Vicarious Valentines: Granny’s Crooked Finger

At Granny's

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.

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23 thoughts on “Vicarious Valentines: Granny’s Crooked Finger

  1. Oh, so you come from a line of writers then huh?! How absolutely marvelous is that! What a way to remember your mother today, Janice! Priceless tribute. I just wrote a poem for Mark, Arjun gave me the idea yesterday but I wanted to wait until today to do it. When you get a chance, check it out and you will see some good pictures or my handsome man, wooo-wooo!! LOL! he really is though, I think and that’s all that matters, right?! anyway, here’s the link and Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well!

    • Father musician, mother writer/thinker/reader, relatives musicians/writers etc so yes, I suppose I must confess, lol. Thank you for dropping by with your comments and for sure, I will read the poem right now. Much love xo

    • It really is wonderful when I stop to think about it. We tend to take so much for granted when we are born “into it” so to speak. Grateful for you swinging by, Jen, thanks for your comments :)

  2. What a wonderful memory. I love the way you tell a story. I was riveted.I can see Granny and her magic finger.
    Growing up in the city I was sent to camp one some, really it was a work farm but they called it camp. As punishment for being mischievous I had to walk the cow back to the farmer who lived about a mile away. I was scolded before I even left not to upset the cow or she would never give milk again. I had never been up close and personal with a cow before. It could have been a bull for all I knew. I was told not to make her run so about 8AM we started down this dusty dirt road. A mile walk is not so bad. That is unless a cow is involved. When she felt she needed to rest there was no budging her. At one point out of frustration I tugged on her leash (?) it didn’t help then she started to run and I started to cry. I swore she did it for spite and would only be able to give butter milk. It was dark by the time I made it to the farm. The farmer took pity on a 12 yr old city girl and gave me a ride back to camp. I never told anyone about the cow running and gave the farmer the name of a girl at camp I didn’t like just in case the cows milk went sour. Yotaki Beautywalk

    • OMG that is one screaming funny story, Yotaki LOL LOL

      Thanks for swinging by and reading the story my mom wrote about her Granny’s crooked finger. So many stories and so little time :)

      See your pages soon, nice to see you visiting mine!

    • Yes. I suspect that would be a lovely sensation. Mine are frozen right now, that’s what living in a ground suite gets you but I do so love to see outside and step out onto the grass since I’m no longer allowed to ride a bike like you do, M :)

  3. Aurora,

    Lovely story. It made me smile. I never knew either set of my grandparents (deceased), so always love stories about those of others. I like to imagine that my grand mother would have been much like your great grandmother.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Pingback: from nice to bold « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

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