Sunday, July 19, 2009

Memories of Memaw

The smell of tomatoes cooking permeated my kitchen this afternoon with the most delicious aroma and brought back many memories of other times.....other places.
When I was 15 years old, I inherited a "step-grandma". I never knew another as my grandmother on my Mother's side died when my Mother was 12. My Father's mother died when I was very young and I have limited memories of her. Ah, but Memaw Board, as she was called, was the epitome of "Grandma".
We moved to rural Breckinridge County in Kentucky and I was introduced quickly to the farming life. I remember vividly the kitchen in the "old house" and how something yummy was always cooking. Long, hot summers and a big garden led to canning green beans and tomatoes, freezing millions of ears of corn and making sauerkraut, pickles and relishes. The work in that kitchen was never-ending but I learned at the foot of the best.
Of course I whined about it, I was 15. But those forced lessons have done me well. Yes, I know how to can tomatoes. I also know how to swat flies while you are outside trying to shuck corn. She finally let me come in to cut it off the cob but also made me clean up the horrendous messes I made.
When I think of those summers on the little farm, I remember best the smells of summer. I wish I could adequately describe them for you. But today, when I cook tomatoes to "put up" for a long winter ahead, I am easily transported back in time to that little kitchen with my Mom and Memaw working so hard in unbearable heat. My Mom was learning also and learn she did. I can still see and hear the laughter and love in that little house.
Memaw died when I was but a young mother and I find myself remembering her smile more and more often as I grow older. I have been blessed with a lifetime of people to love......and who loved me back.


Marie Reed said...

Oh Polly! Reading about your dear Memaw made my soul smile!

Leah Kleylein said...

what a lovely memory! When I saw your picture of the canned tomatoes I could smell exactly what you were talking about - I have the same types of memories from my grandmother's kitchen...Thanks for sharing!