College Knowledge


Essay 1, 2nd revision


You Had Better Eat That Before It Goes Bad

One stormy night in December 1927, a young woman walks into a Chicago emergency room and collapses on the floor.   As the doctors and nurses scramble to figure out what is wrong with the young woman, a nurse yells, “She’s crowning!”  After about three hours of major complications and numerous moments of panic, my grandmother, Hilda Gail Morgenfleish, was taking her first glimpse of a world.   The youngest of eleven children, she had to fight for everything from day one, and it really didn’t help that the Great Depression was just about getting started.   In spite of all the fighting and struggles she endured, my grandmother still managed to grow and be an extremely loyal and humble individual.

My grandmother Hilda Stanley, or Nana as I have always known her, grew up during the Great Depression, an extremely hard and stressful time period for most.   Although her tan face has lots of wrinkles, partially due to the stress, she still looks remarkably well for being seventy-something.   She has silvery/white hair that perfectly accents her light blue eyes and her slender, slightly freckled nose.   Having never been a smoker, she has this smile that radiates light in all directions, similar to a lighthouse.   Even though she is old, she still has a pretty good sense of fashion.   My grandmother was wearing these hideous polyester clothes before these polyester-wearing grungers were even a glint in their parents’ eyes.    In addition being a snazzy dresser, she was an avid gardener, and to this day when I picture my grandmother I see this six-foot tall Irish lady yelling at me for peeing in her garden.                      

One thing I think my grandmother is most famous is her undying loyalty.   Whether it was towards my grandfather or to her local supermarket, she always remained faithful.   Having grown up during the Depression, wasting food was a cardinal sin in her house.   In her garage she had a ten-year supply of canned goods and vegetables.   This is all due to the fact that every time her favorite supermarket had a sale, she would exploit every good deal to the fullest and then hoard it all in the garage even if she didn’t need it.   Even today when I think of my grandmother, I picture her standing at the sink in the kitchen cutting two inches of green fuzz of a block of cheese, and saying “You had better eat this before it goes bad.”

The first time I can remember meeting my Nana it was Christmas Eve, and immediately I noticed that she had an extremely warm and humble attitude.   She was sitting in front of the Christmas tree dishing out the presents.   I was so excited when she handed me my gift, thinking it was going to be something cool like Linking Logs, or Lego’s, but when I opened it all I found was a jar of peanuts and a pack of tube socks.   When she saw the look of disappointment on my face she said “You should be grateful you received that much when I was you age, I was lucky to get my older sisters’ hand-me-downs for Christmas.”   To this day I still get socks and peanuts for Christmas from my grandparents.

Growing up I always thought my grandmother was crazy.  It may have been because she went to church five times a week, or maybe just the simple fact that she would fill her purse with food every time we would go to a buffet.   But the more I look at it, the more I realize that she really taught me a lot while I was growing up.   For example, I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that you could eat rotten cheese as long as you cut the green fuzz off, or that just because potatoes are wrinkled and have eyes growing off of them doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bad.   As you can see my grandmother is extremely frugal, but it is kind of refreshing for me to experience this in today’s life full of excess and convenience.