My Grandma was always old. She was born in 1894, so when I was born she was 56 years old. Her hair was always grey or the unnatural shade of brown of the moment - she never colored it blue or purple. She was a great walker. I remember fondly are our long walks in Forest Park - the great urban park of St. Louis. It had a fine art museum, a conservatory called The Jewel Box, an outdoor opera house, and a network of lagoons with frogs and waterfalls. Sometimes I stayed in her apartment in downtown St. Louis. It had a Murphy bed - what a marvel to a kid. On the bed was "the eiderdown", a purple silk comforter filled with down. I thought that was marvelous too. And I feared and delighted in the fiery incinerator in the hallway. Grandma was not only old however, she was also cranky and difficult. She was widowed young and raised her two sons in poverty. She found much to resent in life, but was always kind to me.
Some years ago I found a photo of my Grandma as a teen. I think she was dressed for a part in a play, perhaps Ophelia. She is so young and beautiful it is hard to reconcile this image with my memories of my old Grandma.