Sunday, October 28, 2007

First Funeral

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Psalm 23

The first funeral I ever went to was my paternal
grandfathers.....all I remember is gathering at
the funeral home, everyone wearing dark colors
and sitting with my parents, my
grandmother, and other family members behind
a curtain...they wanted me to go down to say
goodbye to Grandpa but I didn't go.....I never
really knew my paternal grandfather...he was
always very quiet and usually just sat in his
rocking chair by their fireplace....found out
later, he had been kicked by a horse
(he was a farmer) years before and
had brain damage...Grandma had to support
them afterwards by selling off their land,
and renting the top part of the house...she
also was a piano teacher...
They had always struggled financially,
my dad said he had been embarrassed to
bring my mother over to meet his family..
they had lived in the barn as the house had
burned down. He said he slept up in the hay
loft and woke up many mornings with icy
sheets and blankets.

Their house was on about a acre of land.
They had fruit trees, and berry bushes....
us cousins used to go out to pick berries
for dessert and ended up eating more than
we picked usually but Grandma didn't
seem to mind. She wasn't the greatest cook
but there was always plenty. I remember
lots of Velvetta cheese and macaroni..spam,
that kind of cooking..nothing gourmet about it...
...we had fun making homemade ice cream at family get togethers, each taking a
turn at the crank.

Grandma had learned to make do all her life and taught us
how to recycle before it became popular......for quilts,
she would go to the thrift stores and buy old clothes,
she would use the fabric in them for the blocks.
She gathered pinecones, seed pods, etc. and made each
family a candle wreath...I still have the one she made us,
hanging on the wall...this was before glue guns...
she used lots of Elmers glue
and it has held up well.
for the backing of the wreath, she used old cardboard
off a box and wired the cones onto it.
I got my love of crafting from her and she inspired me in many ways.
She was a stanch Methodist and I came to learn our family had been Methodists
since the time of John Wesley...she grew up when Methodists didn't play cards,
or do anything on Sundays not related to church....she would never drink or gamble,
and kept the Sabbath.
She played the piano and organ at church as well as sang in the choir.