I went to live with my Granny at the age of seven after my parents divorced. I moved from a big city to the sedate country life with my older brother and younger sister and settled in I thought to a dull, boring life. I was so unsure of what was expected of me at first. Here I was with my siblings on a small farm with a dog and Siamese cats and a few cows. At first I was scared and my Granny let me know she loved me and it would be “OK” that I was wanted. My mother in the meantime had left the state and had flown to California and stayed gone for four years. Over the next few months I was taught to help my Granny feed and milk the two cows, clean the stalls of the barn which I found slightly distasteful because of the smell. I did however enjoy the smell of the sweet feed and the hay. I also found out I enjoyed loving on the newborn calves when they were born, they had a special smell all their own. The calves would look at me with their beautiful dark eyes and lick their little noses with their pink tongues and I would find myself laughing happily at them.
I eventually grew to love milking those cows even though they would kick at me because my sister would come down to the barn to see what I was doing. She would bend over the pen railing and I would take one of the cow’s teats and squirt her with some warm milk. She would run off squealing hollering for Granny to tattle on me. Boy, did I love that! I can remember having to go pick blackberries in the summer on the pipeline with my Granny. She would say the biggest thing we needed to watch out for was snakes. I can remember like yesterday the berry sweetness as I popped them in my mouth and the tartness when I crunched down on them and the stains they left on my hands and mouth… yum. Later my Granny would make a fresh blackberry cobbler with the fresh cow cream and I would eat it. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
I would go to church on Sundays with my Granny and she taught Sunday School, I can remember the glares she used to give us kids if she caught us whispering in church. Later I joined the youth choir, I think much more to please her and then I found out I liked to sing after all. My sister had made a few friends with the pastor’s daughter and had branched out on her own. I made friends through an Acteens group, the youth choir, and then I joined a 4-H group down the road. I later got a pony from my Grandpa. She was wild and never even halter broken, I trained her for the bridle and saddle myself. I rode that pony everywhere until I got too big for her and had to get a bigger horse. I had a white face Hereford heifer I raised on a bottle and sold her. I bought a saddle mare that was gaited with the heifer money. I had her a long time.
If anything I want to remember about my Granny, I knew she was there for me when I had a bad motorcycle wreck with my brother back in 1975 when I was 16 and I was almost killed. I knew how much she loved me then when she fed me scrambled eggs through a sewed up mouth and sat up many nights with me in my hospital bedroom. So I’ll say “Thank you Granny, I love you too for all you did for me”