It was just an old farmhouse but seemed like a palace when I was small and spent days at my Gramma’s. As far back as I can remember, Granny was a very tall, straight person with snow-white hair and always wore long skirts and a cover all apron. Under these aprons with my head on her lap, I shed my frustrated tears and told my secrets which no one else ever heard.
One summer when I was six or seven years old, a cousin stayed at Granny’s too and while playing with a bottle cap, he accidentally swallowed it and it stuck in his throat. While his mom ran to the farmhouse - Granny took him on her knees nd put her finger down his throat and got the top out. When the doctor arrived he said the boy was lucky he had a Granny with a crooked fingers as a straight finger would only have pushed it further and the bend on the end of her finger hooked on it and pulled it out.
While staying at Granny’s I had jobs to do as everyone else on a farm. One job was going for the cows, in the early evening, to bring them home to the farm to be milked. The times I enjoyed most doing this was in the fall when the mushrooms grew abundantly in the pasture and I’d always pick enough for breakfast the next morning. Our breakfast would be a nice thick slice of homemade bread with the homemade butter and jams and jellies on and the scrambled eggs with mushrooms. After breakfast we ould clean out the hen house if it was the time of year, we would dig potatoes, pull the carrots and turnips to be put in bins – which were square wooden boxes made of scrap boards in the cellar.
The cellar was made of stones on the wall that had been gathered from the field. In here I dreamed many childhood dreams that never came true but were real to me at the time. The Butter was kept down there in a crack as well as the buttermilk – which always tasted so good with molasses cookies. Besides the vegetables and the butter there was apples and jars in rows of pickles and jam and a barrel of salt meat and one of pork. There was no lights down there was there was no electricity in the house and one day Granny sent me down there to get a jar of jam and a strange man was laying on the mud floor and watering at the mouth.
I ran for Granny who immediately lite a lantern and picked up a stick of stovewood. We went back to the cellar and Granny knew right away the man was choking, she opened his mouth while I held the lantern so she could see and a big piece of pickle came flying out of his mouth after she had hooked her finger behind it. She proceeded to berate him for being in her cellar and stealing. Then she asked him to come and sit on the verandah and she made him a meal and tea and told him it was better for the soul to forget pride and ask for food than it was to steal it. And that it was much better to ask to do a job for the food than to take it for nothing. He thanked her and left.
Three summers later, a strange car drove up the lane to the house and a well dressed man came to the door and asked Granny for a cup of tea. She asked him to sit on the verandah and she’d make the tea. While I was at the woodshed gathering chips to start a quick fire in the old range, the man deposited a big box on the verandah and sat down to wait. When Granny Brought his tea out, with me watching form a step, he told her the box was hers.
It turned out it was a small oil stove, something we had never seen before, you could boil a dinner or pots of water on it. The man turned out to be the stranger we had found choking in the cellar. He took Granny’s advice to heart and got a job and had not forgotten Granny’s good deed with her crooked finger.
Written By: My Mother with love and remembrance, isnt’ that what Valentines are all about? Much love everyone this day of loves remembered, loves lost and dear loves cherished ever more.