|Looking in the Window of Hope's Kitchen|
|Hope's 90th Birthday Party|
|Hope with Mary Ray|
Today would be my grandma Hope's 101st birthday.
I know I've written before about my childhood and my grandparents and the sacred place that was their farm. And I still have some boxes of memories from their house, in our basement, waiting to be sorted.
Hope introduced me to C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Thomas Merton. She gave me my black leather Bible with my name engraved. She shared my love of Madeleine L'Engle.
She stood by the stove and stirred custard. The same custard I made last weekend for the homemade ice cream. She introduced me to almond extract and vanilla.
Her plants are in my garden. Now it's a fern nation, but the first ten came from the north side of her garden. I have peonies from the long sunlit lane she road her bike up and down. And heritage roses from the perennial garden by the fence.
She loved jewelry and gave me silver charms for my charm bracelet. She studied Indian concerns way before they were Native Americans.
I stayed on their farm for two weeks each summer, taming the barn cats and making forts in a million places. Sewing doll clothes. Putting on shows, which she and grandpa patiently watched when they were probably wanting to turn on Johny Carson.
She could assess my mental health by the state of my fingernails and my hair color. She knew me. And yet, she only saw the best.
Most of all she listened. She listened to the ramblings of a four year old and heartbreaks of the twenty year old.
And then she listened to my kids. She fed baby Mary scrambled eggs. Really GOOD scrambled eggs. She let Calvin wind the GOOD Czech toys. And she thought they hung the moon.
I thought I could never live without her, but I'm still living eleven years later.
I'm so thankful. I'm just so thankful.
Thank you for my grandparents, and especially today, I'm remembering Hope. Thank you for her presence in my life. Thank you for the gift of faith which she shared. Thank you for the wealth of memories she gave to me. It's all So GOOD. Help me to be that listener to the young people in my life. Help me share her ferns. . . and help me to see the God moments she looked for everyday and in everyone.