Grebel grandma

May 18, 2023 | News | Volume 27 Issue 10
Farah Jurdi | Conrad Grebel University College
Mark Leistra, Leola Roth and Owen Roth enjoy an intergenerational supper together. (Supplied photo)

While cousins Adam and Owen Roth had grown to “love the Grebel community,” as first-year students at Conrad Grebel University College, one crucial thing was missing from their new lifestyle: supper at Grandma’s.

“Before we came to Grebel, Owen and I would eat meals at Grandma Leola Roth’s house every week,” said Adam. “When we came to Grebel, although the Grebel meals are fantastic, we still missed spending time at Grandma’s,” he added. Fortunately, Grandma Roth was more than delighted to host suppers on Saturday nights for the Roth cousins as well as their friends.

Not long after the first visit to Grandma’s, Owen knew he wanted to share this joy with others at Grebel. “Our goal has become to invite all sorts of Grebelites to Grandma’s for dinner.”

Jaxsen Lubbers (left), Cam McMahon, Adam Roth, Mark Leistra, Leola Roth and Owen Roth enjoy an intergenerational supper together.
(Supplied photo)

Warm hospitality comes naturally to Leola Roth. When her grandsons and their friends arrive at her home, she has a table full of food prepared and a loving smile on her face. “She always makes sure to have dessert to share, and sometimes even two different kinds. Grandma always encourages her guests to eat as much as they would like,” said Adam. “She absolutely loved it when our friend David ate a large slice of pie followed by three tarts!”

Grandma Roth freely facilitates conversation and connection while the group digs into the homecooked meal. “Our conversations usually consist of stories about ancestry, what town you’re from, funny memories, and how life was long ago,” said Adam. “Grandma always has plenty of wisdom to share with us.” 

The meal is followed by conversation or a game. “Or, if we are really feeling it,” said Adam, “we’ll play a sweaty game of mini sticks in the basement like we are kids again.”

The cousins say they love bringing together groups of students who might otherwise not get together. “Sometimes, a trip to Grandma’s is just what we need. Also, we just love her food,” they added.  

“When we leave, Grandma always thanks everyone for coming and says we’re all welcome to come back anytime,” said Owen and Adam. “The Grebelites we take with us are always very grateful and excited to come another time.” 

Mark Leistra, Leola Roth and Owen Roth enjoy an intergenerational supper together. (Supplied photo)

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