Welcome back to the blogging world! I have taken a much-needed haitus from blogging (and life) to enjoy a restful and joyful spring break from university.
The week leading up to spring break was, for me, the most difficult of the entire semester so far. No, I had no essays due, no big midterm exams, and no special performances. What I did have was incredible mishaps that simply rattled me silly. Each day leading up to break was “the worst day EVER.” Finally, I decided that what I really needed was a BREAK!
The universe has a funny way of giving us gifts, don’t you think?
Anyway, nothing could have made me happier at that point than jumping in my car and heading west into the country.
Ever since I was little, Granny’s house has been a place of happiness, rest, refuge, and discovery. I truly grew up there on her many acres of pasture land, in her kitchen, and in the country stillness.
Morning at Granny’s house is always a joy! If I’m rested enough to rise early and witness the sunrise (which is a rare treat, I must say), it is well worth the trouble. Nothing compares to the sun rising over the open country.
If, as is usual, I am exhausted and decide to sleep away a decent part of the morning, I am awoken by the sounds of breakfast being made in the kitchen. I open my eyes to bright sunshine streaming through the windows. Granny has already been up for hours, out feeding the birds, tidying the yard, and cooking in the kitchen. The garage door is open and we are ready to get going on our day.
If I’m very lucky and if the seasons have been kind to us, I will get to help Granny in the garden when I come to visit. Granny has had a garden ever since I can remember– at one time, a whole acre of sandy soil packed full with vegetables (and fruit) of all kinds. A summer bounty was always to be expected, along with plenty of time spent working out in the sunshine to plant, pick, and tend the sometimes-fragile plants.
As is usual for spring break, we took some time one morning to plant green onions and potatoes. I loved the ritual of digging long, straight rows in the soil, mixing fertilizer, planting sprouts, and covering them up in a soft sandy bed of soil.
There is nothing like getting your hands dirty in the earth of your childhood.
Usually the gardening and outside work has finished by the afternoon, and we retire to the coolness of the kitchen for cooking (and eating, of course!)
I will always feel right at home in Granny’s kitchen. All its sounds and smells are as familiar to me as those of my own home. I love being in a room that has held such history.
Every issue of the Southern Living Annual Recipes cookbooks waits at the ready in perfect chronological order– the oldest clearly being the longest-loved. Recipe cards wait patiently in cozy boxes littered with childhood scribblings from all characters in our family. Magnets from each of Granny’s wide travels expertly adorn the refrigerator door.
As the sun sets on this trip to Granny’s, I am left with memories that seem to go on for years on end. Visions of an army of empty mason jars, dozens of hand-picked blooms, and family memories ride with me on my long drive home.
I am so thankful for these moments, this place, and this beautiful person that I have been blessed with as a grandmother.
“I know what it is like to be brought up with unconditional love. In my life that came from my grandmother.” -Andre Leon Talley