For those of you who don't know me, I'm Courtney Elaine Leonard Lyons, or Courtney as Grandma called me. I'm the eldest granddaughter of Reid and Mary Jane's 3 grandchildren. My parents are Paul and Shirley. Paul is the middle son.
I spent most of my childhood summers visiting Florida. I believe it was 8 or 9 years total. I'll never forget all the wonderful summers I was able to spend with Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Leland. Each summer began with a lunch date in Baton Rouge where my parents would meet Grandma and Grandpa at Cracker Barrel and the adventure would begin then.
I'll always remember the activities Grandma and I did together. Whether it was swimming practice and competitions, shopping, or lessons of some sort, Grandma was always encouraging me to do my best. I will also remember preparing for Sunday morning with flowers that Grandpa cut for her to wear to church and carrying her Sunday basket or watching her prepare Saturday nights for the 6th grade Sunday school and VBS classes she taught. I vividly remember the knick-knacks that Uncle Leland would make for her VBS class whether it was adjustable book holders, plaques, or picture frames which she would carefully build her lesson plans around.
I loved to sit and talk with Grandma about anything and everything under the Sun. We would look over old photographs and I would listen to stories of her childhood or stories of my dad growing up. Sometimes we would cross-stitch or hand sew together. Other times we would bake and Grandma would teach me the special tricks of getting her fudge just right or when to pull cakes and cookies out of the oven at just the right time to get the perfect golden brown bottoms. Grandma also taught me the tricks of how to make her delicious Hungarian pancakes and Hawaiian Spareribs.
Most of all, I'll never forget the summer mornings waking up at Grandma's house and walking into the kitchen to see Grandma unloading the dishwasher and looking up to see the huge rainbows on the ceiling from her crystal porcupine sitting on the breakfast table. We would always look for the biggest prism and the one that went the farthest. Usually, we would be able to find one that stretched from the kitchen through the dining room and a lone prism on the far side of the living room. I'll also always remember the countless nights at the kitchen table reciting the books of the bible together while preparing the charts for her Sunday school class.
I loved Grandma very much and will cherish her with all my heart. Each time I see a prism I'll remember Grandma and know that while she may no longer be with us in flesh she will always be in our hearts.