I happened to catch a few minutes of Mitzi Gaynor doing the Charleston on TV tonight, and suddenly I remembered my Grandma Miller teaching me the steps when I was pretty small.
I remember prancing around for the back and forth steps and practicing for what seemed like hours to do the trick of my hands passing in front of my knees. I asked her to do it again and again, fascinated by the slight of hand making the knees look like they were hinged on the sides instead of in front :-}
Grandma Miller died last summer, but I still have a lot of her in my life. I was blessed by living so close by when I was growing up.
I used to spend almost every saturday night at the brick house she built herself. I'd crawl around on the floor, helping tie up one of probably hundreds of comforters meant for gifts she made through the year. Then we'd watch Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart (in that order) and I remember laughing so hard my belly hurt the next day.
She also had a currant bush in the back yard, and I helped her make currant jelly. That's why my currant bush is special to me. Every time I look at those beautiful rich red droplets ready to pick, I think of her. She also helped foster my love of gardening, especially my love for peonies.
I loved all my grandparents. I lost three of the four last summer (Grandpa Miller died first, several years ago). I was damned lucky to have them in my life so long. Ooops. I meant darned. Sorry Grandma.