“Granny, how do you spell (insert any number of words here)?”
“Katy, go look it up,” was always her reply.
Very early on I learned to love and hate dictionaries, mainly because I felt like they made my job so much harder! My response to my grandmother or parents (because the would get the inevitable “how do you spell…” question as well) was usually something along the lines of “if I wanted to look it up I wouldn’t have asked you.” But of course that never worked.
But this is not where the story ends….
The only dictionary I loved was the crossword puzzle dictionary my grandmother and I used to do crosswords together. That’s why a tattered copy of Andrew Swanfeldt’s 6th Edition Crossword Puzzle Dictionary sits on my bookshelf today. The only time I didn’t mind being told to “look it up” was when my grandmother and I were working our way through a crossword puzzle. Word searches were fun but not as fun as crosswords we would work on them for hours because doing a crossword always brings about inevitable discussion (pencil vs pen, my grandmother was always a pencil supporter) or even the clues would be conversation starters and we would get to talking and the crossword would sometimes be forgotten and that was ok. Because really it wasn’t about the actual crossword but it was about spending time together and in the last few years since my grandmother passed those are the memories I cling to.