My Fraternal Grandmother


Many years before blogging came about I began keeping a paper journal. I still do. It is a record of my life. I use a Papermate Sharpwriter or a wooden #2 pencil. Seldom do I use a pen. The thought of writing something that I cannot change when I’m brainstorming goes against the grain with me. Though I seldom make corrections of any sort. I’m more comfortable knowing I can.

This morning was #2 wooden pencil day. And when I began the first line the need for sharpening was apparent. That discovery reminded me of my fraternal grandmother. A former school teacher – long before I came on the scene – probably embedded that habit because fountain pens were the norm in those days.

Though I didn’t realize it, she was my literary partner. From the time I ventured out on my own until she was no longer able to communicate, she wrote letters to me, one every other week. And they were always scribed with a #2 pencil that was in need of sharpening. Sometimes she included a poem. Often it was one of her own. Sometimes it was borrowed with the author’s name at the bottom, also in pencil.

She was always at the ready. Once I asked a question concerning English usage. She answered my question in detail. A few weeks later a well-thumbed copy of the Associated Press Stylebook arrived in my mailbox.

The last letter I recall receiving from her arrived about 51 years ago. I still miss them.

4 thoughts on “My Fraternal Grandmother

  1. Scott, your Grandmother sounds like a very wise woman. Instilling in you the desire to write and encourage. #2 pencil my favorite too, especially when they get stubby and short:) blessings, Denise


  2. Incredible story, Scott. Well-written, too. You’ve got a great narration style for these types of things. She sounds like she was a fantastic woman.


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