The pussy willows have come and gone; the tulips are blooming; the leaves are budding on the trees and I, I am missing my grandma.
Grandma would mark on her calendar when the first hummingbird arrived to her feeders; she waited for that day, I am sure, all winter long. Each spring I want to buy a humming bird feeder but not knowing where to put it and not having a ladder to put it in my big front window, I have passed each time. Call it nostalgia; call it whimsy. Call it whatever you want; it’s a piece of my grandma that I can pass on to my children and one day, I will have one in my living room or kitchen window.
Her flower gardens were massive and impressive each and every year. She had flowers every where and knew exactly what each was called. There were Pansies, Sweet Williams, Daisies, Poppies, Petunias, Violets, Lilacs…the list goes on and on and to tell you the truth, I have no idea what half the flowers were.
She was up with the sun tending to her gardens, a hard working woman for as long as she could be. She took joy in caring for her yard and flowers, inside and outside. She also took joy in watching me “sneak” into her garden to get fresh carrots or cucumbers before school. I saw her smile as she watched out her window from the chair she sat in enjoying her morning coffee. I even miss the color of her coffee, the interesting color it turned from all the milk she added. I am sure that sounds bizarre and I am sure other people’s coffee turns that particular color but it just seemed different. Perhaps what I miss is seeing that same clear coffee mug full of coffee or perhaps I miss seeing that same mug in my dear granny’s hands.
Those hands, the ones that wiped my tears so gingerly away were the same that tenderly picked ripe, juicy berries from the Saskatoon trees in her yard, raspberry bushes in the woods and strawberries, the tiny wild ones, that crept across her yard and the same hands that tipped and tailed beans and shelled peas on her back step.
It is raining and I picture the rain running into the rain barrels she used to catch water for her flowers. I remember dunking my head in that water on hot summer days (after scooping all the bugs out) and I remember sitting in the shade, feeling safe and secure near my grandma.
Of all the things I miss about my grandma, her smile, her twinkling eyes, her gentle voice, her knowledge of nursery rhymes and little poems, the way she remembered every birthday from her children to her great grandchildren, one of the things I miss most about her is the way her house smelled when she made fried potatoes from leftover boiled potatoes. I don’t know why but there is just something so comforting and soothing in that memory. No one else can make them smell that way. That and the color of her coffee…
(*post originally written on May 23, 2005...brought over here from my original blog)