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Blueberry Pie


The prompt for Two Shoes Tuesday this week is "blue"...

Today was one of  "those" Mondays, the kind where you run full tilt from the time you walk in the door until you finally crawl back out at the end of the day.  The phones rang non-stop, two and three calls at a time.  Paperwork multiplied like the loaves and fishes, deadlines loomed.  As soon as I completed one task I grabbed the next.  Every now and then I had to remind myself to breathe.  Mondays are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. 

Not surprisingly, as I dragged myself across the parking lot to my car, tired and hungry, the first thought that came to mind was comfort food.  A wonderful memory popped into my head... blueberry pie. Grandma Ida's blueberry pie!  I realized at that moment how much I would give to show up at her door, sit down at her table, and see her beautiful eyes twinkle as she said with a smile, "I made blueberry pie." 

Grandma Ida, my father's mother, was tough as nails in her younger years, because she had to be.  Her husband died and left her with four boys to raise and a farm to run on her own. Times were tough and money was in short supply, but somehow she made it work.  All her sons grew up to be good men, successful farmers and businessmen, family men. Sons she could rightly be proud of.

By the time I was growing up my Grandmother was not so young anymore, and my memories of her are soft and warm.  How I loved her coming on the bus to visit us and snuggling in my bed as we chatted away into the night.  In the daytime we were treated to her cooking,  teased her about her "bun dough" arms, and learned about the padded bra she wore due to a mastectomy that saved her life in a time when breast cancer was often fatal. 

Each summer my sister and I, and a couple of our girl cousins would spend a week with Grandma, her serving us cinnamon toast and tea sweetened with honey, teaching us to sew doll clothes on her old Singer treadle sewing-machine, how to play card games like Rummy and Canasta, and a smattering of German slang words, toned down a bit for our young ears.

I dearly loved and admired my Grandma.  I saw her as strong where my mother was weak, and patient where my mother was nervous and stressed out.  She loved the flowers she had growing in coffee cans on her window sills, and the squirrel she hand-fed peanuts from her doorstep.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and often regaled us with tales of the pranks she and her sisters and brothers used to play on each other in childhood and even as adults.

Nothing made Grandma Ida happier than to serve up a big family dinner with all her sons and their families in attendance.  She had moved from the big farm where they had grown up to a small house in town, yet somehow the table was stretched out, with extra folding tables and chairs to accommodate the youngest, and we all managed to fit into that small space.  The room would be noisy with the clatter of china and conversation and warm with the love of family.  It is only now with my own children so far away that I realize how she must have cherished those times of having everyone gathered around her.

Blueberry pie was one of my father's favorites.  My Grandma was a wonderful cook and baker.  Every visit to her house meant being stuffed with good things to eat, and more being packed up and sent along home.  In her time good food was synonymous with love.  I can't remember a family gathering in her tiny house that didn't include wonderful desserts, and almost always a blueberry pie.  She knew my father loved it, and she knew I did as well.  If I shut my eyes now, I can still see her beautiful, gently-wrinkled, powdered face smiling at me and saying "I made a blueberry pie."  

My Grandma, of sturdy German stock, lived well into her 90's.  In her 70's she still grew a large vegetable garden in her back yard, was active in a bowling league, and hosted a weekly card game with her friends.  I couldn't manage those things now!  Grandma Ida was my role model of what a strong, competent woman could be, and I will always be grateful to her for that.  She was a true survivor! How I wish that I could sit down and to talk to her more about life, now that I am old enough to understand it better.  I know I will always long for just one more piece of her blueberry pie!

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This post is linked up at Two Shoes Tuesday,
we'd love to have you join us there!

16 comments:

  1. what a wonderful tribute to your grandma... and those memories! I am sure that you are creating the same types of memories for your very own grandchildren!

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    1. Thank You Brenda, I learned from my Grandma what kind of woman I wanted to be. I wish that our grandchildren lived close enough to interact with on a regular basis. We are going to be great-grandparents early next year, that's exciting!! :-)

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  2. While reveling in your memories of your Grandma, I was reminded of my own and of my Aunt Janet, who was much like your Grandma. I too love Blueberry pie and I loved your story ... Thank you for a brief respite from today's reality.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Thank you Andrea, those are definitely precious memories!

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  3. Josie, this is wonderful, as are all of your stories whether true or not. I admire your ability to share your writing so easily. As you know, this is a sweet gift. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, McGuffy Ann <3. I truly enjoy the short pieces we write for TST, 6W6, FSF, and Pondering. It's my way of escaping from the streses of life and the work day and crawling into another place where I can let my mind and my words ramble on. :-) Once I have an idea in mind, the rest comes very quickly. I don't spend much time editing or polishing (which probably shows). I'm glad you enjoy my stories! Will be watching for your "blue" piece later this week from the road! :-)

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  4. This is a powerful story.

    Both of my grandmothers had passed away before I was born, and I seldom think about them, but your piece of writing makes me wonder what they were like. I wish I had memories of a grandmother like yours.

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    1. Thank you Romi! I was very young when my maternal grandmother died of cancer. I have no memories of her at all. How I wish I did! It is only now, as I grow older that I find myself wondering more about their thoughts and their lives, and even my parents lives when they were younger. I know the facts, but not the feelings. All too soon the chance to find out is stolen away.

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  5. I'm not even a fan of blueberry pie and not I want some. Not for the taste but because your memories make me long for my own.

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    1. I hold my memories of my Grandmother close to my heart, Monkey. I always admired her because she was strong, but it wasn't until recent years that I realized she was also my first role model of what it meant to be a survivor. I had a dream once of her coming back to talk to me,and I believe she did. :-)

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  6. What a poignant and wonderful story!

    She sounds like an amazing woman!

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    1. Thank you Jenny! My Grandama knew to accept what life brings and find a way to deal with it. She didn't let the past steal her present!

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  7. I hope I get a chance to be that kind of granny because my blueberry pie is pretty yummy but the other stuff needs to be there as well. Thanks for sharing & hosting such a wonderful post :]
    ~Janice~

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    1. I know you will be an awesome granny,Janice - you already are! You will get to make lots of awesome memories together, wait and see! xoxo

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  8. This is a very nice write-up, Josie. Sounds like you had a wonderful grandmother. The blueberry pie sounds wonderful too. I can see though that she had a hard life which she bad the best of when your grandfather died.
    ..

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    1. Thank you Jim! In the years that I can remember my grandmother, she never acted like life was a hardship. This was a good lesson to me too. I remember the pleasure she took in little things like gardening, craftwork, family, friends, and her favorite tv "soaps". :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)