Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wish List Wednesday

Lately I have been longing for a visit to Michigan but the reason to go has passed. My grammy passed several years ago followed by my Boompa, I have no clue where the name originated but it stuck and that is what the entire family called him. They had two homes, one in Michigan and the other in Florida. The house in Michigan holds so many memories and stories, tears and laughter, births and deaths that I cannot go into detail but I will saviour a few of my favorite things about the farm.

The smell when you walked into the farmhouse was always of good food. Grammy either had just baked fresh bread or had a bowl of peaches sitting on the end of the counter which permeated through out the mudroom.  Of course there were tons of goodies for all the grand kids to fight over, windmill oatmeal cookies, a plethora of Crush soda pop and orange Flintstones push-up pops to be had. Grammy was the master Roll-em Up maker, aka crepes, which as a child was filled with confectioners sugar and slathered in syrup but the more adult palette sprinkled fresh berries on them and devoured them as quick as she could make the gargantuan skillet sized breakfast treat. Then when all the batter was gone, and everyone cleared out to enjoy the back porch as they sat un-buttoned to enjoy the fresh air, she would clean and humm a tune in a sweet Grammy voice. She never complained and never wavered if she didn't get to enjoy any of her creations, she was satisfied knowing that her kids and grand kids were full. She would then break out the Rumicube or cards and challenge the grand kids and I don't recall ever losing all though I'm sure by gin playing skills weren't really up to snuff at that age. In the cooler weather the entire gang would gather outside for rounds of badminton, climbing the rafters in the storage farm house and running through the trails that connected all the buildings, that were either scary or wonderful hiding spots depending on whom you ask. There were lightning bugs galore and barely any other noise than nature to fill the air. The sound of the gravel driveway being pressed down as a car meandered down the long driveway always cause a stir to see who else was on their way over to share in the festivities and fight for Grammy's attention.

I have been feeling really close to my Grammy lately, not sure what sort of power is pushing the memories of tulips, blackberries and compost piles but it is in full force. Along with the image of her in her elegant ensembles which generally included a popped collar, she was way before her time, I can see her smile and hear her soft voice and random tidbits of wisdom she would instill upon you even if you were too young to appreciate it. If you were lucky enough to be visiting her alone, sans other grand kids, there was a great chance that you would get to go shopping with her which was one of her best hobbies. She was a master shopper and she didn't make you choose just one thing. Back to school shopping with Grammy meant a new wardrobe most of the time. I recall one summer visit that she bought be an extra suitcase to lug all my new loot home with. Christmas was a bonanza of presents and pies and such a menagerie of family, of course it was mostly hectic for the adults but the kids had such a great time running around like mad and tasting every delectable dessert that was topped off with her home made whipped cream, which has since been dubbed Chocolate Love by my friends who have had the chance to taste the magic of said whipped cream.

Something I fondly remember about the farm was a little wooden sign that hung on the wall in the tiny front bathroom that was really reserved for boompa that read "If you sprinkle when you tinkle Be a sweetie wipe the seatie" this has stuck with me all these years. It was fiiting to be in his bathroom as  Boompa was a master jingle maker. He had gems like," Some big hick threw a brick threw the winder, hit her side, hurt her pride, broke my finger."  and others like " Fogg dog you cold nosed individual. " never flirt with a skirt named gert"  which was my Grammys name. And a multitude of other sayings that would further confuse those whom weren't a part of them.

I think that living in South Carolina and raising my son had made me wish, sometime, for those simpler days of food, play and rest. I have the best of both the city and the rural life where we are right now. That might be the reason I am feeling so drawn to her lately. The openness of the fields, the livestock at the end of our neighborhood, the friendliness, just being more grown up to appreciate these things has made me look back and remember all those fun times and how I can only hope Matthew grows up with the same kind of lovely memories as I did.

Mike got the hang of sleeping on the porch on a breezy summer afternoon after being well fed

Al helping Grammy make yummy bread... and that is the rounded corner shelf where the peaches would always be

Church photo of Grammy and Boompa- he kept that head of hair until he passed

This is my favorite photo of them. This is at the farm in 1985. Leaves galore. Fall all day long, cant you hear the crunch of the leaves and smell them burning?

Al, Cousin Eric and I. That staircase was not kid friendly at night time. You would never come downstairs by yourself but thats a story for another time

Cousin Eric sharing his sippy cup with me

Al and Grammy at the Florida home

Grammy, my brother, me and my two cousins

My brother and I at the farm, love the linoleum floor

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