This page is dedicated to my
beloved Grandma. Though there are times when my heart aches to talk to her just one more
time, I know she is safe in the arms of Jesus, where there is no pain, no tears and no
suffering - only happiness, love and rejoicing.
As a child, I lived next door to Grandma. My
memories of her are as clear today as they where so many years ago. Grandma was a special
woman. She touched the lives of many. There was always an extra place at the table for
anyone who happened by at mealtime. She would do anything within her power to help anyone.
She had a kind heart, a gentle touch and a soft voice.
I recall attending church with Grandma. The
wooden pews, the oak pulpit and the hardwood floor are so vivid in my mind that those
visits could have been yesterday. Today, the fragrance of pine oil, which was used to
maintain that church, brings back memories of Grandma.
Grandma often wore a print dress to church.
She would stand beside me and hold the hymnal low, so I could see the words to the lovely
hymns that were sung within the walls of that church. Grandma’s favorite hymn was
Beulah Land. She often talked of going home to be with Jesus one day. The words of that
song described the act of "going home" in such a lovely way, that even as a
child, I accepted the fact that my precious Grandma wouldn’t always be around.
Grandma passed to her "Beulah Land"
in 1974. Because she had suffered so and because this had always been something Grandma
had looked forward to, I rejoiced when she passed. She was finally "home" with
Grandma meant the world to me. But in the end
when she suffered so badly, I couldn’t ask that she stay on this earthly plane. That
would have been selfish. I will never forget this gentle, loving woman who was part of my
life for 24 years. I thank God that He allowed me to have her that long. She taught me
many things - how to cook, to be honest, to respect my fellowman and to love with all of
my heart. Most important of all, she taught me about God and His love.
Grandma, I know that you often look down from
your heavenly home to check on your loved ones. I want to thank you always having time for
me. There was never a time in my life when you were unable to give me love and support.
You made many sacrifices for me and I thank you for that.
Grandma’s kitchen had no modern appliances, no fancy gadgets. It didn’t even
have electricity. It was a place that throughout my childhood remained much the same.
As I stepped through the door of that room on a hot, sunny summer’s day, the interior
was cool and dark. The veranda at the side of the house kept the early morning sun from
penetrating Grandma’s sanctuary. When my eyes adjusted to the dimness, I would see
the gas lantern hanging above the old, oak table. This was no ordinary table - nothing
like the fancy chrome ones of today. It had two leaves in the center to accommodate the
eight people that sat around it three times a day. In the summer kitchen against the wall,
stood another eight leaves. This table was gigantic compared to the small drop-leaf table
that stood in front of the window in Mother’s kitchen.
I was thrilled when Grandpa offered me that old, oak table when he gave up his house to
move in with my uncle. It now graces my kitchen and is my pride and joy.
An oilcloth covered the coarse, grained top where scars had accumulated over the years.
Around the table, like sentinels, stood six matching press-back chairs.
Besides the table and chairs, Grandma’s kitchen was filled with other things that
fascinated me. An icebox stood against one wall and a gingerbread clock perched high on a
shelf nearby. I loved to listen to it chime out the time.
Once a day, Grandma would climb onto a chair, open the glass door adorned with golden
flowers and insert a key into the face. She would wind it several times, being certain not
to wind it too tight, then lay the key safely in the bottom of the clock and close the
door with a click. I loved that clock. We had hydro at home and our clock couldn’t
hold a candle to the lovely, gingerbread that stood high on the shelf in Grandma’s
Against the south wall of the room, stood a monster cookstove. I would watch as Grandma
blackened it with stove polish. Around the edges the chrome sparkled and a white porcelain
circle in the center of the oven door bore the name “Hartland.”
At one end was a reservoir filled with water from the cistern. It held warm water for
small tasks. But the warming closet was my favorite part of the old stove. Out of it came
tasty treats - cinnamon buns, baked bread, and pancakes to be served with real maple syrup
and cloverleaf rolls. Grandma made all of these with loving hands.
On wash day water was carried from the cistern and heated in a copper boiler on the top of
Grandma’s kitchen had many other things that were of interest to a small girl. The
wainscoting fit tightly to the wall and was painted snow white - the top half of the room
was always papered.
Behind the stove stood a woodbox and a butterbox for kindling. We children had the chore
of seeing these were kept full - not one of my favorite jobs.
One cold morning, I entered Grandma’s cozy warm kitchen to see a large, cardboard box
covered with an old, flannel sheet sitting on the oven door. Grandma lifted a corner of
the blanket, allowing me a peek. Eight piglets lay curled inside the box. They had been
born during the night and the old sow, being an ornery critter, refused to let them
suckle. Grandpa had put them in a box and brought them to Grandma, hoping she could save
them. Nothing on a farm was wasted and the loss of these piglets would mean a shortage of
meat and lard.
Grandma did save them too. Many times a day, she sat in her oak rocker near the stove and
fed those piglets with an eyedropper. Then, when they were old enough, Grandma made Cream
Of Wheat and let them suck it off her fingers. The only one that didn’t make it was
the runt of the litter. He was just too frail.
Baby pigs weren’t the only creatures that were raised in Grandma’s kitchen.
Grandma had an incubator. I’ve watched her clean eggs and place them gently into that
odd looking contraption. She kept them warm for days until the wet, sticky chicks emerged
from their shells. After a few weeks, I would find them in the yard, scratching up the
Most every memory of Grandma’s kitchen is pleasant. There was only one exception that
comes to mind. I must have broken one of Grandma’s rules, though I can’t
remember what it was. Grandma sat me on a milkstool and told me not to get off until the
long hand of the gingerbread clock was on twelve and the short hand on three. I sat there,
for what seemed an eternity but in reality was probably about ten minutes. When the
appointed time had passed, I was allowed to go. Never again did I goad Grandma into
punishing me. Though I loved that gingerbread clock, I had no desire to sit and stare at
it, watching the time pass ever so slowly.
My memories of Grandma’s kitchen are happy ones and remain forever etched on my
memory. I laugh now at the recollection of sitting on that stool and watching the hands of
the gingerbread clock creep ever so slowly along the face. I can see the spirits of the
men and women who sat around that table, laughing and enjoying food and conversation with
I haven’t forgotten the good times Grandma and I spent in that room, or the aromas
that filled the air. Homemade soup, freshly baked bread, cinnamon rolls, chicken and
dumplings, fresh coffee and so much more. Whenever I encounter these smells, whether it is
in a bakery or in Mother’s kitchen, I take a trip back in time. Back to the good
times shared by loved ones. Back to Grandma’s kitchen were love abounded.