Friday, March 14, 2014

Slice of Life Challenge - Day 14 - Grandma and Grandpa Maasen

In case this is your first time reading my slices, here is my focus for the challenge: my fifth graders and I are participating in the Slice of Life Challenge this month, and they're writing memoirs.  I thought I'd do the same kind of writing - memory writing - throughout the challenge. I'm going to be writing around photographs and memorabilia.
     This is my Grandma and Grandpa Maasen with me in 1975.  Margaret was actually my step-grandmother; my dad's mother passed away when I was quite young, so Margaret is who I remember most.  I loved both of them so much.  My grandpa loved the animals that lived on our little farm.  He would bring bags of carrots for the horses, treats for the dogs, and M&Ms for my mom and me. He also played Santa Claus for me for many years since they often visited over Christmas.  He had an easy smile and gentle way about him.  They lived in New Jersey, so we didn't see them often, but it was so special when we did. 
     Margaret was quite the seamstress, and I had many fancy outfits made by her, including the one in the picture.   My favorite ones were made of taffeta.  She would make my mom and me matching skirts and dresses.  They look a little ridiculous now, I realize, but then they were some of my most prized possessions!  She also made ceramics from molds, and I loved it when we went to their house, and she would let me pick out what I wanted (which was always an animal of some sort), and I would paint it, and she would fire it.  I was amazed by the whole process.  I had lamps and vases made by her that I kept throughout my whole childhood.  She gave me a beautiful porcelain doll one year, too, that was kept in a glass case and wore a hand sewn dress of hers.  She was such a creative lady.  Beautiful, too!
More outfits and the doll

     I loved that my Maasen grandparents knew both sides of me well.  Grandpa knew I loved the outdoors and liked to hunt and trap/skeet shoot with my day, and Margaret knew I liked dolls and fancy clothes.  On Christmas day, I would find a Jody doll set AND a Remington 1100 shotgun, and I was thrilled with both.  Can you believe I found a YouTube video of a Jody Doll commercial?!

I miss my grandparents. 

Grandpa as Santa in 1972



  1. Wow, the last dress is amazing. The skirt on the first picture looks princessy. The outfits were unique and special indeed. Thinking how much work went into them, Margaret clearly loved you. The ceramics experience isn't part of many childhood stories either.

  2. They sound like the perfect grandparents - and those dresses are such labors of love.

  3. I am so glad I linked it to read this post. I think my favorite outfit is the suit that your grandfather is wearing in the first picture. What a classic! You have written memories of them beautifully, Holly--I can understand why you miss them.

  4. Grandparents are the best, aren't they? I treasure mine as well. Love the clothes. I had an aunt who made us "cool" clothes that I loved to pieces.

  5. What a lovely tribute to your grandparents. Grandparents are such treasures. The dresses are beautiful ~ just what a girl wanted back then. :)

  6. The dresses would not make the runway today; however the love you portray will forever warm hearts.

  7. When you got to the part about the Christmas present of a Jody Doll and a shotgun I nearly fell off my chair laughing. What a contrast in gifts and yet isn't it just perfect? Grandparents can get you in a way that your parents never do. Thank you for sharing.