Wearing my Grandma’s Shoes… Sorta’

I’m like 100% sure that my Grandma Dorothy Nichols wrote a column for our local paper, The Ottawa Herald. I’m not exactly certain though, what those columns were about. I don’t know how often they were published. I don’t know if it was a weekly thing, or once a month. I can sort of see a picture in my mind of one of her articles, but I can’t say anything about the subject or concerns it addressed…

Funny isn’t it. I don’t really know any details at all, about this part of her, that she shared with the readership of our local area. I think I was about 25 when she passed away. It’s not like I was so young that I couldn’t read. I don’t know how long she was writing her articles, maybe 5 years? Maybe 10 or 20?

If I want to find out more details, I can ask my family. I could research the archives probably, down at the library. I could actually go and read every one of them if I really made the effort to do so.

Interesting then, that even though I have almost zero information about her column, I will say that I know it has made a big impact on me.

Just the simple knowing, that she did this thing, creates in me, an awareness and fondness, respect and admiration, for the act of writing and publishing.

I have this same joy and warm-hearted-ness rushing through me, when I think about a FACS class at Central Heights. My lovely wife teaches them. Their projects span many skillsets, and cooking and baking is one of them. Those kids learn to make pancakes from scratch. They also learn to top them with their very own home-made maple syrup. Wow.

These lucky high-schoolers, are creating and enjoying a recipe that I grew up on, sitting at the round clear-glass table in my Grandma Carol Smell’s breakfast nook. I can tell you how those pancakes tasted. Warm, buttery, just-right thin and golden brown. A stack of four with butter in-between and homemade syrup… YUM! I’m wanting some right now 🙂

But! I can’t tell you how to make them. I don’t do it myself… like… ever… I can’t even remember the last time I ate them, but I should do it again soon.

The main thing I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that my Grandma Smell is an outstanding chef. She knows all the classics by heart, she experiments too. She can do it all, from an elaborate braided bread breakfast wreath, to holiday hams and turkeys, to her world famous dinner rolls.

I respect, admire and love, the act of home-making a meal for family. I just do. I grew up in her kitchen, I saw the love she poured into each and every big dinner, packed lunch or quick after-school snack. Each item, got special attention, right down to the crinkle cut carrot sticks, just cause the cool shapes made them taste better…

These two amazing women taught me so much, and really I don’t know a lot about exactly how they did it. I don’t know all the recipes. I don’t know the subjects and stories of the articles my Grandma published. I just know something, that was important enough to each of these ladies that they poured their essence and soul into something specific they were doing…

I do love seeing a great meal come together. I enjoy that as part of my work that I do, at the Brand’N Iron Bar and Grill. The food, the details, the generous attention to service is important to me. I just must truly believe something good comes from a meal well served. Grandma proves it so 🙂

Same thing about this blog post right here. I think one reason I wanted to continue my writing and sharing and posting some sort of inner dialogue to this screen, is that I know that writing is something my Grandma did. I think I should be honest, and open. I want to really share some detail with you, that wouldn’t normally otherwise be said. I somehow must believe that Grandma would approve of this. Maybe not every post, or every idea I express, but the concept, that we can share through words, our human experience.

I don’t need to know all the details. I will go forward and write and cook-up new details for myself. I do however need to notice and acknowledge the presence of the impact made by the important people in my life. I only need to know the most basic truth, about something they love. When I know what you love, so much, that you actually do it, then I know something that I cannot help but do it too. Some way, some how. When I Love You, I do as You do, in some little way, or some big way.

Thanks be to God, for putting wonderful people in my life. I am blessed with many more, than ‘just’ these two GRAND-MOTHERS… But wow, what a mighty pair indeed. 🙂


Until next week

Aaron Nichols

5 thoughts on “Wearing my Grandma’s Shoes… Sorta’

  1. I had the pleasure of reading many of Dorothy’s articles. I encourage you to pull then from the Ottawa Herald files. I guarantee they will enrich your life and share a special side of your Grandmother. I loved that woman!!!!

  2. Thanks Aaron–I too read G’ma Dorothy’s articles and cut a number of them out
    because she always helped you think beyond the breakfast table. I will remember her as being very optimistic and to have raised her family through some tough years, perhaps keeping on her lips the first five verses of Romans chapter 5, gave her everything she needed. I still enjoy cooking, however, cooking for two, well, it is more fulfilling to spend time reading the book of Romans. Go for it!!
    We love you Aaron. G’ma

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