Many warm summer afternoons were spent next to Grandma Hulse, on the porch swing, or on chairs on the lawn, snapping green beans, husking corn, or shelling peas. I can still feel the gentle breeze moving my hair and hear Grandma's voice talking about the old days and sweetly advising me how to live a God-pleasing life. So much of what she said makes more sense to me now, but I'm glad I was listening and taking in her words at the time.
Of course, those veggies we were preparing didn't just appear out of thin air--no siree!! :) Grandma's vegetable and flower gardens were beautiful and well-tended. To this day I can rarely smell a green onion and not think of Grandma's vegetable garden. I remember how the scent of the green onions, still in the ground, mingled with the earthy aromas of the other vegetables, and it was easy to imagine the yummy things Grandma would make with all that produce.
Grandma was a content woman. She had her share of trials and heartbreaks in her life but, just like the apostle Paul in the Bible, she had found the secret to being content, whatever her circumstances. It's a choice. An attitude. The decision to trust that God loves us and is allowing the best for us even when it's impossible to see the good. This peace and contentment can make even the plainest person appear radiantly beautiful. It's a pleasant thing to be around, to ponder, to emulate.
I think Grandma is part of the reason I've never been in a hurry to get a dishwasher, would rather live without a microwave and enjoy hanging laundry out to dry from time to time. I love an opportunity to slow down and do things the old-fashioned way (as long as it's convenient at the moment--ha ha). Life is going by so fast. I want to savor it like she did.
This morning, each staccato "Snap!" of the beans I was preparing caused another memory to overtake me. The fresh scent took me to another time, another place. I didn't get to spend but two to three weeks per year with Grandma, as she lived in a different state, but the time we spent together was quality, memory-making time. I have high hopes of leaving the same kind of legacy with my son and any future grandchildren, though I know I can't be just like her. I have to balance being who I am with the willing sacrifices it takes to truly touch a child's life.
Grandma once wrote in my autograph book (no, that doesn't date me at all, now, does it? lol):
Memory is a precious thing, Voices and faces of those we love often return in memories of good times spent in the past.
She was so right! ♥