Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grandmother Allie

Sitting outside listening to the birds drinking my coffee.  I’ve just finished watering my garden which always takes me to memories of my Grandmother Allie.  She loved her garden.  She knew the names of all plants, trees and flowers.  She had a magical backyard for a child.  There was a large Mimosa tree which provided endless play.  From the large branches low enough to the ground to climb and climb “high”, to the pods the tree produced to make “beans” with, to the flowery blossoms to pick for “flowers”.  There were vegetables, roses, flowers and lots of herbs growing in her backyard.  Because she lived in Texas, it also meant complete dedication to watering.  I’m not sure why, but I always hated having to help her water.  Yet, it was the one time of the day you had her complete attention.  I would sit on her back stoop and we would talk.  She would tell me about the plants she was watering or stories.  With my Grandmother Allie, I felt completely and absolutely loved.

Living near the border of Oklahoma, my grandmother grew up with tornadoes.  Once a tornado came as a child and it scarred my grandmother for life.  She was terrified of storms.  In her little community (one stoplight on the highway) there were several underground cellars.  Some homes had their own and there were others that were shared.  Every time the clouds became dark and the winds picked up, off we would go to the cellar.  We were usually the only ones there, as we were really in no threat of a tornado, but try telling that to a terrified 70 year old grandmother.  We would sit among the jars of jelly, pickles, tomatoes, and other canned goods.  Even though my grandmother was scared, I was never afraid with her in that cellar.  I had such complete faith in her love and ability to take care of me.

I wish she were here today to see my garden.  She would love it.  Even though I didn’t do the work, she would still praise me.  Regretfully I didn’t inherit her green thumb, but that doesn’t stop me from trying each year.  This year, my tomato plants are actually producing tomatoes.  I am so proud.  Luckily, I have a great friend who is patient with me and helps me have a beautiful garden.

I miss my grandmother.  I wish she could be sitting with me right now.  We would listen to the birds and she would try to identify them.  She would be so delighted that one of my plants (I have NO idea the name) is about to bloom.  She would marvel at the cool temperature.  She would tell me the stories of how she started my coffee addiction at age 3.  She would praise my crocheting attempts and be awed at my knitting.  She would be humbled that I named my daughter Allie after her.  She would praise my parenting skills and tell me how wonderful my children are.  She would love me unconditionally.

I miss you and raise my mug to you.

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