A bushel and a peck

On Monday, we said goodbye to my Grandmom.

Mary Philomena Oberst would have been 100 years old next month. She was a strong, beautiful woman who expressed her love with pot roast, rice pudding, and unadorned advice.

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Typical Grandmom dealing with her grandkids. 

At 98, I would call her and she would ask how my “little dog was doing”. She remembered the birthday of every one of her seven children, 29 grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren — always sending a card and a few dollars.


My Grandmom and her sister Rita

My Grandmom didn’t show love with prolonged hugs or flowery declarations of affection. She showed love by taking care of her family. No matter what. I remember one Christmas, after all the gifts had been opened, I was sitting with her on the sofa and she looked at me and started humming an old song by Doris Day.

“I love you a bushel and a peck, A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap…” She stopped singing and looked toward the kitchen. “Let’s go put the monkey bread out for everyone.” She wasn’t a sappy woman, but she loved us all so much.


I could go on and on with story after story, attempting to paint a picture of my Grandmom. But honestly, she’d hate that. All I’ll say is that we all miss her very much and our family gatherings will never be the same.


I love you Grandmom. “I love you a bushel and a peck, You bet your purdy neck I do, A doodle oodle oh, A doodle oodle oodle oh doo…”