For as long as I can remember my “mucker” (the name I called her when I was little and could not say grandmother), was in my life and always around. Now I know most grandparents are but growing up I saw my Mucker almost every day. From what I remember, when I was little my grandparents lived in Evergreen so my mom would take us up to their house often. They lived in the Hawaiian Museum’s caretaker house which was pretty awesome if you were a little kid. A house, the mountains, a stream behind the house, a little secret glass window in their closet that hosted a family of squirrels on the other side, a museum literally feet from the front door- I was never bored when I went there. My grandfather was the caretaker for that house and the museum and my Mucker stayed home, often taking care of my sister and I. My imagination ran wild being there, inventing new games to play and interacting with exhibits that would come to the museum; the most memorable being something to do with teepees and traditional Indian dancing.
One of my Mucker’s favorite past times was watching her shows…Price is Right, I love Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore, Andy Griffith Show and BeWitched. These are the only shows she would allow us to watch. I can remember my grandfather turning on some cop show and when they would say a bad word (and I’m not talking like the words that come out of TV shows today), my Mucker would yell “LANGUAGE, LANGUAGE, LANGUAGE; or if two actors began to kiss- she would quickly cover my sister and I’ s eyes. As kids we fought to see past my Muckers hands to only find it was a simple kiss, but I loved that she wanted to preserve our innocence.
As we got older, my grandparents moved closer and my mom became a full time- own your own business mom. Because my mom was working, my sister and I still needed afterschool and summer care. Mucker would pick us up after school in her tiny seafoam Ford Escort and as we saw friends along the way she stopped to add them into the car so that they could be safely dropped off at home. Mind you that car fit three additional people comfortably, yet she treated it like she got it from the local circus as we would load it to the brim with kids.
She was always kind, always thoughtful and always there for us.
When she would take us to her house, you could count on my mucker to have a cake plate full of cookies on her kitchen counter. We tried feverishly to deny ourselves more than one cookie, yet self-control was not something I was taught nor was it desired. Mucker always had the best cookies: the oatmeal ones with an icing layer on top, or the oatmeal crème pies and the real kicker that you can’t just have one of…the double stuffed Oreos. I do have to say though, my favorite treat was when my mucker made her, what she called “poor folk food”, either cheese rarebit (basically saltine crackers layered on a baking dish with a creamy cheese poured over it, or the cheese, saltine and marshmallow cracker (there was no name, she just made it). You lay a layer of saltine crackers down, cut cheddar cheese slices and lay them on top of the saltine, then place a marshmallow on top of the cheese follow by another saltine. Pop the baking dish in the oven on broil and watch it until the marshmallow gets brown or the cheese melts. Pull them out of the oven and eat right away- which we always did.
We ate a lot at muckers house; with parents often working late, we stayed for home cooked meals of pot roast in the pressure cooker (I can still hear the scream and rattle of that thing), pork chops and rice, cheese rarebit, and soup. Mucker always made sure we were fed a meal and of course, dessert.
I will always be thankful of the time I had with my Mucker. It was some of the best times of my life and as I sit here with my cheesy marshmallow cracker I remember her, her legacy she leaves behind and the influence she has had for this business and my life. I love you Mucker!