Grandma Kristina, as we always called her, migrated to America from Sweden when she was just 16 years old. She had a twin sister who stayed in Sweden – my great-grandma was the adventurous one, she wanted to see the world. Somehow she ended up in Toronto, Canada, where she met the man of her dreams, Sven Svennson, who also had originated from Sweden. They fell in love, got married and moved to Washington State.
I have lots of wonderful memories of her, though I was fairly young when those memories were indelibly imprinted on my psyche. She was a smallish woman with snow white hair, round rosy cheeks, a mischievous sparkle to her clear blue eyes, always had a smile and a kind word for everyone, and spoke with a lilting Swedish accent. We used to visit her and my great-grandpa every Sunday, and even though my dad told her not to go through any trouble for us, she would always cook a huge meal. She had a stool in her kitchen that was especially for me to sit and watch her work her magic.
She was an awesome cook – she was patient and would explain everything she was doing – to me, this small child invading her space in her kitchen. Luckily I was young enough – or old enough – to retain all that she taught me, I’m grateful she was willing to teach me instead of simply banning me from the kitchen. I have clear memories of her standing in the center of her kitchen, explaining what type of knife she was using, the ingredients she was putting together, the technique she was using. I can picture her standing there with her curvy figure enveloped in her favorite apron, a spoon in her hand, a smile on her face, and a smudge of flour on her cheek or nose. I pay tribute to those warm cozy days, the ‘quality time’ spent with her in her kitchen; her kind, infectious smile and bright twinkly eyes. I’m thankful for having had her as a large part of my life during my impressionable years, and for instilling in me a passion for creating.