the lady had trained wild squirrels to come to her when she called them by name. i wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. there she sat completely serious in her motorized wheelchair in the front yard and yelled at the top of her lungs, "SQUINOOOOOO". as we waited, i would be lying if i said i wasn't skeptical and feeling a little bit silly standing there in the driveway while she yelled out into the open air of the neighborhood. after tossing a dried corncob on the ground in front of her, she waited and yelled again in her scratchy english accent. not one minute later sure enough, I saw him, a grayish brown speck bounding across the neighborhood yards toward grandma's house, clearly well fed. he scurried fearlessly to the corncob, barely noticing us as we stood less than 3 feet away. then he sat upright on his hind haunches and started to eat the corn. eyes wide, asked him disbelievingly, "squinoo?" he stopped eating and looked up at me as if to say, "yes dear?" then, realizing i had nothing more to say, he went back to his afternoon snack. without a sound other than the high pitched zoom of the wheelchair motor, grandma whipped around speedily to head back inside, no doubt grinning and satisfied with my reaction to her hard work as neighborhood squirrel trainer.
I feel blessed to have such happy and funny memories of my grandma. I can't wait to share stories with my daughter about her spirit, spunk, and quirky sense of humor.
She will be missed and remembered fondly.