Maryellen Hustad (Blount) Mefford, 1919-2011.

Today I had the privilege of celebrating my late grandmother's life. There were laughter and tears, smiles and hugs, and many shared memories. Grandma Marnie was one of those unique individuals who took it upon herself to do everything. Every time I was with her, I learned something new. She traveled so many places, learned so many things, taught so many eager learners, created so much craft, loved so many people, and most of all, was dearly loved by even more.

Grandma Marnie just had a gift. Every Thanksgiving, the seven Blount children (and my poor parents) would travel from Nantucket to her beautiful home in Bristol, RI, where she would have an extravagant meal waiting for us. We would race into the house, fighting over who got which room. There were the bunk beds that the boys would always get. There was the room that had its own bathroom that my parents would get. There was the bedroom with the window seat and glass animals (she let me take some of those treasures home). Then there was the room I never went in, and I don't really know why. Then there was the room with the dancing flower. I remember the basement, which was full of puppets (with its own stage!), and toys like you wouldn't believe, and a storage WALL of yarn, and upside down buckets attached to strings that I would walk on (what are those called?) all around the house. There was a cabinet that had an endless supply of cheerios and a measuring chart for the grandchildren's heights. There was the screened porch and the tree with a wrap-around bench (so cool) and every winnie-the-pooh ever filmed. There was a banana-seat bicycle that I would ride down to the circle at the end of the street and bike around and around and around with my brother, Josh. There was a hide-a-key in a half rock that (at my tender age) I found so brilliant and stealth. I could go on for hours. But those are the things I remember most clearly about my grandma's old house. And while everything I mentioned is a physical object of some kind, they were placed there by my grandma with wisdom and care, intentionally at our disposal. And she was brilliant at it.

My most distinct memories of my grandma are the dinners she made me while I studied jewelry in college. Every Thursday I would drive to Warren, RI, and she would make me delicious eats. They were probably the only real meals I had while I was in school. She took care of me, which often meant taking care of my car so I was able to get to class (and to dinner on time), and looking back, I'm not entirely sure I would have made it through those years without her help.

She was a beautiful woman, inside and out. We will all miss her dearly.

 Her loving character and artistic vision will carry on with those whose lives she has touched.

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