Granny Pom-Pom leaves Jeffreys Bay

2018-07-12 06:02
= Loraine Edkins (right) or Granny Pom-Pom, as she is affectionately known, is going on 97 later this year. After 41 years in Jeffreys Bay she is lifting her roots with her dog, Chester, and moving to Howick to live near daughter Dee Joubert. With her is local resident Alvina de Jager.     Photo:MARINDA VISSER-HOUGH

= Loraine Edkins (right) or Granny Pom-Pom, as she is affectionately known, is going on 97 later this year. After 41 years in Jeffreys Bay she is lifting her roots with her dog, Chester, and moving to Howick to live near daughter Dee Joubert. With her is local resident Alvina de Jager. Photo:MARINDA VISSER-HOUGH

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LOCAL resident Alvina de Jager organised the jolly rendezvous with Granny Pom-Pom – a ripe 96 years young – because she (and everybody else) loves the feisty lady fiercely.

Loraine Edkins or Granny Pom-Pom, as she is affectionately known, is going on 97 later this year.

After 41 years in Jeffreys Bay she is lifting her roots with her dog, Chester, and moving to Howick to live near daughter Dee Joubert.

Granny Pom-Pom touches up her lipstick as I walk in. And steals my heart, as she has done with neighbours, friends and passers-by over the years.

She holds court from her comfy chair angled just so at the wide upstairs lounge window overlooking the bright ocean. A pair of binoculars stands sentinel on the windowsill, but she doesn’t use them much nowadays as macular degeneration is taking its toll on her eyes.

With Alvina, Dee and Pom-Pom is dear friend Trevor Morris who has popped in at least once a day over the past years. Granny Pom-Pom affectionately calls him her ‘toothache’, but he has been taxi and dog whisperer and friend.

He spills the beans on her love for ‘chokkies’, as if the brimming bowl near her is not evidence enough. She pushes it away, proclaiming “no more for me . . .” They all chuckle knowingly. Trevor says their grocery shopping used to consist of her ticking off the list - Nestle and Cadbury.

He went to introduce himself in 1997, and after Pom said ‘Have you come at last’, they have been firm friends.

Gutsy

Granny Pom-Pom is a gutsy woman with a positive outlook and a spunky attitude. At 85 she tackled the bungee jump at Bloukrans – the highest in the world. She then said, “It is the most incredible feeling to fly like a bird”.

Now? “If Dee takes me to Bloukrans . . . I’ll do it when I’m a 100!”

Naturally, I ask the clichéd question of what is her secret recipe for beauty, smooth skin and health at this good age. Granny P promptly sings the entire: Starkle starkle little trink… to great applause.

Dee pitches in: Whenever someone says anything negative near her mom, she sings John Denver’s ‘Home on the Range’.

Dee: My father used to say, “Pom, is everything a joke? At which she will laugh merrily.”

And when I ask Pom-Pom when her birthday is, she quips, “Well, darling, my birthday is when crackers go off!”

To JBay

From the coalmines in Witbank Granny Pom-Pom moved to JBay with husband Lester Douglas Edkins who passed away at 85, sixteen years ago.

They had a son, Dee followed, and six years later another girl. There are eight grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. When she still could, she crocheted them each a blanket, as well as the pristine curtains and a lampshade in the lounge.

“I used to walk my pet dogs walk before the sight got poorer. People got so used seeing me next to the road, that they started to ask Trevor whether I am still alive when I slacked down a bit.”

She was great with bowls at the local club at her time, and Lester was a champ. Trevor says that Pom-Pom is a wizard at crossword puzzles, and as sharp as a tack.

We make a jolly bunch, laughing and sipping tea.

When I ask about her grasp on technology, they tell me that she has a cell phone with big buttons and made a call to England the day before, but she just tweets:

“I’m hopeless, darling!”

The move

About a year and a half ago, they all had a huge scare when Granny Pom-Pom fell at 8am. Trevor found her at 15:00, as he “didn’t want to disturb her earlier”. She had broken her left hip.

After that incident, Dee took care of her mom for 16 months. They had been chatting about semi care for a while, when the pet-friendly, flexible Amberglen Retirement Village in Howick called with an open spot. All fell into place.

Such a transplant can be traumatic for some, but Granny Pom-Pom faces it with her indomitable spirit: “Now I am turning over a new page. I am excited. As one door closes another opens.”

Last day in JBay

Her last day in JBay started with breakfast at the local Wimpy. Her favourite Paul fetched her at the car, served her beautifully, and even made her a balloon animal. “He was just so sweet and attentive.”

Trevor just says he is going to miss Pom very much. Alvina says they are family in spirit and it is a tough goodbye.

When I leave, Granny Pom-Pom puckers up for a goodbye kiss, and I go feeling enriched and a bit bereft.

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