There are so many pieces of your life that I took for granted. I look back at the way you lived and all the things you did on your little homestead, and I'm amazed, almost stunned. I have fresh eyes, and a wish that I could sit and chat with you, now that I fully appreciate everything you did. As a child I never really thought about those things, they were just a natural part of my Grandma; details in the background fabric of my childhood that didn't need any special attention.
One example; your vegetable growing. I've become--quite suddenly-- very interested in growing vegetables. I long for a gigantic garden chock full of everything imaginable. I am getting ready to buy a share in a community farm, a CSA, because I can't figure out how to grow anything around here, on this tiny lot.
I would love, however, to have a fantastic garden someday, and I am starting to brainstorm ways to do this. Like you and grandpa. My gosh, you grew everything. At one point in my childhood I believe your garden was bigger than my current entire yard. You prepared food with all this wonderful home-grown food. You canned, dried, saved. You also had fruit trees. You took good care of your chickens, and they provided so many wonderful eggs. Grandpa took up beekeeping and I have never had honey as tasty again in my life. I think about it now and I am in awe...but then, it was just there. I had no real appreciation for the lifestyle you two lived, no deeper understanding of just how important the lessons could be to me.
Uncle Loren and Aunt Jeanne still have a completely amazing garden. You passed that along, for sure. I love walking around their huge garden during summer to see what new fabulous vegetables have begun to grow, or which are bursting with ripeness. They love to share, and in summer when I go visit, I always get to take home a bag or two of zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, or whatever is producing like mad. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. I have ventured out into the world of cooking (usually seeking healthy recipes) and have so many ways to prepare and use these veggies now.
Your garden no longer exists. Just a piece of grass now, in the big farm yard where no one lives.
Just knowing about and remembering your incredible garden is another way your memory lives with me. Perhaps I will keep the memory going, and become an avid gardener. I truly hope so.
I love you always, Your Granddaughter, Andrea