Over spring break we took our Traveling Circus to see my grandma. 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer)

This lady is so special. She gets me. She’s the one in my family who understands my artsy fartsy nature and how that means sometimes we color outside the lines because she’s one of us. 

She’s an artist as well. She was a writer and creator of newsletters, newspapers and hand-written letters from back in the day when you used typewriters and correction white out. She didn’t have fancy computer programs to whip up her small town paper–she and a friend produced it themselves and copied it on a thing called a mimeograph. She showed me copies and it was purple ink, people!

She discovered she was also an artist when she was about the age you start drawing social security, and since she had to make up for lost time, she painted probably close to a thousand paintings since then. Several hang proudly in my home, and there are a couple scattered in fairly prestigious places.

Grandma Ginger is funny, smart, witty, and understands that an artist needs a little mess around her to function. She’s not afraid of making mistakes–when I would go paint with her and her girlfriends occasionally at her Tuesday morning Pal-ettes club she would tell me, “Don’t worry, if you don’t like it we’ll just paint over it and start again.”

She taught me about relationships, about telling the truth kindly. She showed me that holding your hands with your spouse after sixty years of marriage was still cool, that it’s never too late to do what you love. She taught me that being artsy and passionate and different was ok. 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

I love this lady to pieces and I am so grateful that even my kids–two generations down the line–will know her and recieve the benefits of her knowledge. She has seen large parts of two centuries and the changes within, from horse and buggy to the Great Depression to a world war. 

I so want to be like Grandma Ginger when I grow up–

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!


 I love this picture.

This is a four generation span of family, my children with my Grandma Ginger, making her their great grandma.

She’s been one of my Sheroes long before I knew what a Shero was. She and my Grandpa were married for over 60 years. She was a Depression era kid. She found her inner artist at sixty and became a prolific painter, reminding me it’s never too late.

She’s funny-I mean tears rolling down your face funny. And smart. She and my Grandpa managed to put a couple of kids through college and retire, without fancy college degrees or investment brokers. And did I mention her love of shoes? It definitely runs in the family.

I dedicate a whole chapter of my book (which is on sale at Amazon for a limited time, just sayin’) to this lady. She’s one-of-a-kind, and even though my Grandpa passed on a few years ago and she’s lost a little of her spark without her other half, she’s still awesome.

And I’m so happy that she’s still going strong in her 90s. Yes, her 90s. (Doesn’t she look great?!) My kids are getting to know this treasure and getting to learn things from a woman who remembers when people still rode horses and when World War II took too many of our brave boys and when Civil Rights were introduced into law and when people landed on the moon. I could go on and on-she’s a walking history lesson.

But I’ll just say this lady is someone special to everyone who knows her. I wish that everyone could have a Grandma Ginger.

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015