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Grandmother's Humility

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The sun can still warm us as we reach our senior ages, but there is nothing to match a little help now and then.

The sun can still warm us as we reach our senior ages, but there is nothing to match a little help now and then.

Batter up...

This is not a baseball story. The batter in this case is a daily batch of biscuits my grandmother baked over the course of many years, for sons, self, and visitors.

My paternal grandmother Rosa Jasper lost her husband to congestive heart failure when he was in his early sixties.

They were a farm couple, with three sons, and farmed an apple orchard in central Maine which sent America's first apples exported to Scotland. Their oldest son carried on the apple business after my grandfather died. The middle son chose city life and a salaried existence.

My father was the youngest of the three sons. He chose to go to college and become a civil engineer, and later obtained a masters degree in engineering.

My widowed grandmother continued a repetitive daily routine the rest of her life, usually with an apron that seemed to stay on most of the day for the three meals a day she cooked, starting with those morning biscuits accompanied by meat, potatoes, vegetables (often ones she had canned), and canned or fresh fruits, or pies she baked.

She was the first one awake and up each morning to light the woodstove in the kitchen. She found some time in the afternoon to sit at the cleared kitchen table and read and sew. When she had finished washing the last dishes, pots, and pans for the day. She said goodnight and went to bed.

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She was loved, admired, and counted on for that daily routine. The apron protecting her self-laundered house dresses was her daily attire, unless it was Sunday when she dressed more formally for a worship service before changing back to the earlier attire and her cooking, sewing, and what a lesser person would have called drudgery.

As far as I know, those thoughts never entered her mind.

When we were able to gather together at Christmas time or for her birthday, we had a hard time choosing anything other than slippers and handkerchiefs we knew she would use and enjoy, as well as new aprons.

If we chose anything more personal, modern, or expensive, my grandmother would show her pleasure for our thoughtfulness, and the present was more than likely to be placed on a shelf, or in a closet, where it remained until the farmhouse finally burned down from an overheated wood furnace after she was permanently in an assisted living home.

Surely, just like the stored presents, my grandmother stored her treasures in Heaven, setting an example of humble, devoted, loving service I admire to this day.


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© 2022 Demas W Jasper

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