I am very much a hybrid of my two grandmothers. From my mother's mother, Ardith, I inherited my knowledge and love of baking and crafting, making and growing. But I have this quirky, random, free-spiritedness that I know came from Bettie.
Last month, on a long car ride, my Dad and I were talking about all of the things she did with her life, some of which I had never heard before. She sang in a band. She made paintings and pots and jewelry. She rode horses and flew planes. She had a mail-order degree in graphology. Bettie believed in ESP and supernatural forces. Her house was filled with dusty china figurines and freaky dolls and German Shepherds. She wore turquoise jewelry and dyed her long hair black because she loved to be mistaken for a Native American. I remember the day she died, my mom wrote, "Goodbye, Bettie" on the calendar, and I inherited her felt tip markers and books on Chinese watercolor painting.