Malone GrammieThis is one of my favorite pictures from the 4th of July this year. At first glance, it looks like a picture you’ve probably got lurking in your archives too- of a great grandmother and kid.

At 89 years old, Grammie is a spit fire. If you googled New England Matriarch, I’m pretty sure her picture would come up. She tells it just how it is and knows her celebrity gossip better than I do, thanks to People magazine. She asks about twitter and wonders about that “bookface” and why on earth you’d want everyone to know your business every second of the day.

Malone didn’t want to go to the parade this year. He’s terrified of sirens and parades are full of fire trucks. His love of flags and free candy wasn’t enough to make him want to sit out with us. He hid at Grammie’s house with his dad until I called to say the fire trucks had all gone past. As it turns out, I jumped the gun and called just a little bit too early. Lesson learned, don’t push too hard.

Before Malone got there, I sat with Grammie and enjoyed her commentary on the parade that has been going around her block for as long as she has lived there- decades. She told stories of watching it with my husband when he was a kid.

When the parade’s pace started to lag, she got a little sassy, especially about waiting for the bands which seemed to be her favorite.

“Oh, you know how it goes NJ. They’ve all got to stop in front of the nursing home and play a tune for all of those old people,” she remarked with a voice full of sarcasm.

I tried to bite my tongue but I couldn’t help but cracking up. It took her a second, but she got the joke after the fact too.

“I’m just an old lady,” she says whenever I pull out my camera.¬†She hates to have her picture taken. But I can’t help myself when I’m near her. There is something about her face and the knowledge behind it that begs to be captured.

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