Grandma Rosie To The Rescue

Anyone FOF lucky enough to have had a grandmother while she was growing up probably has a world of grandma tales to tell. Here’s one of mine.

My Grandma Rosie was a pistol. If she had lived in the 21st century, she’d be giving Hillary a run for her money. Rosie left no stone unturned when it came to me, from trying to marry me off to helping me with sticky problems.


While I was spending Christmas week 1957 at her house, in Hartford, CT, I made a big mistake on a homework assignment to color in an outline map of Europe and fill in the names of all the countries. I don’t remember what I did wrong, but I ripped up the map in a frenzy (I was 10 and high strung about completing every single homework assignment!)  Since I didn’t have a copy of the map, we had to find another.

So off we marched (seriously) to downtown Hartford the next day, going into every store that could possibly have an outline map of Europe, and even a few that couldn’t possibly have one, but remember, Grandma Rosie left no stone unturned. After hours of searching, we remained mapless, and I remained frantic.

Dejected, I sat in grandma’s big linoleum-floored kitchen that evening, while she made dinner, undoubtedly still wracking her brain where she could find a map. Suddenly, she burst out: “I’m going to call my cousin. I think her husband is a teacher. He’s got to have a map.” I was beside myself with anticipation.EuropeMap

Have a map he did, so off went Rosie to retrieve her treasure, a few blocks away. When she returned home with the single pristine white sheet, showing the European continent delicately outlined in light blue, my Grandpa Sam, who had witnessed the sturm und drang during the last 24 hours, took the map and announced: “I am going to color it in for you.” I happily agreed to turn the assignment over to him, which he completed with flying colors, literally and figuratively. Each country was defined by a different watercolor, and in his beautiful handwriting, grandpa wrote its name.

I aced the assignment (grandpa actually did) and kept the beautiful sheet for years. When I remembered it, decades later, I couldn’t wait to search through my old desk drawer. Alas, my mother had cleaned everything out and the map was nowhere to be found.

The things that we remember fascinate me. I would love to have Grandma Rosie back now, even for a day. She and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but now I realize it’s because we were like two peas in a pod.  I’d like to think she’s looking down on me as I write this.  If she is, she’s probably thinking how easy it would be to find that map today!



Tell us one of your favorite Grandma stories, and you might see it on Please send Grandma’s photo, too, if you have one. Email

Leave a Reply