Grandma Leora

This sweet note gives me goosebumps.

Leora Wilson was my mother’s mother. Marian Beaman was my father’s youngest sister.

In 1967, the Dexter (Iowa) United Presbyterian Women offered a escalloped chicken dinner for Memorial Day, which had always been on May 30. Dozens of people ate there, before or after they’d taken flowers to remember loved ones at the cemetery.

Grandma Leora lived in Guthrie Center. This little thank you means that she was staying with my folks on the farm after having taken flowers to Guthrie Center and Perry cemeteries with her own daughters, most likely the day before.

After leaving flowers for her own parents, a sister, a sister-in-law, and three infants at Guthrie Center, then her husband and the three sons who were lost during WWII, she’d stay a few days with a daughter, either Doris (my mother) or Darlene.

Mom would have been in on this Memorial Day dinner, having been the treasurer for the women’s group for years. She’d also make a big pan of scalloped chicken and a salad or pie for the popular dinner. I was married and living in Idaho at the time, but when we were younger, my sister and I were among the girls who poured water and coffee and removed plates from the tables.

This little note means that Grandma Leora, who couldn’t sit still if there was any work being done within earshot, had helped out in the kitchen. She most likely washed or wiped dishes.

And Aunt Marian was right, Grandma’s presence was always a joy.


This is my mother’s recipe for escalloped chicken, which the UPW probably used for their dinners. It doesn’t say how much chicken broth to use, but I’m guessing a quart.


  1. Oh! I love the handwriting on that card and envelope! Reminds me of my mother’s handwriting. If only they would teach penmanship in schools today! Truly a lost art.

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