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Happy Birthday Grandma

Today I can't but help do a personal post.  

Today my grandmother turns 85.  My grandma, Pearl Clement Nichols, was born and raised right here in Mesa.  She grew up on the corner of Extension and University on her parents' farm.  In fact, my junior high, Carson, was built on my great grandfather's farm land.  My grandma grew up during the depression, having little but never realizing it.  As a teenager she fell in love with Billy, the pesky boy who hung around with her older brothers.  They both graduated from Mesa High.  After my grandfather's military service, my grandma and grandpa were married right here in Mesa and raised their family here too.  My grandma and grandpa loved this Mesa land and found joy in doing yard work together.  My grandma still loves to do yard work and would mow her own lawn up until a few years ago. 

After her girls were in school, my grandma went back to college, earning her bachelors and masters degrees from ASU.  She taught for 28 years in Mesa, most of those in the 3rd grade at Whittier Elementary.  Many of you may know her as Mrs. Nichols, your favorite teacher.  She has a scrapbook of all of her students and still collects articles that she may come across.  If a past student was given an award or even put in jail, that article is in her scrapbook.  She remembers every student, the good and the bad, with fondness.

My grandmother was widowed at 48 but never lost that zeal for life.  She has told me several times that she wanted to live to raise her children, and then it was her grandchildren.  Now she still wants to live to help raise her great grandchildren.  And she does a great job of it.  My girls love going to visit, getting spoiled with treats and love.  Shoot, I still love going and getting spoiled.  

Happy Birthday Grandma.  Thank you for embodying what Mesa is all about.

   My grandma and mom in Mesa - 1950.


The Wizzle said...

Oh, that's just so sweet! My grandma is going to be 85 next month, and her story is actually surprisingly similar - married, graduated Mesa High, schoolteacher (she was kindergarten out in Queen Creek), widowed young, still kicking today! Happy birthday to your Grandma. :)

Nichelle said...

We love Grandma! Don't know what we would do without her! Happy Birthday!

PhaseThreeOfLife said...

What a beautiful post. Happy birthday to your grandma!

mrs. dph said...

Um, wow! I have been reading your blog for several months now and I think we are distantly related! Your grandma is my Aunt Pearl! My Grandpa, Neldon Nichols, was Billy's brother. I live in Topeka, KS, now, but I love to read your blog and reminisce about my upbringing in Mesa. I attended Carson and Westwood, too. Sorry this is such a tardy comment--I just checked my blog reader after an extremely busy 3 weeks. Anyways, keep up the great work on your blog. I have shared it with family members who still live in the Valley.

A fan,
Tracie in Topeka

iheartmesa said...

I'll have to tell my grandma you said hi. Thanks for leaving a comment. And yes, I remember Neldon. I loved going to their house in Lehi. Such beautiful property and gardens. We always enjoyed his Christmas time tangerines.