Sorry I’m late this week, folks!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Grandma/Grandpa taught me…
When you made it past the bushes with those white berries, up the porch adorned with red geraniums, and through the door, there was a hallway. To the left was the back room where the piano (and some plants) lived. To the right was the kitchen. Somewhere in that hallway, in that entryway, there was a pantry and a deep freezer (one of those big ones that you lift open, not the tall ones) where Grandma kept the dreamsicles.
Somehow, we managed to set up a card table in that small corner of Grandma Schmitzer’s house. And there we sat, with a big bowl of fresh green beans, carefully cutting them to be canned. I can still smell it—fresh green beans have a crisp, earthy smell (like clean dirt, if that were possible).
I can’t say that Grandma taught me how to can green beans, because I honestly only remember cutting them. I can’t even say that she taught me how to cut them. What I can tell you for sure is that it was something I did with my sisters, my mom, and my Grandma Schmitzer. It was something from another time—a time when vegetables were grown, not pulled out of the freezer; a time when society could respect a woman who cared for her home and her family rather than pursuing a career; a time when children were allowed to use knives without fear of them showing up in our backpacks at school.
Lessons don’t always come by way of words. Sometimes lessons come by involvement and experience. Sometimes lessons come by taking another by the hand and walking with them. Sometimes lessons come in remembering those moments when we felt most alive.
And that was when I felt most alive—that day, years ago, when I cut green beans with Grandma Schmitzer, Mom, and my sisters. The lesson? I don’t know. Perhaps the lesson is simply: Enjoy your time together.
And…don’t eat more green beans than you cut (Grandmas can always tell).
All my love,