Grandma’s love legacy

Published 6:33 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Our excellent adventure in Tennessee has come to a close. Mike and I gave a great deal of thought to relocating nearer his new job, but in the end the Land of Cotton called us home.

The old green Mississippi farmhouse that cradled many of my childhood memories burned several years ago, but the memories linger.

“Mamaw, what are you doing?”

“I’m looking at the seed catalogue, Honey. Come sit here beside me, and let’s find something pretty. The plants on this page are perennials; that means they come back every year at around the same time. It’s like opening a present every time they bloom.”

With each crackle of a page turning came my squeal of delight. Gorgeous hued flowers seemed to slip from the picture into my imagination. I could see and anticipate Mamaw’s beautiful and wild garden overflowing with a wide assortment of these precious jewels of the earth.

My heart sang when each new season’s promises burst into bloom. There was no formality to the landscape, just a profusion of glorious sights and smells leaving one to wonder at how great God must be to bestow such beauty on His creation.

On our frequent trips to Mamaw’s house I could almost smell the heady fragrance of her front yard flowers as we bumped along the road. It was only to be rivaled by the delicious scent of homemade mouth watering biscuits and other goodies cooking in her little kitchen.

Most of the food Mamaw lovingly prepared and served had been planted and harvested from her much-loved vegetable garden. The hungry brood of grandchildren who often scampered about the family farm did not care where the delicious smelling food came from as long as the old farm table was full!

Papaw was the first of the pair to be promoted to his heavenly home, and Mamaw insisted on staying on the farm. When Mamaw’s steps slowed and her eyes lost some of their twinkle, her hoe served as a makeshift cane when she shuffled to her place of peace.

Did my grandmother understand that her love of the earth and its bounty took root in my heart and grew there? Most of us probably never know the profound effect our actions have on others, but it is worth a thought.

My kitchen pantry shelf groans with the weight of recipe books I’ve collected over the years. Even the ones I’m not too crazy about may have one recipe that I might want to try some day. It makes no difference that any of them can be found on the Internet. These books have notes jotted inside and dates of when I cooked a particular dish and for whom. Getting rid of them would be a sacrilege!

Even though my taste and my grandmother’s varied greatly, my love of home and hearth are gifts from her. Excitement mounts as I begin to think of decorating and planning for the upcoming holiday parties Mike and I will host. When the laughter of friends and family fills a room I always smile and remember my grandmother and her legacy of love.