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Snippets of memories from my time on grandpa and grandma's farm:
-pulling on boots with grandma before heading out to the barn. There was always a collection of boots- all different sizes- in the garage, so grandma would suggest a pair or we'd simply try on until we found the best fit.
-walking that familiar stretch of land from the house to the barn.
-feeding (and searching for) the barn kitties. There were many throughout the years, and grandma had names for them all and knew their quirks and personalities.
-coming round the corner to see all the calves, waiting to be fed. Grandma taught us how to hold two or three fingers out, upside-down, and let the calves suck on our fingers, and it was my favorite thing to do in the barn.
-walking through the field- stepping carefully over those cow pies- to see what grandpa was up to on his tractor, bringing him food or riding with him for awhile.
-haying was a highlight-- riding on the back of the wagon and "helping" to stack the bales high or taking turns on the tractor with grandpa.
The driveway to grandpa and grandma's house is a curvy little road through the woods, and it was grandma that taught us to sing,
Over the river and through the woods,
to grandmother's house we go.
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow- oh!
Over the river and through the woods
Oh, how the wind doth blow!
It stings the nose and bites the toes,
as over the river we go!
There's another road, too- a shorter road that goes straight to their house, but grandma wanted us to go through the woods. It mattered to her. She loved that road, and in these later years she was proud grandpa kept it well tended so that we could still drive it.
My kids know that as soon as we turn from the main road onto the little road through the woods, we will all hush whatever conversations we're having and break into that song. My goal is always to complete the song just at the precise moment we come out of the woods, so we have to pace the song with the length of the drive.
We'd walk through the woods, too- on the way to the park across the street, or through the woods on either side of their fields.
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Grandma loved to sing, and whenever we came she wanted to know what songs we sang at church, and then she'd ask us to sing them to her. When my sister and I were little girls, she recorded us singing, and she'd pull out that cassette tape and play it for us in later years. When I started bringing my own kids, she always asked them to sing to her, too. I think more than the songs themselves she loved to hear children singing songs.
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Grandma loved children. In recent years when I brought the kids out, I was always a little anxious that they'd be too noisy or get into something they shouldn't or break something or make a mess. Grandma just delighted in them. She always wanted them close- snuggled right up next to her or- preferably, in her lap. Once I noticed the kids had left fingerprints on her glass doors overlooking their deck, so I mentioned to grandma that I wanted to clean that up before we left, and she said something along the lines of "Don't you dare. I'm keeping those prints up there just as long as I can so that I can keep on enjoying them."