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by Abigail Van Buren

When Couple Opens Bedroom Curtains, Neighbor Sees a Show

DEAR ABBY: The letters about the "shopping" grandma and the "cooking" grandma reminded me of my own two grandmothers who, though never competitive, were very different. Each created her own unique way.

My father's mother, Grancie, lived in a small Oklahoma town. She was a pillar of the church and was involved in many groups. When we visited Grancie, we attended Bible school, dances and sleep-overs with the kids from her church, sang in the choir, went to the rodeo, swimming pool, the famous catfish restaurant in town -- always something sociable and fun.

My mother's mother, whom we called Grandmother, was a homebody and an artist who had studied with Georgia O'Keeffe. When we visited Grandmother, we gardened, learned to sew, played dress-up in her 1930s-'40s clothes, climbed and dreamed in her three-story-tall magnolia tree. We made roads and castles in the sandbox she built for us, slid down the hill in cardboard boxes, experimented with the laundry chute -- and most exciting of all, we were allowed to paint in "our" corner of her studio.

She encouraged us to pursue whatever creative, imaginative avenue we found in her house, yard, garden, garage or basement.

Abby, each of my grandmas was wonderful in her own way, and I looked forward to being in their company. Today, I see the imprint of both these delightful, distinctive ladies in my own lifestyle. Best of all, I carry the warm memory that they both loved me enough to have shared their lives with me. I now have four grandchildren of my own, and I want to love and share myself with them as my grandmas did with me. -- KAREN SLIKKER, DAYTON, TENN.

DEAR KAREN: Thank you for a heartwarming letter. When God handed out grandmas, you were doubly blessed. Your grandchildren are fortunate indeed.