Childhood

Two Meatballs: An Afternoon with Grandma Apple

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I have written about her before, but for those of you who haven’t met Grandma Apple…she really is epic! Tuesday I wrote all about me and Kristina’s adventures in Little Washington with the Apples but did you know that both Kristina and I  lived with our grandparents while we went to hair school…both in one bedroom houses…for a year…and LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! My grandpa was still alive at this time and we had the living best time! Grandma would help me study for my test with flash cards but the answers were Medulla, Mandible or some other long, complicated nail disease.  I would say the answer and she would say..I have nooooo idea!!! hahahahahha She packed me a lunch everyday and would ironed my scrubs.  She even hemmed my pajama pants while I was sleeping bc she thought they were too long…#wherestheflood! She also insisted on doing my laundry and after three bleach washings I had all crotchless panties! #thanksgrandma
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Last week out of the blue grandma called me which she never does and I happened to be next to my phone and answered it.  She has the cutest, sweetest voice and I got my gift of gab from her.  At first I was worried bc I knew she had had a violent stomach virus the week before and like I said she literally never calls!  I said how ya been and she said you know I’ve been better which was hilarious.  Then she said why don’t you come see me and bring me some tacos!!!  I nearly fell out…you just had the worst stomach virus the world has ever seen and you want MEXICAN FOOD?! Farttttttt….but I would do anything for this woman.  We have such an awesome connection and we always have.

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So I road tripped it to Wilson where she now lives and walked in…two crunchy taco supremes in tow…to see this…

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Janet Apple is COMPLETELY obsessed with The Big Bang Theory and more importantly Sheldon Cooper…banzinga!  But no really she has their tv schedule memorized.  I almost wet myself.  She told me all about how a buddy from church rigged their Secret Santa so he could give her this…she is soooo loved.  So onto lunch…

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Look how happy!!!  She is the most pleasant human ON EARTH!  One thing to know about The Apple residence is that you have to bring your own food if you want to eat healthy! They have literally always had the cupboards , fridge, candy jar and freezer stocked with complete shit…which was super exciting as a kid but a slippery slope for this meatball!  So I came prepared with those spicy ass chicken legs from last week…

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And this to save my life…

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But here is a glimpse into her processed food world…

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There is always a candy jar full of treats!  Grandma lives for peanuts, chocolate covered cherries, a “come” of ice cream, popcorn, saltines and milk, Hershey’s miniatures and peanut butter bread. I gained at least 20 lbs living with her…she used to make a pan of biscuits with every meal and we had a standing beer and pizza night!  She definitely feeds you with love…and high fructose corn syrup!  Anyway, I was not tempted in the least. Grandma Apple has always been concerned with my weight and used to find adorable little ways of putting us in the same boat so that we could “get healthy together” even though she is the tiniest human.  She is sooooo sweet.  So today when I walked in she said…how much have you lost and I said 42!!!  To which she responded…I want it to be 100! Hahahahahaha me too girl. I have always loved going to this woman’s house and not just for the endless buffet of terrible snacks!  She has such an appreciation for history.  She is a great story teller and archiver…there are one million picture scattered around her house of the family that she loves soooo much!

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And on top of that 1000 photo albums!!!  Which is my personal heaven!!! There are crafts from loved ones…mostly my mom all around. The apple memorabilia is abundant.  When I was little I spent a week at my grandparents and when I came home I told my dad…grandma taught me how to spell my last name…I was only 3 or 4 so he said ok lets hear it.  I said A-P-P-L-E.  My grandma thought it was the funniest thing…bc my last name is Beard!!!

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She has all my favorite books and games from childhood and being at her house is the living embodiment of childhood!  She would always let us play with everything and I certainly got my love of chintzy, colorful jewelry from this lovely lady…

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I know that when I see her I will get some Grandma lectures and we will solve all the worlds problems.  I could talk to her for days on her swing and rocking chairs on the back porch.  She cracks me up, she is so bright and positive and fiercely loyal to her family. She had a flaming red puff ball of hair while I was growing up and I longed to be a redhead as well much to my own mothers dismay!  I idolized my grandma and I still do to this day.  We have been roommates at her house and every year at the beach and over the years we’ve become close friends…she trusts my advice and she knows I would do anything to help out. We’ve been through some tough times…Grandpa Apple passing, her sister losing her battle to cancer, Buddy Cat having to be put down and so much more but family heals all and  we’ve  been through so many more good times…so many family vacations, making little cities in the back yard, helping out with chores, graduations, sleeping on the back porch, going to the waterfront, laying out on the dock on the Pamlico Sound, singing MC Hammer with Kris on road trips, dancing to Iggy Azelia on the way to the beach, Unto These Hills and KOA campgrounds, watching PBS while they beg for money, watching family guy and king of the hill together, graduations, weddings, making Christmas candy with Kelly and Kris, 100,00 Heath Bar Blizzards from Dairy Queen, playing in the kitchen at the elementary school where she worked…but I know that the best is still to come!

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We used to watch 60 Minutes together every Sunday and during the intro when they say I’m Leslie Stall, I’m Ed Bradley, I’m Morley Safer…she would always say…annnnnnd I’m Janet Apple and then make the ticking clock noise!!!  This is one of the trillion reasons that I want to spend every waking minute with this sweet baby angel.  How lucky can one girl be!?!?  Grandma…you are the living best and I love you soooooooo much…no you hang up…no you hang up! #bestroomieever  #snnnnnnakes  #mush #oodlesofnoodles #heathblizzards #dominoesthegamenotthepizza #afghans #searscatalogue #rotaryphones #harlequins #paintbynumber #backporch #lifelessons #grandmaplaits #seemmelike #spitjar #badboysbadboyswhatchagonnado #Yankees #wheresmybelt #loveyoutoobob

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Love you GiGi!

 

Two Meatballs: An Ode to the Irreplaceable Krilfistilfina!

I talk a lot about my friends and family…they are my life!  But my cousin Kristina was mos def my first built in friend.  I had the greatest childhood and Kristina is a huge contributing factor to that happiness !!! Look how sweet we were!?!? And Uncle Marty…those shorts…hellllo!

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We are only 2 1/2 years apart and we spent soooo much time together that she was always another sister to me…

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Another sister that would actually play with me! (yeah I’m talking to you Kelly! xo)

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This is us on Christmas morning at our Grandma Apple’s…we spent a ton of time together with our grandparents splashing in puddles during storms, spending countless hours at the library and in the cemeteries, sitting outside of haunted houses, playing in the camper, playing Old Maid and Chutes and Ladders on repeat, going to the Piggly Wiggly and playing at the park across the street.  They even took us to Disney World where we spent more time in the motel pool than in Disney and we created our own language to fit in with the international fans of the park! Look at those fanny packs! #toocoolforschool #shegotgumstuckinhersantradedwithme #peopledontforget #sneakysnake  #sushihead

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We also went to Sea World…we didn’t know back then…no judgement!

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We put on little plays for our family…

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But mostly we just played…for hours on end…

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We even Trick or Treated together…

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And around this age there was  just tons of driving around in her car, smoking Newport Mediums…woof and singing Fiona Apple, No Doubt and the Dixie Chicks…and being completely inseparable! We went to 100,000 movies, the zoo, watched Miss America while eating chocolate chip mug cookies (which Kristina invented), forced ourselves to watch every scary movie ever made, had one bazillion sleepovers, beach vacations, riding on the nose of Uncle Al’s boat singing Walking on Sunshine, getting whelps from sitting in Jellyfish poison,  rv-ing in the mountains, seeing outdoor plays, played Family Feud non stop on our ancient computer, she would call me sushi head and I would cry(this was on the way to Disney so I was much younger but it still stings! haha), playing on our bicycle built for two and our super cool crutches, we played every game and put together every puzzle known to man and sooo much more! Like any family relationship/friendship there were def rocky times and lots of games where we hit each other violently but the good times always outweighed the bad and I always knew she had my back and I knew I always had hers.

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We just remained really close and eventually our circles of friends all merged into one.  Kelly and Katie, Kristina and myself were together most weekends….we celebrated recitals, birthdays,  graduations, weddings, babies and just generally enjoyed spending time together.

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Then the most amazing thing happened…we both became hairstylists and ended up both working at Samuel Cole Salon…for the past nine years!  Who is this lucky to get to work with their best friend cousin sister Kri Kri K-Dog X-Tina five days a week…every week!?!?  Working together has afforded us so many opportunities that we got to share together.  We have trapesed all over NYC together taking the best classes at the House of Bumble, going to Broadway shows, MOMA, eating at some of the best restaurants, performed Thai Chi in Times Square, created a living art instillation,  almost got murdered at the Hotel Chelsea #rapeportal #theshiningmeetscsi,  and stalking…I mean bumping into Rihanna at the W #thereisnophotobcwereidiots!

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We’ve been through promotions and title changes, countless Bobbies, Grand Re-openings, salon moves and newer Grand Openings, awards, she was even my model for an editorial submission…but most importantly we just got to spend time together!  When Kris first came to work at Samuel Cole, I was so excited I found myself hugging her everyday…no shocker for me right Melinda,  but for those who don’t know my cuz that well…hugging is not her jam.  She had to impose a once a week hug mandate on me…bahahahahahaha! I tried but failed!

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Kristina has the most contagious laugh…she literally cries she laughs so hard, she has unbridled joy for cookies, she so fucking smart and I believe she could perform surgery just through sheer will and determination, she is the best mom and an awesome sounding board with great advice.  Those are the things I’ll miss the most…because my sweet friend  after having her third child has decided to stay home with her  kids.  I love hate this decision soooo much.  But I couldn’t be happier for her and I will just have to trek it out to Wake Forest a little more often…to see her…and her fun kids…and her husband Tim whom I adore #winwinwin!!!  So, to Kristina…I have cried at least three times writing this.  I feel so lucky that we are sooo close and have all this amazing history together. I love you to the moon and back and then back to the moon again.  So many of my fondest memories involve you and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  You are the reason I went to hair school and I just couldn’t thank you enough.  I’m so glad that we get to be a part of each others lives forever.  Love you cuzzy wuzzy.

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Ps if you are wondering about the title…Our Grandma Apple made up her own pig latin and that is how you say Kristina…Krilfistilfina…Mine is Sarlfara.   Get it..nope we don’t either but we can all speak it fluently somehow! I LOVE YOU KRIS! #bffffffffffffffs #bestcousins #luckytimesinfinity