"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." Psalm 71:18
As Thanksgiving approaches, I can't help but thank God for my Grandma and Grandpa Miller. I realize that my life is blessed and enriched by having them in my life...and for such a long time, too.
Growing up with the farm as a second home was awesome. I might not have thought that all the time then, but now looking back I wouldn't change a thing. Grandpa always let us help with the chores and gather the eggs. My first experience driving was in his truck out by the pond while he was in the back picking up hay bales...or at least trying to as I jerked him around. Many a summer day was spent in the fields watching Grandpa and Uncle Mike work...and helping drive the tractor occasionally. A smile comes easily thinking on these times. Grandpa was always ready for an afternoon of fishing, too, if the day's work allowed. He'd take us to creeks in the area or we'd just go out by the pond. Many a great fish were caught on cane poles right off it's bank. Beside the pond stood my favorite tree on the farm...a weeping willow. I probably caught that tree as much as I did fish. The tree is no longer standing, but the memories are held close in my heart. Grandpa taught me how to climb up ladders and over fences...how maneuver a wheelbarrow and a pitchfork...how not to walk right behind the cows so I'd be safe...how to feed baby calves from huge bottles that were so slippery that I had to hold on with both hands so I wouldn't drop them while the calves drank...how to appreciate the variety of smells that go along with farming - the good and the bad. :) Most of all Grandpa taught me, and still does today, how to treat all people the same, leaving judgment aside...that Bible study is important every day of the week...and to take things in stride. He is a wonderful man and I love him!
When not outside with Grandpa, Grandma always had things going on in the kitchen or garden with which she welcomed help. One of the things that I remember from when I was little was that Grandma always went out and swept the sidewalk every morning (except Sundays). I never understood that, but faithfully that sidewalk was swept whether it needed it or not. :) Grandma is a great cook and I learned to love to do it myself while watching her and Mom work together in the kitchen. Nothing tastes as good as something made in Grandma's kitchen. (I talked about alot of this in my blog "the kitchen table"). Grandma taught me so many things about being a good housekeeper...I wish I had her tenacity to do it better. One of my favorite things that she would help us make was homemade peanut brittle...with peanuts grown in her very own garden sometimes. Grandma was good at writing letters to others and keeping in touch no matter how many miles separated them. I loved as a child looking at all her stationary and stamps in the secretary. Grandma is a great quilter, too. Many years later, I started to quilt, but it will take a lifetime to be as good as she is. I have some very precious gifts from her that she quilted. How she had time to do everything she did in a day I don't know. It's probably because she had no tv and no computer to distract her. Maybe I should take a lesson there and spend less time being distracted by technology, too. Oh, what I could accomplish! Grandma's greatest lessons to me are those that include being productive, effective and gracious in all areas of life. I love you, Grandma!
The picture above is of the farm that I love on Thanksgiving evening 2006. Thank God for Grandparents and the heritage they represent.