma instills in her three children, eight grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter that reading and learning are important life-long pursuits.


Grandma loves to travel. She took two obnoxious boys and their little sister on long family car vacations as a young adult. Now, she enables our fifteen-member extended family to travel together, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy birthday, Grandma. We love you.