Monday, July 26, 2010

Mamie's Flowers

My paternal grandmother, Mamie could grow anything. My very first memory of her is holding her hand and walking through flowers that were taller than me. No grass grew in her yard, there were stepping stones that meandered through the flowers and what flowers they were! Daisies,
violets, carnations, peonies, red poppies, blue cornflowers, mums,zinnias, glads, white creamy roses that smelled sweet as candy, yellow roses, pinks and reds, tulips, daffodils, bleeding hearts, fox gloves, gardenias, every flower that could possibly grow in the Alabama dirt, grew in her yard.

The amazing thing, she would let me gather bouquets by the armfuls! I never left her house when flowers were blooming that I didn't take some home.

She did another kind of flower too. Every year for memorial decorations, she made these incredible tissue paper flowers, that were just a profusion of color! The stems were pipe cleaners, and after she would fashion all these exquisite paper blooms, she would dip them in melted paraffin so they would not fade in the rain and sun. I can still remember the smell of that hot wax as she carefully dipped each flower.

Then there was her herb garden out back, if you ever went to her house with a cut or bite or some ailment, she had the cure. I can't tell you how many poultices were wrapped around my limbs, or what sort of strange smelling concoctions were poured down my throat. I wish had
known how important her knowledge was, how I wish I had taken notes! She taught my mom
several things, and she passed them on to me, but I know so much was lost, taken to the grave with her when she passed.

Memories of Maw maw Mamie's flowers are forever etched in my mind. Her talents were so many, midwife, tatter, crochet, quilter, Gardner. Her love of living things, her creativity,
but most of all her love and kindness, those are memories I carry with me. The love of flowers,
well, I am passing those on to my niece Breeze......every time she comes to the house, we walk down to the garden and gather flowers, each spring she comes and helps me plant. Breeze is only 5, but I know that Mamie watches over she and I, because our flowers grow with joy!
I have plants that belonged to Mamie, and someday I will pass those on to Breeze. Mamie's legacy, my legacy.

1 comment:

  1. I had an Aunt Anna who had a yard like that. There was grass, but the grass was the path only. She also had an apple tree and we'd walk over there and get bags of apples when they were coming on. She had a rain barrel. When her husband died she went with us to town every week. She didn't drive.

    I drove by her place last summer and her nephew, who got the place after her death has completely remodeled the house and now the yard and flowers are a "lawn"! How stupid.