I spoke about those memories of Grandma, as opposed to Granny, who was Dad’s mother. Have to keep those straight, you know. I’d like to talk more about my maternal grandmother for one more day.
She was a tiny lady, who loved to shop when she had the opportunity. By the time I knew her she was already in her sixties and had triumphed over many obstacles and trials during her life. She had the soul of an artist, of a healer, and of a naturalist. Bundled within the diminutive frame resided a wicked sense of humor and a passion for professional wrestling.
Her faith kept her going, I think, through all the lean years. In short, she was indomitable. What I learned from Grandma was reinforced by my own mother. She reflected many of her mother’s traits and strengths.
I will admit that oddities abounded around the little woman. Two massive native persimmon trees kept sentinel at the rear of her yard. In the spring, beneath those trees, grew mushrooms, morels to be exact. Those wrinkled beauties returned each year, spring and fall.
“Fall?” you ask. “Yes,” I reply. Morels aren’t known for appearing in the autumn, but hers did. The brilliant yellow buttercups would act as backdrop for them in the spring and the hickory nut bounty would accompany them in the fall. Sort of a two-fer event for the equinoxes.
She also had a passion for flowers and plants. Zinnias were her favorite annual, and she worked for years to develop a pure white zinnia. She didn’t get her project finished before she died. The ten thousand dollar prize must have gone to someone else, because not too many years ago such a flower was introduced to the public.
Grandma wanted a blue rose, as well, long before they were bred. My grandfather couldn’t find one for her and so settled for a favorite fruit tree instead. He brought her home a larger sapling peach tree. The first year it produced peaches, we were taken to see the tree. There, sprouting from the base of the tree was a blue rose; not a pale purple one, but a blue one.
At least that’s the memory of I have that event. She was ecstatic with her “miracle.” I can’t remember any other time seeing her that happy. Something precious had been validated for her that day, having to do with that rose. The rest of the adults seemed more stunned than ecstatic.
Grandma was one of those people who believed in all things being possible within nature. She could be staid, practical to a fault sometimes, and definitely opinionated, but for her things were always possible if she believed strongly enough.
She had her rules to live by and taught them with quiet modeling. If we were lucky, we got to learn those rules and emulate them within our own lives. That’s quite an accomplishment for anyone on this earth, I think.