There is no one quite like a grandma—or mammi—as she is called in Pennsylvania Dutch. When I hear the word “grandma,” I think of a pleasingly plump, gray-haired lady whose eyes twinkle perpetually as if every day were Christmas. That’s the kind of mammi I hope I’ve created in Anna Helmuth, the feisty 84-year-old who stirs up trouble in my Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. Anna loves making matches and goes to great lengths to see that each of her grandchildren has a happily ever after.
In Huckleberry Spring, Anna is at it again. She concocts a wild plan to reunite her grandson Ben with his ex-fiance, but Felty, Anna’s longsuffering husband, is the one who’s in for a wild ride. Anna talks him into getting surgery in order to lure Ben home. Unfortunately for Felty, only one surgery might not be enough to keep Ben in town.
I have three small grandsons. At first, I wasn’t sure about the whole grandma title. I was afraid being a grandma would age me twenty years. But when I first held that perfect little baby in my arms, I discovered I could love someone as much as I loved my own children—without having to do all that work.
My goal is to be the most terrific grandma there ever was. I want every visit to my house to be like going to Disneyland, without the long lines or the expensive concessions.
I want to be the kind of grandma who:
- Doesn’t mind if her grandkids rifle through her purse in search of Tic Tacs.
- Cherishes that tiny, smudgy handprint on the sliding glass door and won’t let Grandpa scrub it off.
- Lets her grandkids stay up late to watch “The Apple Dumpling Gang,” “The Court Jester,” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
- Makes a batch of cookie dough and doesn’t mind if it gets eaten before it makes it into the oven.
- Plays catch in the backyard and lets aspiring pitchers practice their curve balls.
- Never loses her temper. That’s what parents are for.
- Serves Poptarts for breakfast.
- Doesn’t care if a toddler empties all the drawers in her kitchen.
- Gives embarrassing hugs and kisses.
- Puts on her play clothes when the grandkids come over.
- Thinks a messy house is part of the fun.
- Loves her grandkids so much that her own children begin to feel ignored.
That’s the kind of mammi Anna Helmuth is. Because she’s so lovable, her grandchildren don’t mind her meddling in their love lives.
Most of the time.
Jennifer Beckstrand is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Romance Writers of America. She graduated from Brigham Young University and worked for a brief time as an editor. She and her husband live in Utah, and have four daughters and two sons. Her latest releases are Huckleberry Spring and An Amish Christmas Quilt.
Purchase Jennifer’s books here.