Monday, February 20, 2012

Grandma's Hoosier

Mary's Story

 When I was a little girl I spent many a Saturday afternoon with my Great-Grandmother Rose. Some of my fondest memories are of my times spent at her house.  She was a gentle soul, who I never heard utter a word in anger.  That is not to say she did not get angry, but she such a gentle way about her that you never knew she was angry.    She did not have a lot of possessions.  She was born in the late 1800's and learned to get by with what she had during hard times.

She was widowed early in her 50's, so she spent the second half of her life alone in a small farmhouse that my great-grandfather built.  She was the kind of person who never seemed lonely or bored.  She had busy hands. She put out a huge garden every year, canned her own veggies, and quilted in the winter months. She always had a hoe with her in the yard in case she encountered a snake. She never learned to drive, was actually a little afraid of riding in a car.  Never ever showed her knees, her dresses were always on the long side, and as far as I know never put on a pair of pants in her life.
On Saturdays my parents would drop me off for the day with Grandma.  I would be greeted with a wonderful hug and kiss (oh how I still miss those hugs).  She would put the coffee on, which was boiled on the stove in an old perculator, and served in an old Jadeite mug. That is probably why I still love strong coffee LOL, minus the grounds of course.  And for a snack we had homemade warm biscuits with butter and brown sugar.  When I want comfort food, that is what I want even as an adult. We would discuss the weeks events, like most Grandmothers and Grandchildren.  She was full of wisdom, and love. Unconditional love, which when you are a troubled teenage girl that is what you need.  She never judged. The only time she disciplined me was when I was at that stage when hormones were raging, and I didn't have my emotions under control. Her only statement to me was don't be ugly.  That word "ugly" was the one word that gave me pause, and made me think about what I was saying.  I pull it out now once in awhile in my head when I know that I shouldn't say what I am thinking lol.

Her kitchen was not a modern one by today's standards.  She had a hand pump at her sink that hooked to her well.  She did not have true running water until the 1970's, when my father insisted on putting in a faucet.  But what she did have was a wonderful cabinet which I would later learn was a Hoosier.  It was the center of all her kitchen activities.  In it held her flour with a built in sifter.  All of her baking needs were inside of this cabinet.  Her storage needs were all met by this one free standing unit.  She had painted it white to brighten up her kitchen area.  I loved opening all of the doors and drawers to see what magical things we hidden inside.  I found it to be intriguing, with all of its little hidden places.  It also had a work space that could be pulled out, and pushed back in as needed.

Several years ago, after my Grandmother passed away, my mother asked me if I would like to have the old Hoosier. Of course I wanted it, it was a part of my Grandmother, and a huge piece of my past.

Little did I know what that was going to involve.  I had done some small refinishing jobs in the past, so I thought sure I can handle this LOL.  Famous last words, of someone in over their head, who has no clue what was really going to happen.  Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.
Mary and Cathy
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