Mother's Memories of Her Grandmothers
Driving to Jacksonville Ill. this summer I asked mother what memories she had of her grandparents. She smiled and set the stage for her strongest memory.
"I would have been about five years old and Grandma (paternal grandmother) was in her late 80's. We would sit under the cherry tree on canvas lawn chairs and sing hymns together. Grandma’s favourite song to sing was Count Your Many Blessings. I loved to sing with Grandma”
Mom becomes quiet and looks out the passenger window for a long time.
No matter how old you are memories of grandparents are special and this memory took Mom back to her childhood.
“Grandma came to visit whenever Aunt Caroline was away. Grandma Etta lived with her daughter Caroline, she was too old to be alone, so she would come and visit with us when Aunt Caroline had to be away. Grandma as a gentle woman, soft spoken.”
With real regret in her voice Mom says that she does not remember much else about her paternal Grandmother.
“Now my mother parents well every time we went to visit Grandma had homemade cookies for everyone except me. I got a store bought cookie and that was a real extravagance for the time. They were like Dads Cookie, you know they may just have been Dads Cookies. In Grandma’s living room there was a large potbellied stove with a glass window where you could watch the fire and a brass rail so you could and place your feet on the rail to warm them. I would sit and my feet would get so warm and cozy. There was also apple cider at Grandma’s house they kept in the cellar stairwell.”
I can see mother now sitting in a Victorian sitting room full of pictures, furniture and figurines. Sitting on a straight back wooden chair her feet just able to reach the brass rail around the stove.
On the table beside her is small glass of apple cider and in her hands the prized cookie.
She is not part of the adult conversation so she is able to savour the warmth of the stove, the sweetness and decadence of a store bought treat and eavesdrop on the adults around her.
|Mom is on the left white blouse dark ribbon at her neck with my Grandparents|
Thank you for this window into my Great Grandparent’s Mom.