This is my 104 year-old grandmother, the matriarch of our family. Her name is Katie, and she was born in 1909. In about a month, she will turn 105. God willing!

People are often amazed by her age. But with the same breath, they will ask,” How’s she doing?” Sometimes I respond politely; other times I say, “She’s 104!”

To be more specific – Grandmother’s eye-sight is fading. Talking to her requires using your ‘outside voice” and getting very close to her face. But if she is able to hear you, she can tell you all about growing up in Onalaska, Texas or picking cotton with the poor whites who lived in the area. She can recall how my grandfather Oris built the only house I have ever known her to live in…until now.

Now she resides with her daughter, my aunt. The other day I phoned. Aunt Maudi explained that Grandmother was a little peeved, following this exchange.

Aunt Maudi: Mother, I’m going to take some money out of your purse to put in the collection plate at church.
Grandmother: Okay. How much are you taking?
Aunt Maudi: Well you have $40 in here.
Grandmother: $40? Don’t take $40. You can give them $20. Or better make it $15.
Aunt Maudi: Mother, I’m not going to put $15 in. That’s not enough. I’ll give them $20. You don’t need that money.
Grandmother: I do need my money. I may need to buy things.
Aunt Maudi: What kinds of things?
Grandmother: I might want to buy a dress and some new shoes.
Aunt Maudi: Why? You don’t go anywhere.
Grandmother: I might go somewhere IF I had a new dress and shoes.

It might be time for a trip to Houston to refill that purse.
Grandmother needs a new pair of shoes!