Author Arlene James & What Influence Can a Grandmother Have? — 35 Comments

  1. I recently became a grandma for the first time! It is something that I have dreamed of becoming for a long time and am delighted….a little girl who is darling! Although we don’t live close, I can’t wait to see her grow through the years. I have contemplated my own grandmother recently and how dear she was to me – she had 52 grandchildren, tons of great-grandchildren, etc. yet she somehow made us ALL feel extra special! How did she do it! I was the oldest granddaughter but as the others arrived rapidly, she always made us feel like we were the most special. I loved her dearly and still miss her every day.

  2. I think that the stories that my grandparents told are part of why I write. (My sister says that she is devoted to genealogy for the same reason.) One day, I would like to write as much of their story as I know.

  3. How kind you are, Jane. Whatever you are going through, I am praying for you. God is so good, even when we are suffering. When my first husband died, I remember how insulted I was when a well-meaning soul said to me that God would somehow work out that tragedy for my good. Now, having been married to the man, literally, of my dreams for 36 good years, I know that to be true. In a perfect world, it would never have happened in this way, but this world is not perfect. This world is so IMperfect that it is difficult for us to see any good outcome when we are in the midst of misery, but God knows that, and He already has a plan set in motion. Hang in there, dear. God bless you.

  4. You were blessed! And yes, I remember those Alka-Seltzer jars. Grandma didn’t cut her biscuits, though. She made “wet” biscuits and squeezed them off in palm-sized globs. Into a pan glistening with bacon fat! LOL Boy, were those great.

  5. It’s odd, isn’t it? We think that we have a corner on dysfunction and difficulty, but in truth, people have always had problems. We just heard and read more about it now, I think. Imagine. Having 15 or 16 children would be more than almost any couple could handle now; it would literally have been a killer in a less “convenient” era.

  6. An author I have read and loved and even reviewed. I never knew all this about you. As I am going through some tough issues right now, I believe I was suppose to read this today. God Bless

  7. What a beautiful tribute to her grandmother! I also had a very special grandmother and although she died when I was twelve, the special times that we shared and the memories that we made have lasted me my whole life. It was “Mamaw Porter” who taught me to sing and to love music and it was “Mamaw Porter” who allowed me to cut biscuits from her homemade biscuit dough with an Alka-Seltzer lid. (Are any of your readers old enough to remember Alka-Seltzers in a long, thin glass bottle :-] ) “Mamaw Porter” was also the person who instilled in me the belief that everyone has good in them, we should always look for the best and we should never gossip and spread rumors. So many memories in those brief twelve years….it makes me wonder what other wonders we could have shared if time allowed it!!

  8. Arlene James your grandmother sounded like a wonderful person. I enjoyed reading about her. I didn’t know my grandmother except that she was a mother to 15 or 16 children. I did learn that much about her from my mother. I also know that 2 of my mother siblings went into the county system for some reason and was adopted out. Thanks for sharing this story about your grandmother.

  9. My grandmother’s been in Heaven nearly 30 years now, and I still miss her. When my husband retired, we moved close to our grandchildren at the urging of our son and daughter-in-law, and we haven’t regretted a minute of the time we’ve been able to spend with them. Grandchildren grow up even faster than children! LOL Enjoy every moment with your grandmother. We never get too old for Grandma.

  10. My grandparents didn’t raise me, but they did stand between me and a very abusive mother. They never criticized her to me, but they obviously knew that she mistreated me, and they did everything in their power to protect me. My children were small when my grandmother died, and I’ve always wished that they could have known her better.

  11. Sadly, I was much closer to my grandmother than to my mother, but I thank God that I had my grandmother. He always provides what we need when we need it! I’m so glad you enjoy the books.

  12. Oh, that’s a sad loss. My grandparents were the focus of my young life, and I can’t imaging what my life would have been like without them. I try to be the same kind of grandmother for my granddaughters. I want them to have the same kind of memories that I do.

  13. That’s lovely. I remember that after my grandfather died, the deacons of their church used to call on my grandmother to ask her advice. I noticed that at first they asked her what her late husband would have thought about such and such, but soon they were asking what SHE thought about things. That made be proud of them both!

  14. My paternal grandmother was a wonderful lady, too, and she did have a green thumb! She was also a wonderful baker and seamstress. I learned so much from her. Her life, however, was blighted by the loss of a daughter at a young age, and she never really got over it. My maternal grandmother’s loss made her hold those she loved closer. My paternal grandmother held everyone at arm’s length. Even as a child, I realized the difference, and it saddened me.

  15. I think everyone had a hard life back then. In reality, by the time I came along, my grandmother was a bit spoiled. My grandfather truly adored her, and he wouldn’t let her get up to fix his breakfast because he rose about 4am. As a girl, I used to hear him in the kitchen when I stayed over. I’d get up and tiptoe in. He’d make me eggs and bacon and let me sip coffee out of a saucer, then he’d tell me to be quiet until Grandma got up, and he’d go off to work. When he came in for lunch, he’d bring us flowers, and after he ate, they’d slip off into the back bedroom for a few minutes. We grandkids giggled about that, but it was a great lesson for us all.

  16. I was so blessed in my grandparents. They were godly people who loved each other and their family. I can’t bear to imagine my life without them.

  17. Very true. My great uncle (my grandmother’s brother) married a widowed lady with two children. After she was killed in an accident, he raised them alone, never remarried. My grandmother always said it was because he feared no other woman would treat them as her own, and he didn’t want them to feel like stepchildren.

  18. I have many memories of my grandma and most of them are from spending summers with her. I lost her 6 years ago this month and some days it still feels like it was yesterday. My other grandma is still with us and she is a loving grandma who enjoys her family.

  19. What a great story of a wonderful woman. My grandmother also was very special. She had 28 grandchildren. Each one of us still feels that we were her favorite. She had so much love and we all knew we were loved by her.

  20. My Grandma Irene has been in heaven for almost 27 years. I miss her so much even though she died when I was 30. We would talk on the phone almost every day and usually once a week I would take her grocery shopping. She was a very Godly woman and taught me so much. One of the most important lessons she taught me was a Grandma’s love. She loved all six of her grandchildren unconditionally. Now that I am a Grandma of three, I am realizing what an impact a Grandmother can have in her grandchildren’s lives. Happy Mother’s Day to Grandma’s too!!!!!!

  21. I didn’t know my grandmothers well. One lived far away. The other was very deaf and looked formidible to a little girl. However, I know grandparents and even great-grandpaerents who’ve raised their grandchildren. Such love. Without them, these children would have probably ended up . . . who knows where?

  22. Great post. My maternal grandmother died when I was about five, and my mother didn’t talk about her much. I love the “Love Inspired” books.

  23. Loved reading the story about your grandmother, I wish I had stories to tell about mine. I lost my Mom’s Mother when I was 5 and my Dad’s Mother didn’t live close enough for me to see often, once a year usually. My parents didn’t tell many stories about their growing up years either, so not a lot of memories.


  24. I enjoyed reading about your Grandmother since she sounds a lot like mine too. She was not a very educated person but she had a lot of common sense about how things should be done. She was a woman of faith and was revered by many in her community. One thing I remember she taught me was not to be a gossip and I can truthfully say, I never was. people know me for that trait.
    Your book sounds really good

  25. Your grandmother sounds like she was an amazing woman. My maternal grandmother was a sweet, graceful little lady who I loved visiting. My paternal grandmother was a wonderful gardner and loved me dearly. It was always fun to garden with her.

  26. What a sad story. Your grandmother had such a hard life but ultimately came out on top. Wonderful. Times were very had back then.

  27. I deeply appreciate that Arlene James shared this wonderful story about her grandmother. It makes the Chatham House books all the more meaningful with her grandmother’s personality, faith and character as part of the foundation of her characters. I love reading things like this. Thank you both for sharing it with us.

  28. Scholars treat step-children as a recent anomaly, but it was a rare child of the 19th or even early 20th century who had both biological parents live a full life and who, consequently, was not raised by a motley crew of relatives amongst many step-siblings and others.

  29. I’ve read many Lyn Cote & Arlene James books. I just reread the mother’s Day book by Ms. James that was put out as a duo last year or the year prior – about the lady that was injured at the horse show & the veterinarian that moved into the house ‘next door’. Thank you for your books!

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