Featured Writer - Bythema B. Bagley
Grandpa was super. He was very, very tall. When we looked up at him, his hat blocked out the sun. Mom said, “That happens when you’re short like you are.”
He was nice to children and regular people, but he said, “Children are my favorite people. They listen, learn and ask good questions.” In his garden, there were so many interesting things to learn: the names of flowers, plants, and why bees, butterflies and worms were so important. He always took time to explain and made sure that we understood.
Much of the bounty from his well-tended garden would be canned, pickled and stored away for winter when the growing and harvesting had been completed. Onions and garlic dried and hung –corn, beans and tomatoes blanched, canned in scalded Mason jars, and stored in the root cellar to be made into winter soups.
When the last snow melted, and the ground was mushy and muddy, we began to get excited. As the trees assumed a faint pale green or pink or red at the tips of the branches, our excitement heightened. That was when Grandpa began to walk about the garden patch at the end of his day n the coalmine. My brother and sister and I were at his heels every day, absorbing like little sponges his love of gardening, waiting for the most important news of the planting season.
When at last the ground was tilled, the carrots, beans, corn, tomatoes and potatoes planted. Early one Saturday morning, we saw Grandpa in the one bare patch of ground left. He had a heavy pointed stick in his hand making lines in the dirt. We leaped out of bed, ate the quickest breakfast possible, and ran out to the garden to see which of our names had been scratched out in large letters. Grandpa planted the seeds for planted in scratched out rows. As that lettuce matured, it proclaimed to the neighborhood in whose honor the garden was planted that year.
Everyone, even, Grandma asked permission of ‘that person’ to take lettuce from that spot.
©MRBQ Photos reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
© ©MRBQ Photo reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
I was so touched by this story about your grandfather. I could feel the excitement of spring and the children's joy at being able to spend time with a beloved grandfather. I can see the larder and all those jars filled with the garden's bounty.