I helped my Grandmom clean the porch – back then sweeping the porch for my Grandmom was fun; sweeping the sidewalk and our concrete driveway today, not so much. I would sit on the back porch with my Grandmom and read, play games and visit with my Grandparents. But one of the fondest memories I have is . . .Sitting on the back porch shelling peas or lima beans; snapping beans or husking corn. My grandparents had a sizeable garden – okay sizable by my 7 year old standards – and they, along with my parents or aunts and uncles would harvest whatever produce was in season and I was given the job of shelling, snapping or husking. I was helping my beloved grandmom and that made me feel like one of the grownups. Sadly, no pictures – that I am aware of – exist of this treasured memory of mine.L
With the advent of the last 20th / early 21st century, back yard gardens both in the area I grew up and the area I now live, have become in large part passé. I must admit, when I was a child, while I loved helping my Grandmom with the produce, I detested getting my hands dirty – I absolutely did not like digging in the dirt! – so, gardening was out. So I never really developed a ‘green thumb,’ if I had any at all. So, I never was able to pass on this fond memory to my children in a tangible, hands-on experience; while they know that the fruits and vegetables they eat come from gardens or orchards, they’re under the misguided impression that ‘civilized’ folk purchase them from grocery stores or farmer’s markets. All the more reason it has become important for me to collect these memories, and assemble them much like a quilt to pass on to them in oral, scrapbook, genealogical, and/or blog form, so that they can appreciate the lives of those who came before and cherish and learn from their ancestor’s life’s lessons.