Grandma’s Crossword Puzzles




The genealogist in me gets extremely excited when I make a discovery about an ancestor.  The writer in me drives me to write a story about what I found.  The scrapbooker in me thinks in terms of how the pages will appear in my book.  Do you have a story in you about someone you’ve loved?  Here is what I wrote:

Grandma loved her crossword puzzles. I can see her back on the farm at the kitchen table working a puzzle, or in her green chair while Grandpa watched TV. After Grandpa was gone she would sit in her apartment working the crossword puzzles in the paper or in the many books she would pick up at the grocery store. She filled every single space. Even when she was in the nursing home and was losing her sight due to Macular Degeneration, she would sit in her recliner and work the large print crossword puzzles that we’d bring her as she could no longer read the ones in the paper. It was so sad watching her vision melt away to where she could no longer enjoy the things she loved.

She wanted me to have Aunt Dee’s old secretary desk that had been given to her by Passavant Hospital when she was Superintendent. So, when Grandma went in to a nursing home, I brought the desk home. In it I found her bibles, a historical book IN…Jacksonville, Illinois, and her Crossword Puzzle Dictionary. It was held together with several layers of gray duct tape, the spine was broken and pages were loose. Every blank fly sheet was filled with words not in the dictionary that she had found from other sources and were in many crosswords. On the inside front cover she had written a poem.


I’ll be so glad the small boy said when I can be a man.

Drive the tractor, milk the cows

And do things Daddy can.

His Daddy looked out the window where his own father sat in the shade

I wish I was old enough to retire

The old folks have it made.

Grandfather stood by the garden gate

Leaned heavily upon his cane

Wishing he could recall the years

And be a boy again.


I don’t honestly know if this is a poem she wrote or if it was just a favorite poem.  I’ve searched the internet for something similar and found nothing, and I’ve found other poems and stories that she had written, so I choose to believe that she wrote this one.