Reading the thoughts of others demonstrates the many common themes that run through our collective memories. Jo was my Auntie Jo, but like with many of you she just morphed into a universally shared Gma Jo. Gma Jo enjoyed her time with us, and we flourished from our time with her. Sheri just chimed in, “Don’t forget the gingerbread room, buttermilk pancakes, and no thank you helpings!”. Gma Jo’s giving and loving side was buttressed by her straightforward determination. There weren’t many hidden layers to be discovered. She wore who she was on her sleeve, without guile or duplicity. One year swimming lessons were behind the dam at North Marina. Burrrrr, it was sure a lot more comfortable in the pool. But it was a lot of fun to watch Gma Jo and Gma Brim squealing as they waded into that cold water! When we were kids she allowed us a lot of freedom to explore. We attended Sunday school at one point, but later were allowed to write letters home or to extended family in lieu of Sunday School. I’m not sure if we were beyond redemption, or the letter writing campaign continued because the recipients were so appreciative. Gma Jo and her siblings were always close, but when Bob, my dad, and Gma Jo were the remaining two, their bond became more intense. One of their get togethers was when Frank and Gma Jo took off on his motorcycle, dad and I on mine, and we met at Blewett Pass. I don’t think either of them could walk for a week after that ride. I would bring dad to Coulee and Frank would bring Gma Jo to Seattle as they were able to travel. Dad couldn’t hear, but that didn’t stop Gma Jo from chatting away, with dad nodding in response. Their affection for each other was clear to anyone watching them together. One conversation they had a few years ago was trying to remember whether the Christmas present one year at Steptoe was an orange, or an orange for each child. There weren’t any luxuries in her young life. Check out the video I posted to see them share a childhood memory.