I remember almost everything about my beloved grandmother. She died over 20 years ago, but I can still hear her gentle voice, and recall her sweet wrinkled hands. She taught me how to fall in love with the traditions and ways of her time. I learned about the beauty of gardens and flowers. Baking bread and pie. Sewing and quilting. And living a quiet and simple life.
A few years after my grandmother died, I went on to marry and become a mother. My life started to mirror what I had learned from her, and it has ever since. She taught me so much about life. Her kind words and patient demeanor were a comfort to me. I miss her more than words can say. She was still a child at the age of sixteen when she married a poor farmer. Eventually, she became the mother of 6 children. Through the hardest of times, the Great Depression, WWII, illness and disease, and numerous other trials, they stayed married until the day my grandfather died. They were married for roughly 70 years and loved each other deeply. Their marriage was far from perfect. But they would’ve been lost without each other.
My love of baking bread. The smell of peonies and garden roses. Afghans and quilts. Shucking corn on the back porch. Making paper dolls. I remember it all. Every last bit of it. Her legacy will live on in my heart and my home. She is my heritage. A strong woman who worked hard and loved well. When everything feels lost in this world and I can’t find my way back home, I return to what she taught me. So, when all else fails…I make bread.