I would like you to meet Susie. The name and face behind my book Susie at Your Service. A few weeks ago I introduced you to my grandmother, Laura Bell... well this week, I am going to introduce you to my other grandmother.... Susie.
Also known as Ninny. Ninny is my maternal grandmother and probably the best pie maker you will ever meet. Also her cheesecake is really awesome... and her pralines... pancakes... basically anything she touches in the kitchen turns into the most delicious creations you will ever eat. :)
On top of being an amazing cook, Ninny is also an amazing person. One of the reasons I used her as my inspiration for Susie is that she is a generous person. Ninny will bend over backwards to help someone, whether she knows them or not.
When I was little and Ninny came to our house for a visit, she always brought us something. It could be a snack or just a little something from the store. She always had something for us. Perks of being a grandkid, I guess. :)
I also remember riding around in her red Blazer, and Ninny always had gum. I never chewed gum, except when I was with Ninny. To this day, the smell of Double Mint, Juicy Fruit, or Big Red sends me into a nostalgic flashback to riding around with Ninny. She also taught me this amazing trick to put peanuts in my Dr. Pepper... or of course, Peanut M&Ms. It's a treat that sometimes I treat myself to when I have a craving for a soda. It's not complete without peanuts.
When I first thought of the story of a young girl who loved to help others, it was no contest. Her name had to be Susie.
To this day, I know I can always call Ninny for anything. She's great to talk to and usually can solve any of my cooking questions... or problems... in a pinch.
Visiting her house we would always take walks up and down the road, sometimes picking blackberries. We would pass Mr. Orville's house and work our way down to Jeanette's. Yes, the other characters in the book are real people too. People from Susie's life, as well as mine. :)
Ninny always took time to spend with us kids. We would have sleepovers at her house and she would always let us pick the menu during our stay and she would patiently, and I mean PATIENTLY, take the time to teach me to crochet. PA-TIENT-LY. ;p
When I went off to college and would come home for a visit, Ninny would always ask me if there was anything I needed. "Not that I can think of." I would respond. She would then motion me to follow her down the hallway to the back bedroom, and she would open the doors to her "magic closet." This closet held gifts, crafts, decorations, etc. and she would let me rummage through there and find something I wanted (Usually candles for me). A treasure chest of good stuff. :) She will also, to this day, send me jars of jellies, hot sauce, or jams that she has made and "put up." Thanks to her and the other women in my family, I have never had to purchase jelly from the store before... I honestly couldn't even tell you what it tastes like. I'm sure it is not even close to Ninny's. And I also guarantee you that I am not the only person she shares those things with... If she thinks you need a jar of jelly, you get one. If there's a toy drive in town, she's there delivering toys. If there' a family in need of something, they receive it immediately. If she thinks you need an ear to listen, she's got two. If she thinks you need a visit to the "magic closet" to receive a gift, she'll take you.
She has one of the most generous hearts you will ever meet.
It is my hope that when kids read about Susie and her spirit of generosity, that part of Ninny's charm and heart are passed onto them in the process.
"I can do most anything, for it's a special gift. For I am Susie at Your Service, and it's my JOY to give."
Howdy Everyone! And welcome to my website! My name is Katharine Hamilton and I am a writer and multi-genre author! Thank you for stopping by!