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Jun 6, 2010

You can't find a good bran muffin anymore.  I know ... I have looked.  I remember a time when Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker muffin mix boxes were right there on the shelf next to the cake mixes.  Now the muffin mixes are limited to lemon poppy seed (a fine addition, in my opinion), blueberry and chocolate (which is a great flavor for cake - and many other delicious confections, but not so much for a muffin, if you ask me).

This is a brief aside to the actual subject of this writing.

My grandma was a teacher most of her adult life.  One of her claims to fame was that she taught in the little school house in Bodega Bay, California that was used in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds.  Before retiring she was a kindergaarten teacher and she often took me to visit her class when I was a young child.

One of my favorite things we did when I was quite small was taking trips to the park.  She often teased that she needed a leash for me because I would make her chase me from flower bed to flower bed as I followed the bees.  She engendered in me a love of nature quite early on.

She told wonderful, evocative stories about her youth, growing up in San Francisco and I often quizzed her about the great earthquake and fire in 1906.  We would ride around town in her 1943 Chevrolet and she would point out landmarks that had survived or spots where something else had once stood.  She told me about the tent cities that were erected as temporary housing for people displaced after the disaster.  She was a fascinating woman.

She was always there to soothe boo- boos, hurt feelings and all the other childhood traumas we went through.  I never questioned my grandma's love for me.  Just a given, like breathing and the rain.

The day she died was one of the saddest of my life.  I was a grown-up with children of my own, but that day took me back to my five year-old self.  I didn't just mourn her loss, but that my children would never get to know this extrordinary woman who had so shaped my life - one of the most wonderful women I have ever met.

And ... she loved bran muffins.
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Posted: Sunday June 6, 2010, 8:53 pm
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Paula S. (0)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 12:07 pm
Hi Annie-
I ran into your comments about your grandma while trying to find information about my grandma, Emily, her sister. I guess that makes us some sort of cousins. I met your grandmother years ago in SF--she was known to us Auntie Sophie. I'd love to chat with you sometime. Our grandmothers had quite an interesting and sad childhood from what I can tell. I'm in search of stories and would love it if you had any to share. I live in Davis CA and work at the UC Davis Vet School. My 2 daughters live in SF. Are there others from the Fassler family in SF? I feel bad that I'm not in touch but life just zips on by. Hope to hear from you, Paula


Annie Miller
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