Thursday, January 8, 2015

Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer ~ Remembering Grandma Hoggan

Grandma got ran over by a Reindeer………

Christmas 1990 was fast approaching.  Apparently, my brother Eric and I were starting to doubt Santa Clause.  Well, this Christmas Eve would change all that.  As we were tucked in our beds downstairs….we heard a sound coming from outside.  Sleigh bells were ringing!!!!  A flash of red light from Rudolph’s nose!    The next morning we would see Santa’s large man foot prints coming up to our window outside to see if we were in bed.  No foot prints lead away….he most have flown with his team of reindeer!
When we saw Grandma……we would never doubt again!  GRANDMA got RAN OVER by a REINDEER!!!! 

Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer

All a mess, hoof prints all over her clothing!  She looked like a rodeo bull had got her down in the alley and really worked her over!  After seeing what a rouge reindeer could do, we never doubted Santa again! 
December 26, 2014…..Grandma would have her final reindeer run in and return to her heavenly home. 

Today, I am going to share with you some Grandma Stories. 

Grandma used to have cute magnents on her fridge.  A few I remember were…
* If Momma ain’t happy aint no body happy
* House Rules
1. Mom is always right
2. If Mom is wrong, refer to rule 1

This rang true thru all areas of Grandma’s life.  She knew what she wanted and she got it.  Everyone was usually better for it too….Here are some prime examples of her will power & determination

There isn’t hardly a group picture I can remember that wasn’t Grandma’s mandate.  Even with an entire rodeo crew full of big tough cowboys….if Grandma wanted you to get a group picture….that is what you did.  Same with our family photos too.  Seems like we wouldn’t have any pictures without her orchestrating them.  Now those pictures serve as one of the greatest gifts she has ever given us.  Time spent and capturing those moments in time to have for years to come. 


The stories that have poured in the last couple days are overwhelming & such a testimant to the life that Grandma lived.  Just yesterday,  a family friend was telling me about how Grandma had helped their family.  They were new to the area and didn’t speak much English.  He said that if it hadn’t been for Elaine, we wouldn’t have got our shots.  She cared and made sure we got what we needed.  I will always hold a spot in my heart for her. 
I am hearing more stories like this all the time.  Grandma really did CARE and made sure that people got the care they needed. We could spend days just recognizing all the good that Grandma accomplished & services thru her nursing career.   I would like to invite anyone who would like to comment below and  share their stories.

Here are some prime examples of “ Because Grandma Said”…..  Packing flags, leading mini bulls in parades.....

Rodeo Queen… Island Park Queen – Grandma was very proud of carrying the title of Island Park Rodeo Queen from the early years of the rodeo.  At the 50th year anniversary she was honored again with the title and proudly took a lap around the arena on her stick horse, waving to the crowd as she went!  

Grandma and Mindy Marie
Erickson Jay Hoggan and Grandma Elaine

TIME SPENT….Grandma made each one of us feel like we were her favorite.  They many throughout the community & rodeo world that called her Grandma Hoggan were a testament of that.

 Here are some special traditions that Grandma shared with us.

Sunday Tea Party….  Grandma would get out her fanciest red crystal dishes and host the funnest tea parties gathered around the kitchen table.  Dressed up in her fancy tea party hats too!  Grandma was animated, full of energy and fun!  You always believed you were at the best tea party ever held!  Sunday Tea was a simple mixture of Evaproated Milk, hot water, honey, sugar to taste and love. 

Sunday Tea with Annie, Grandma, and Mindy

Family Reuinons….Grandma LOVED the Crystal family reuinons.  She would load up any kids that wanted to go and camp for the weekend.  Grandma was the life of the party.  She always kept auctions, water fights, and camp fire meals exciting.

Pippy-ru-hiss….Grandma would always bring us back a little something from a trip she had taken to let us know she was thinking of us.  It was called a “pippy-ru-hiss”.  I could be a souvenier, a rock, a present, post card, or just a wonderful surprise.  Loved when she would call and tell us to come up and see our pippyruhiss from her latest adventure.

Fruit  Cakes
…Grandma and her friend Kathy Taylor had an annual tradition of making fruit cakes for the holidays.  Many family members got to join in on the fun day of making.   Even tho I didn’t love to eat the fruit cake….time spent together, making food from scratch and with love was a valuable lesson learned.  Grandma loved to make fruit cake and even more to share it with others. 

Riding to Grandmas House….One of the blessings of being raised in Hamer, ID is that we were riding distance from our Grandparents.  Growing up, the rodeo stock and loading chute were at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  You saddled up your horses and rode through the fields to gather, sort, and load stock for the rodeos. 
Grandma always kept the freezer stocked with icecream.  Sometimes you would just ride up to have an icecream with Grandma.  On a hot day, there wasn’t anything better than a drink of COLD water from the back porch sink,  ice-cream and sitting in the shade visiting with Grandma

Riding in Medicine Lodge:
Growing up I was terrified of heights and hated going to the mountains to ride with my Dad.  I would cry and cry and beg to stay home.  One fall I’d came home from college to help gather the cows in Medicine Lodge.  Dad, Grandma, and I went to drop down off the mountain.  I was certain that my Dad always picked the steepest part to go down….just to torture me. 
I wasn’t a little kid anymore and  I was going down the way I wanted!   Grandma was scared of heights too and we decided to find our own way down.  We were following a nice little draw down out…..until we hit a set of rock crevices.  It was steep, tight, and not solid footing.  I had to get off my horse and climb down thru.  The horses could barely fit and had to slide sideways through one spot.  Grandma was so scared.  ( I had got us in a way way way worse spot than Dad was taking us down ) There was no turning back tho!  After we made it to the bottom….I think we both thought my Dad was a little smarter .   

Grandma Elaine in Medicine Lodge, Idaho

 Birthday Cakes:  As long as I can remember, my Grandma ALWAYS made such a special day of my birthday!  Even when I went to college, Grandma would make Grandpa drive her to Dillon and bring me a cake to the rodeo to share with all my friends!  It became a tradition of sharing birthday cake at the college rodeo. 

J2, Mindy, Grandma, Kristen Hill

Shopping was one of Grandma’s favorite past times.  She was a POWER SHOPPER!  She would load up all her grand daughters and go on grand shopping trips to Salt Lake City, getting us all a new school outfit. 
Three Horse Ring:  One of Grandma’s proudest shopping finds was a ring.  Grandpa and Grandma were on a trip in New Mexico.  They had went shopping and she found a beautiful ring.  It had diamonds down the center and stunning opal framing them in on both sides.  She loved it but it was so expensive!  Grandpa bought it for her anyway. 
When she got home and was showing he girls her gorgeous new ring, she said…we can’t tell the boys how much it was. 
Well, how much was it they asked???  Grandma replied, It costs as much as THREE really really good horses. 

Dancing & Joyful
-----“ I love you very much!  I always have and I always will” …..Grandma made me promise that I would tell you all this at her funeral.  In her last days, Grandma would slowly loose her vocabulary and power of speech.  One of the last words Grandma I ever  heard my Grandma say was Love....
Unconditional Love – would be one of the greatest lessons Grandma would ever teach us.

Every week my Aunt would load Grandma up and go to town for prescriptions, dinner, and groceries. One night I had the opportunity to go in with them. As we went through out the nights activities Grandma told people I hope you know I love you...always have, always will and You're so Pretty! From the waitress down to strangers passing in the grocery isle. It is especially fun to see the smile on a young woman's face when a stranger tells her that she is pretty. The only thing better is when she tells one of her burly bearded boys how pretty they are. :)
Regg said it best, "Grandma doesn't know who you are she only knows that she loves you"
What an amazing example of unconditional love!
I don't know that I will tell my waitress I love her but the next time I go somewhere I will definitely try to SMILE, give sincere compliments, commend the good in people, and try to live up to the example set for me.

Mindy, Grandma, Rita at the Dillon College Rodeo

THANK YOU Linda Jacobs ....this sums up Grandma Perfectly!

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