In our world of electronics today, the art of story telling seems
to be going by the wayside. We and our children tend to gravitate to the television set,
listen to our stereo, or get on our computer for entertainment at home.
There was a time in our society when the only means of passing a tale on was by word of
mouth. There were (and still are) people who had a special talent for telling the tales in
a way that brought them alive.
Storytelling allows one to use one's imagination as the story unfolds. To picture in our
minds eye the characters described in the story and the places so vividly detailed....and
maybe even embellished upon from time to time.
I hope the stories I have written
are entertaining to you. They are stories from real life. Perhaps you would like to read
them to your children. As a child I would listen intently to the wonderful stories told to
me by my parents and grandparents.
THE PEACE GARDEN
In May 1995, I stood in the Delivery Room
and watched my first grandchild enter this world. He clutched my finger in his firm grip
and I gazed in awe at the blessing God had bestowed upon our family. Little did I know
just how much of a blessing this tiny infant would be to me? At that moment, I vowed to
make his childhood as fantastic as my Grandma Purdy had made mine.
That winter, Brandon began to discover the
world. He would squeal with delight when birds flew past the window. His eyes sparkled
when he saw his first snowfall. He stared in wonder the first time he saw a Christmas
tree. When he chortled with delight at each new discovery, my heart soared. I was
rediscovering the world through the eyes of my grandson.
Spring arrived. The snow melted. The days
grew warmer and the earth dried out under the sunís gentle coaxing. It was time to
plant my flower garden.
One warm Sunday, I took Brandon to Sunday
school. Afterwards, we went to my place. On the picnic table were four red and two white
geraniums. Brandon squirmed with excitement. He loved flowers of any kind.
After lunch, I took Brandon and the
geraniums to the side porch. I showed him how to loosen the dirt with a trowel and add
compost and peat moss. Then, I dug three holes in each flower box. I took the geraniums
out of their pots and gave them to Brandon after urging him to be gentle. He carefully
placed a flower in each of the holes. I covered them with dirt and we watered them.
When Brandon saw the completed work, he was
delighted. "We make flowers," he quipped.
I laughed, hugging him tight. "We sure
did," I told him.
Time passed. All that year Brandon and I
explored the world together. We crunched leaves, stamped in puddles and caught snowflakes
on our tongues. We laughed and we bonded.
The next spring we once again planted
geraniums. That did not appease the appetite of a two-year-old who loved flowers and
Brandon and I hopped in the car and headed
for the local nursery. He picked out marigolds, pansies, petunias, hollyhocks and
honeysuckle. When we came to the rose section, Brandon pointed to a beautiful pink rose.
"That one Grandma," he squealed,
jumping up and down. "Itís beautiful."
I looked at the rose. A ray of sun beamed
down, kissing the delicate petals. The rose seemed to glow.
"Itís more than beautiful," I
gasped. "Itís exquisite."
I walked over to the rose and looked at the
tag that hung from one of its branches. "Itís a Peace Rose," I said.
Brandon and I returned home. I had mulched
and fertilized the flowerbeds in advance. We started planting immediately. I had thought
Brandon would tire of the planting task, but when the last annual was planted, he brushed
the dirt from his hands, looked at me and said, "Now the rose."
I chuckled. This small boy was a wonder. He
wouldnít be happy until that rose was safely in the ground.
I dug the hole, put some small stones in it
for drainage and helped Brandon place the rose in its new home. I feared the thorny
branches would pick him, but he held fast to the graph just as Iíd shown him.
Once the rose was in place, I separated the
roots. Brandon packed the soil around it and gave it some water. We stood back, appraising
our hard work. Suddenly, Brandon bent his knees, pulled his elbows down and jumped, face
beaming, eyes sparkling.
"We did it! We did it!" he cried.
"Grandma, we made a Peace Garden."
For a moment I was taken back by his
reaction. This child possessed profound insight. "We sure did," I laughed.
"Yes, we made a Peace Garden."
Time has passed. Each year Brandon and his
brother, Jordan, help me with the flowerbeds. They both enjoy gardening and I cherish the
quality time we share. A bonding occurs in that garden unlike any other - a deep, searing
bond that will never be broken.
For the rest of their lives, each time the
boys see a Peace Rose, they will think of the happy times spent planting flowers with
Grandma, the bonds that were formed, and the love that we shared in the Peace Garden.
Copyright©1999 By Mary M. Alward
THE MAGICAL MORNING
The first year I attempted to grown morning
glories, they were magnificent. The entire wall of the house was covered with deep, blue
The next spring I watched closely for signs
of life. None came. The harsh Canadian winter had killed them. Not about to give up, I
went to the local garden center. I was ecstatic when I found the same deep blue variety.
Soon after being planted, green shoots began
to climb the trellis. I waited patiently for the lovely blue blossoms to appear. Lots of
foliage grew, but no blooms. I fertilized, watered, and cared for the plants lovingly. The
odd flower began to appear but instead of blooming continuously as they had the previous
year, only one or two bloomed at a time.
One day I told my daughter, Michelle, how
disappointed I was with the morning glories. My four-year-old grandson, Brandon, came into
"You can have some of ours,
Grandma," he said
"No thanks, Sweetie. Grandma really
wants the blue ones," I said, knowing that theirs were a bright red variety.
Tears welled. "Please Grandma. Your
blue ones are real lonely. Thatís why they donít have any flowers. Besides,
Daddy is cutting ours down to make the driveway longer."
"Ok. Iíll take some," I
agreed, knowing how much he loved those flowers.
A grin spread across his baby face. His eyes
sparkled. "Thanks Grandma. Now I can see my red morning glories when I come to your
I took the red morning glories home and
planted them beside the blue ones. At least they would grow. They were well-established
mature plants. Still, I longed for the deep blue ones of the year before.
Within two weeks the plants I had inherited
were sending green vines shooting up the trellis. Already a few, small red flowers were
appearing. Brandon would be ecstatic. His morning glories were going to be fine.
By the third week, I noticed the vines had
an abundance of blue flowers as well. Had Brandon, in his innocence, been right? Maybe the
blue morning glories had been lonely. Maybe all the young plant had needed was a boost
from a mature plant of its own kind. Was such a thing possible? I shook my head. Maybe I
was loosing it. Then again, stranger things had happened.
One morning as I passed the trellis, I
glanced at the morning glories. I stopped. My jaw dropped. At the very top of the trellis
were three mauve morning glories. I had never seen anything so beautiful. How could this
The next time Brandon came to visit, the
trellis was covered with twisting, green foliage and mauve flowers. Brandon got out of the
car and started for the house. He stopped.
He stared at the plant. He turned to me, his
eyes filled with tears.
"Where did you get the purple morning
glories?" he asked. I gave you red ones."
He flew to me, his arms encircling my legs.
He sobbed deep, wracking sobs.
I crouched down to his level, turned his
face and looked him in the eye.
"Brandon, Grandma didnít buy
purple morning glories. I brought the red ones from your house and planted them with my
blue ones. I have no idea why they are mauve."
"Mauve is the same as purple only
"Thatís right," I told him,
choking back a sob. "Do you understand?"
Brandon cocked his head and looked at me,
swiping away a tear. Suddenly, a smile spread across his face. His eyes sparkled. He bent
his knees, drew down his elbows and jumped into the air squealing, "I know! I
Baffled, I asked, "What do you
"I know why the flowers are
purple," he cried.
"And why is that?"
"Cause we mixed up Godís colors.
Blue and red make purple."
"Thatís a good reason," I
laughed, swiping a tear from my own cheek. "And youíre right. Red and blue do
Brandon took my hand and we walked toward
the house. Two hearts at peace with the blessing that God had given them.
Copyright © 2000 by Mary M. Alward
My two-year-old Grandson, Jordan, is the
daredevil of the family. While Brandon, aged four, has always been a child you can reason
with, Jordan is the exact opposite. Since the time he learned to crawl, he has been
constantly into one thing after another.
Jordan will be the death of me, I am sure.
At fifteen months, he could drag his rocking zebra anywhere in the house. When he had it
positioned to his satisfaction, he would stand on its back to reach heights that no child
of such a young age should even be aware of. Upon being rescued, he would scream and kick
Being the boysí main caregiver while
their parentsí work, I feel I must instill in them the difference between right and
wrong and also make certain they are never in any danger. Brandon is an easy child to care
for much of the time. He is Grandmaís boy. Jordan is quite a different matter. He has
a definite stubborn streak. I canít imagine where it came from.
One day while we were out walking, Jordan,
fast as lightning, tore his hand from mine and dashed into the street between two parked
cars. A swift glance told me a car was speeding down upon him. Visions of his broken,
lifeless body flashed through my mind.
I yelled for Brandon to stay where he was
and tore into the street screaming and waving my hands for the lady to stop. Luckily, she
was obeying the speed limit and was able to brake in time.
I snatched Jordan from the road, held him to
my trembling body and hurried back to the sidewalk. Brandon still stood in the exact spot
heíd been in when Jordan ran into the street. His eyes were wide, a horrified
expression on his face.
By this time, Jordan had recouped from his
scare and was screaming hysterically. I held him tight and murmured soothing words of
comfort. On the other hand, I felt that his behavior called for severe punishment. How do
you punish a child for scaring ten years off your life?
As Jordan quieted down, I looked at Brandon.
The expression on his face had changed from one of shock to one of fury. He ran toward us,
put his face close to his brotherís and yelled, "Bad Baby! Donít ever do
Jordan began to scream. I was stunned. The
attack was so out of character for Brandon. It was then that I realized his heart must be
thumping erratically as well. He was scared to death.
I scolded Jordan, set him on his feet and we
headed for home. When we got there, I sat down in the rocking chair and calmly explained
to Jordan that if he ever ran into the road
Again, we would not be taking anymore walks.
He laid his head on my shoulder. Silent sobs wracked his tiny body. I held him close and
talked to him in a calm, soothing voice. Soon, he was fast asleep.
I carried him upstairs, laid him gently in
his bed and pulled a light, cotton sheet over him. He took a long, convulsive breath,
turned on his side and lay peacefully. I stood for a moment and watched him sleep; giving
thanks that he had not been hurt. He looked like an angel lying there, so quiet and
peaceful. At this thought, I chuckled. Jordan an angel? Of course. Grandmaís angel.
Copyright © 2000 by Mary M.
GRAPHICS COPYRIGHT©2000 - C. S. BECKETT