Social media is rife with those glorious family photos right now, just after Thanksgiving, when everyone gathers for the big feast and the obligatory photo of such happiness (?) is taken.
This year, our son-in-law’s mother hosted our family’s vegan Thanksgiving feast at her new residence. She lives in a senior complex in the foothills north of Fresno. It’s called Grandmother’s Village and one must be a grandmother to live there. You also have to join the Grandmother’s Club and abide by the rules. Although her apartment is too small to accommodate the group, there is a clubhouse that she rented for us to use. It has a well-equipped kitchen as well as a large room with tables for eating. There are bathrooms for each gender. There is plenty of room outdoors for small children to run around and play.
The clubhouse is also the meeting place for the Grandmother’s Club and there are various bulletin boards with news and pictures of the club and its members over the decades. The club is actually a state-wide organization but only two of the clubs offer housing. The amazing thing about the one where we went is that the property has no mortgage. The grandmothers tirelessly worked to pay off the multi-million dollar mortgage so as to keep rents low. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $500 a month. They were able to do this by holding fund-raisers, and from what I could tell, their most profitable fund-raiser is a biscuit and gravy event for which they are famous. They even have the recipe for the biscuits posted on the bulletin board in the kitchen so it’s done right each time.
There is a photo in the clubhouse of an earlier set of members, gathered down the road at their sign for the property. About 15 ladies are in the photo, and only two or so are actually looking at the camera. The others are talking to one another, looking off in another direction, or even turned around, looking at something else entirely. It made me laugh because you know this was the best picture of the bunch that were taken. Some ladies are laughing, some are frowning. Some are moving their hands, some are fussing with their hair.
I pointed the picture out to our group and suggested we do a similar photo. Just go down to the sign, line up, use the timer on the camera and let it click. Everyone seemed game to try it. Here is the picture we took, and it is NOT your typical holiday family picture where everyone looks good:
Leeya is behind me and only her shoes are visible, as she wanted.