Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 3-5-12
March 5, 2012
A favorite activity when my grandma came to our house was she wanted me to brush her hair. It was short so each stoke was quick yet I spent hours brushing. It gave her such satisfaction and what else can you give someone who has everything, but giving of your time? Brush, braid, ad in some hair clips or curlers (this was in the “old days” remember), take it all out and do it again. Stories were told back and forth during this time, bringing the generations together.
Learning that curling irons were heated over a kerosene lamp, instead of the current day electricity, was a “hair-raising” thought to me. The old electric machines that were used to give permanents look for all the world, like the hook up for an electrocution. They are very scary appliances! Even with modern day curling irons I have “branded” my ear or my cheek more times than I care to admit.
Now I’m the grandma and am on the receiving end of the brush. My grands are more into creating “styles” with my hair and then using makeup to paint me up like a clown … literally. The youngest one is 2-1/2-years-old and he can get rough with the brush. I used to caution him to be gentle. Last week he had a baby hair brush – known for very soft bristles – and he was brushing away. Every couple of strokes he would turn my head and look me in the eye and ask, “Gentle?”
You haven’t lived until you’ve had such an occurrence in your life. What a thrill to know he comprehends the word and action and that he cares enough to make sure he is doing things up to par. Little children can be more conscientious than older ones and we can revel in it as long as it lasts.
My grandgirls – there are three – all have long hair and love to have me brush and comb their hair. In fact, one of them instigates it by starting on my hair and far too soon, asks if it’s her turn. I oblige. After all she does have more hair to play with. Like many of her second grade classmates, she is growing her hair long. She may even have an ulterior motive as last week she learned that her mother’s college friend has twice let her long hair be cut short for charity. Locks of Love is a nonprofit that provides hairpieces for disadvantaged children under age 21 who suffer from medical conditions that cause loss of hair. They take the minimum of 10-inch-long pony tails or braids of hair that have been donated and make them into usable hairpieces for children and young people. A relatively small gesture can bring joy and appreciation to someone who really needs it.
Whether it is playing beauty shop with grandkids or cutting off your beautiful locks in order to help someone else, simple pleasures make lasting memories.
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Peggy plays with her grandkids at the farm in southwest South Dakota. Her internet latchstring is out via Peggy@PeggySanders.com.