Glamma: A Tribute


Dear Diary,

You may remember my post a couple weeks ago that ended on a sadder note and I said I would expand later… I wanted to fill you all in on what has been going on in my life. On Saturday, Oct. 5th, I received a call from my Momma saying that there had been an accident.

While my aunt, Valorie, and Glamma were driving to their usual Saturday lunch date they were hit head on by a car that had been rear ended and thrown into the other lane. My aunt was rushed to the hospital and headed into surgery when my Mom got the call. Her injuries were severe, but not life threatening. Thank God. They wouldn’t give her any information on my Glamma though. Three hours later they informed us that the single fatality was my beloved grandmother.

For those of you who are new to our blog you haven’t heard all my Glamma stories, but she was an incredible woman. I grew up calling her Glamma (“glamor” + “grandma”) because she always seemed so glamorous to me! She was unlike any other person in my life. If you search “Glamma” on the right side of this blog you will see all my posts mentioning her. She was my most treasured relationship my entire life. Ever since I was little I had such a strong bond with her. We just got eachother. She loved all the things I did and she taught me all the things I’m still most passionate about today. She taught me how to sew. She taught me to write letters. She taught me how to braid my hair. She LOVED taking pictures and capturing people! She always showered me with her jewelry and told me that the best buys were the budgeted ones that told a story. She loved that about old things…

I know my Glamma lived a very full life at 87 and I’m so thankful I had her for as long as I did, but she had so many more years left in her… She always said she’d live til she was 100! I believe she would have. She was like a Betty White/Marilyn Monroe/Lucile Ball mix. She had the most beautiful blue eyes, was generous, sweet, and had the most incredible way of laughing at herself. Which she got to do a lot :) She really just cared about people and made everyone in the room feel important and special – she passed that on to my Momma. She constantly saw the bright side. As my Momma put it, they grew up in a Pollyanna house always playing the “Glad Game”.

Three generations of women.

I converted my entire Oregon State University family to University of Oregon fans ;) Alright, I never got my gramps… He was a stubburn one.


My grandparent’s wedding day.


Pregnant for the first time. Don’t they look like movie stars?


The start of their family…


All the neighborhood kids wanted to play at their house! Obviously, they were the coolest…

Fashion was always a big part of her life. I’m thankful to have so many of her incredible pieces from over the years. I wore one of her chiffon ball gowns from the early 60s with her white leather gloves to one of my high school winter formals. (Psst… I actually had to have the bodice let out to fit me. I can’t believe she had the waist she did – even on my slight high schooler frame I couldn’t squeeze into a dress she wore after four kids! Uff da.) She loved to outfit me – I think it gave her another excuse to hold onto things…because they come back in style you know! :)

You may have heard me joke about her hoarder tendencies – from her collection of style magazines to endless amounts of jewelry!  You name it she has it! And if you liked it she would just give it to you. We actually did just that at her memorial service. The centerpieces were vases filled with her jewelry for her loved ones to have. I wrote on the grab bags, “Get All DAHLed Up Like Dorothy!” (Her last name is Dahl. Get it?! I like to think I’m clever…haha) We knew she’d love seeing everyone don her beautiful shiny things. And the sound of everyone’s wrists jingling from their newly stacked bangles made me feel like she was close by…


Always oh so glamorous!

 I love this picture…

Not only did she basically raise five kids on her own while my grandpa was away in the Air Force she managed to look like a style icon and MADE matching outfits for her three girls.


Her first granddaughter: ME!

Always my biggest fan, even if I did go to her rival college. Go Ducks!

dorothy dahl 2

The Dahl side of the family for my Glamma’s 80th! My grandpa was still with us then too.


She is timeless. She is unforgettable. She is my Glamma.


I know I shared this picture last year when I wrote about their sweet love letters to each other, but I wanted to share it again. They’re finally together again, which brings me comfort. They were in love for over 60 years, they both died in October, and they were brought back together on their anniversary. Finally getting to see her pilot face to face once again… Only the greatest love stories are as tragically romantic as theirs.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

My aunt, Kris, had a nice way of looking at it. She said growing up being Air Force brats, they were constantly on the move. Having to join new neighborhoods, and make new friends every couple years – and with five kids there was always bound to be chaos and kids missing. My grandpa managed to keep tabs on them while he was home by whistling. He had the loudest, most ear-piercing whistle – you could hear it four blocks down. When all the kids were out and about, all he had to do was stand outside and whistle and they would immediately drop what they were doing and run home. Not even leaving time to say goodbye. On that Saturday afternoon, my stubborn grandpa decided it was time to see his beautiful bride again. “Dorothy, enough already with the romance novels and pining over my old love letters. Come home!” He whistled and no one else heard it, but she ran home to him.


Dorothy Mae (Olin) Dahl

(1926 – 2013)

This was taken at Crater Lake, Oregon on their honeymoon.


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  1. Jan Tenold says:

    What a lovely tribute to your “Glamma” Val. She was a very special person and her legacy lives on in you. Keep on writing, loving and living. You, like your Glamma, are one of a kind!

  2. Deidra Lunardon says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It was nice to hear all the similarities and loves you two shared and such wonderful photos to go along with it.

  3. Marlene Niemeier says:

    A wonderful tribute indeed. Thank you for creating and sharing it. The even more enduring tribute is you and your life. Shine on !

  4. abey says:

    Val, this is so beautiful. What a lovely tribute to a wonderful, inspiring woman. She obviously had such an amazing influence on you and it shows. xox

  5. Jen says:

    Glad I found your site via The Beauty Department. Also, Sko ducks.


  1. HoliDaze… says:

    […] out of her wheelchair! Yay! (You might remember me talking about the the accident that took my Glamma) She has been the most positive person since the accident and I’m grateful she was able to […]

  2. […] wrote a tribute post to her on my lifestyle blog that showcased some of my most treasured […]

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