Friday, September 28, 2012

Nu Nana

Today is my grandmother's birthday. I would love to share her age, but Nana pointed out in a conversation yesterday that it is poor manners to discuss such things.   

Because my own mother is also called "Nana" by her grandkids, we re-named my Nana "Nu Nana" for use with the great-grandchildren.  She said it's not too often that she gets to be "new."

Nu Nana came to America from Scotland when she was six years old. Her mother had given birth to her at an almost unprecedented 47 years of age (and would sadly pass away a few short months later). Her father, who had fought in the Boer War, died when Nu Nana was only six. She moved to Chicago to live with an older brother, eventually married a Chicago policeman, and raised six children in the southside Chicago community of Beverly. 


As a kid, I thought Nu Nana was fantastically sophisticated. She could answer every single question on Jeopardy without hesitation. She smelled like fancy lotions and fruit.  She completed crossword puzzles at lightening speed while drinking scalding hot tea that I staunchly refused:

I just can't understand how you are my granddaughter, Marianne...our people drink tea!

She always had a book on her nightstand and criticized young American kids for learning Dick & Jane instead of Jane Eyre (which she insists she read when she was only five). 


Nu Nana continues to amaze me with her sharp intelligence and wicked sense of humor.  She is prepared to discuss politics, literature, and world events with anyone who crosses her path.  She maintains a Jacqueline Onassis kind of style and still encourages me to stand up straight every time I see her.  

Thank you for everything, Nu Nana, and here's to a great day! 

And for your birthday next year...

I'm thinking Vegas?      

31 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Nu Nana!!

    MBF

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  2. Happy birthday to her! Her wedding picture is breath taking.

    I think Vegas is a genius idea!

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    1. Thanks, Catie! Nu Nana does love to gamble!

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  3. What a beautiful wedding photo! Thanks for sharing this <3

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  4. Happy birthday Nu Nana!! What a great story about her life; absolutely enjoyed reading about her. What a wonderful grandmother (and great grandmother) to have! I love what she said about the tea, LOL :)

    I hope she has a wonderful day! And Vegas next year is definitely a great idea!

    betty

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    1. She still has more energy than me! Must be the tea?

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  5. So sweet! Happy 49th birthday! Nu Nana!

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    1. Oh...she is going to LOVE you, Andrea!

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  6. Yay Nu Nana! (My grandmother was from Scotland, too...a war bride.)

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    1. Those Scots are grand, aren't they? She still kicks herself for practicing each night to lose her accent. The American kids made fun of her so she practiced each night in a mirror to "sound American." Silly wabbit.

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  7. She sounds like a classy lady. She was a very beautiful bride! I hope you enjoy the birthday festivities!

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    1. She's really going to love you too, Lillian! Thanks & have a great weekend!

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  8. Happy Birthday to your Nana! And, what a gorgeous wedding picture!

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  9. Happy Birthday to Nu Nana :) Beautifully written Marianne.
    Looks like a penchant for men in uniform runs in your family...

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    1. You have no idea, Julie! It's almost scary.

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  10. We used to call my great grandmother "Big Nana" since my regular grandmother was Nana as well. Luckily, Big Nana wasn't big at all or the nickname would be pretty insulting!

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    1. We started off with "Big Nana," too!!

      Oddly enough, it was not warmly rec'd.

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  11. Happy birthday to her! Vegas may be just the ticket!!

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  12. Yes, Vegas! Only take her to the Thunder from Down Under instead of just plunking her in front of the slot machines like most old people do.

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    1. What makes you think she hasn't already seen it? (;

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  13. What a gorgeous wedding photo and she DOES look very sophisticated...then and NOW. :)

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    1. Thanks, hi-d! Will pass along - you'll have made her day!

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  14. Your Nu Nana is gorgeous! And my... really smart, too!

    Happy birthday to her!

    By the way, just like you, I am not a fan of tea. :) I will have to give it a try though [a few more times]

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    1. Thanks, Mary Anne! You don't s'pose this tea thing is her secret, do you? Maybe I'll have to revisit it as well!

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  15. What a beautiful bride was Nu Nana! I love her dress. Those were the days. Happy birthday to youf sweet grandma. To have that Scottish heritage...I would love that.

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