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 eighty-something-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 my latest Huckleberry Hill book, Home on Huckleberry Hill, Anna is at it again. Her granddaughter Mary Anne is having marriage troubles and she has moved out of the house and into the woods. Anna is not about to let Mary Anne camp by herself, and she brings her husband Felty and her seventeen chickens to keep Mary Anne company. But will Anna be able to get Mary Anne and her stubborn husband, Jethro, back together?
I now have seven grandchildren. 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 that 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 and bestest 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 and unappreciated.
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 the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014. Visit JenniferBeckstrand.com for recipes, upcoming events, and news about books and giveaways.