Memory

Friday, September 16, 2016

It’s always September when I think of her the most.

It’s on a perfect fall day such as this, here in the Midwest, that I think of her there, in New England, all those years ago. I can see her out pegging up the heavy wet laundry on the clothesline behind that old white frame house.


She would have pushed open the back screen door with her hip, carrying the round plastic basket of clean clothes down the steps and picking her way carefully across the yard littered with the small wormy green apples. She would have sighed, thinking that they really needed to be raked up. The leaves of the old apple tree would be shifting and turning in the light breeze, patterns of sunlight and shadow on her soft thinning white hair and her floral cotton blouse.

Over across the gravel drive, the bees from my grandfather’s hives would be lazily humming in the garden, planted fifty or more years before, its fruit sustaining through the long, lean years of the Depression and beyond. I can see the colorful and hardy nasturtium and the long gray stone wall that marked the edge of their property.


The bird song I listen to now, the screeching of the jays as if they sense the cold that is coming, the drops of the night’s rain on the last of the geraniums. The faint hum of traffic in the distance. She heard these same sounds, felt the same warmth of the sun as she lifted freshly washed sheets and towels and felt her arms ache as she moved slowly down the line, reaching into an apron pocket for the wooden pins, spacing them evenly.

She was the age I am now, my grandmother. Old in my child’s eyes when we visited in the summers. 

Not so old now, just a kindred spirit.

27 comments :

  1. A very tender post Deborah. Your grandmother sounds like a sweet soul. Pegging out the laundry is such a familiar and somehow heartwarming chore. It's funny that you took a photo of the clothes pegs. I kept all my mom's clothes pegs when she passed away (and I don't even have a clothesline). Have a wonderful weekend.
    Wendy

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  2. Beautiful writing...I saw it all clearly.

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  3. Your post is so beautifully written, Deborah. I feel like I can see your grandmother hanging the clothes on the line. It brought back memories of doing that long ago myself. Honestly, I'd still do it but my doctor advised against it as the clothes, sheets, towels, etc., collect pollen. Ugh. I enjoyed the whole experience.

    I'm happy that you have these wonderful memories and that you get to experience the joy in being close to the age of the woman who so inspired you.

    Jane

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  4. Oh, this is lovely.....sweet, sweet memories. xx K

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  5. Such beautiful tender memories. You painted a lovely picture with your words. Take care.

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  6. A beautiful piece of writing and a touching memorial, Deborah. You brought tears to my eyes as I saw your Grandmother through your eyes. Bravo! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

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  7. Absolutely beautiful, Deborah. Keep sharing.
    I LOVE your new blog look, esp the feather on your header and the warm welcoming smile on your sidebar. You've inspired me to add a personal photograph to my welcome again.
    Catching up today here.
    LOVE!
    xo

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  8. Lovely, lovely writing. Memories come unbidden and fill us with joy.

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  9. Good Afternoon Deborah, What a delightful post. My mother Phyllis is 86 years next week and she still pegs her own washing out on the washing line with wooden pegs, it took her years to leave the old dolly pegs behind and buy the wooden ones which you have photographed.
    Our memories are such precious things and I have loved reading about the memories you have of your grandmother.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne

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  10. A beautiful writing Deborah! Isn't amazing as a child how we think we will never grow old, and, yet... here we are! Following in the footsteps of the ones we loved and looked up to so. A beautiful heartfelt piece of writing, and I could feel and see all she felt just as you wrote. Have a blessed day, may the Lord fill it full of special and beautiful things, and memories that delight! :)

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  11. This is so sentimentally September! The month, the memory, the point of our lives. Very nice reflection, Deborah. Have a great Sunday and new week.
    Rita

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  12. Lovely post Deborah! Conjures up lots of memories of my own grandmother! I can picture yours perfectly too! Time passes so quickly....
    xo
    Linda

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  13. Dearest Deborah,
    What a lovely memory of your Grandmother!
    Love the way you phrased: 'Old in my child's eyes...' We almost feel embarrassed isn't it for thinking like that as a child and now we're at their blessed age ourselves.
    Sending you hugs across the miles,
    Mariette

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  14. What a beautifully written post, Deborah. When I first started reading it, I thought I was reading the opening lines of your novel. Unfortunately, both my grandmothers passed away when I was very young so I have very limited memories of them.

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  15. Hi Deborah, this is such a beautiful memory and you share the story so well. It takes me back to my own grandmother and the visions I still have of her hanging out the laundry. She was a short little lady and she had to stretch on tiptoes to reach.
    Thanks for sharing. You are such a talented writer my friend. Have a great week. xo

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  16. How absolutely beautiful! I felt like I was right there.

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  17. Deborah, it is as though you had written about my grandmother! Such a sweet, sweet post which stirred up many wonderful memories for me. My maternal grandmother never lived to be my age, unfortunately. A series of strokes had taken her life at such a young age. How I wish she had lived long enough to see me grow up and meet my darling hubby. They would have gotten along famously.
    Thank you for your lovely visit and comment today. I still plan to blog at least once a week when I'm up to it but the parties will be dormant for a little while. I appreciate your friendship, Deborah, and I am so happy I got to "meet" you through blogging. Have a wonderful week, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Sandi

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  18. I came over to see if you had any wedding updates ( enjoyed that post ) but this one is just wonderful! I could see her :) I was out there with her! She was stepping over the green apples / I watch out for fallen crabapples when I go to my line!

    Beautiful writing.

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  19. Deborah, I loved this post! My grandmothers were such a huge influence in my life and I still think of them frequently. This made me think of one of them teaching me how to use a washboard when I was 7 years old. She may have been the only woman in town who still owned, let alone actually used, a washboard!

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  20. Such a loving and beautiful post ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  21. I really enjoyed this post, Deborah. It makes me think of my gran, too, and I understand your heart felt words and how much your memories mean to you. hugs

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  22. This is a perfectly beautiful jewel of memory, Deborah. You got so much across about your grandmother in these short paragraphs, and I think you got much across about yourself as it showed what things are truly important to you. And I felt as if I were there watching her.

    Well done!

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  23. *Sigh*

    What a wonderful conjured picture you have painted for us, sweet friend. Hugs. ♥

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  24. Thank you for this thoughtful loving post! Where does all the time go?
    I could see through your words of your grandma carrying the laundry basket on her hip and see the cloths flapping in the wind. What lovely memories...
    Hugs, Roxy

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  25. Dearest Deborah,
    Lovely memories and yes, those cloth pins were used by my family as well. My earliest recollections of my Mom are of her pinning the laundry on the clothesline. With a washcloth Mom would also clean the line before using it...
    Fond memories and it teaches us also for being grateful what we have now on conveniences for ourselves.
    While you posted this, I was having dinner in The Netherlands, with my best friend and her husband, the four of us together. After an mid morning visit to the fancy department store where her daughter is the manager of the restaurant and coffee shop. Such a wonderful concept for friends being able to shop and have a bite or a coffee. Neiman Marcus has the same concept here in the USA.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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