Monday, May 9, 2016

Up to the Garden

 “We’ll put the coffee on and then go up to the garden. You can see Grandma’s herb patch,” I said. Yesterday our youngest son, his wife and kids stopped over with apple  cider doughnuts and a luscious cherry pie – a nice surprise for Mother’s Day.  Coffee on then up the hill we trooped and, though there wasn’t much to see yet, I got nods and smiles for my efforts.

This put me in mind of my own Grandma Blaine’s garden from when I was a kid. They lived in an old farm house out on the prairie in upstate Minnesota back in the 1950’s. I always loved going to Grandma’s house. My aunt Doreen, only four years my senior, was our guide to all things farm related – like descending into the cool depths of the cellar where Grandma stored all her canned veggies or standing in the spring house where the stream running through kept Grandpa’s milk cans cold. One of the best things in the world was being in the garden, plucking peas and eating those little sugar bombs right out of the pod. Our own granddaughters have done the same.

Once when we visited the farm that, at the time, still had an outhouse, my sister Shari and I had to “go”. So, off we took ourselves, down a short slope, heading for the wooden doors and the iconic two holer (I think). I’m sure we were blither-blathering along, trying to beat each other to it and so were caught unawares when, upon flinging the door open, we suddenly encountered – A Snake!! Gaaa!! If you think Lucy Van Pelt of Peanuts fame screeches every time Snoopy kisses her, well, she had nothing on us. You never saw two little girls flap about, screaming, and running so fast in your life. Lucifer himself was on our heels and we were shoving each other to be the first out of his way as we ran pell mell for the house. Our tale was greeted with rollicking laughter among the relatives, but I gotta tell ya, we didn’t have to pee for hours after that. Our fear had siphoned it off completely.

Grandma was an awesome cook. Remembering her spring vegetables in cream still makes my mouth water. She also made bismarks, a long jelly filled doughnut, that makes me smile (and drool) when I think of them. And probably the jelly was homemade. Speaking of which, her pin cherry jelly was to die for. In those days jams and jellies were sealed with paraffin wax and I remember always wanting to lick the jelly off the wax when she pushed the wax disc on one end to get at the ruby loveliness beneath.

Today I’ll be checking my rhubarb to see how soon I can make a pie. Oh – another memory spark. My aunt Doreen and I used to love picking rhubarb, cleaning it up and sprinkling it with salt. A taste delight lost on rhubarb enthusiasts of today. But the tang on our tongues and our puckered lips brought a delightful shiver and I hold that memory dear. At least one stalk is still savored that way from my patch every season. Yum!

So, a short Mother’s Day walk in the garden is more than it appears. Puts you off in a whole other world sometimes. That ever happen to you?

There’s my herb garden in the first photo. Dill, parsley, sweet basil, surrounded by marigolds and cosmos. Can’t wait for it to bloom. I tried to find a snake to sit for a photo, but perhaps a cautionary word has gone out among them since I went all commando on that milk snake last summer. They’ve been scarce on the ground of late.

Have an awesome week!


  1. What a lovely post. Gardening is good for the soul. Wonderful memories.

    1. Yup, it sure is, Linda. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Happy belated Mother's Day! Glad you had a nice day. Your grandmother reminds me a lot of mine (Caroline). Good memories. :)

    1. And I loved the ones you posted, Karen. =0)