The Shade Garden and the Snake: I SOOO love your stories.....

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The Shade Garden and the Snake

By Sharon
July 5, 2012

During most winters my grandmother visited her two daughters in cities far from the mountains where I was growing up. As soon as spring arrived, she came home again to garden.

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Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
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imapigeon
Jul 4, 2012 6:06 PM CST
Somehow, even though she was a city woman with a city garden, I often picture my grandma when I read stories about your Ninna. Grandma wouldn't have bothered to clean the oven, though---she'd have just wrapped up the snake in the foil and put down a new piece....she loved to garden and cook, but housekeeping was not her strong point!
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 4, 2012 6:17 PM CST
Janet!!! So great to see you.
And I'm so glad you have good Grandma memories too, they make great comfort zones for us to turn to whenever we need them.

But snakes, not so much. A funny moment in time, but not at the time.
Thanks so much, I'm glad you're here and reading. Smiling
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Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
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CDsSister
Jul 4, 2012 7:36 PM CST
You do conjure up memories, Sharon. My memories are of my granny, a wizened little ole country woman, with thin hair pulled into a tiny bun on top of her head.

She would go out to hoe the garden by first removing her shoes and hose and go out barefoot. She wore a sunbonnet and worked up a sweat.

She would return to the porch, having washed off her feet in the spigot in the yard, put her hose on, tying them in knot just below her knee. And then put her shoes on and asked for a class of tea (sweet of course.) She would pull the hem of her dress up almost to her knees to let the air circulate. If she wasn't too tired she would let us comb and brush her thin little head of hair, as she rocked and recovered.

Precious memories!!!!

Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 4, 2012 8:08 PM CST
The best kind of memories, Marilyn. Glad I brought them to the front of your mind.

I still have one of Ninna's sunbonnets, and I have the little pink one that she made for me. The brims of both of them were starched to within an inch of their lives, so stiff mine scratched my forehead. Very neat bonnets, though.

Thanks for reading, it's always nice to hear from you.
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Jul 5, 2012 2:20 AM CST
Oh good grief - what a cliff hanger on the snake which I love about as much as you do Sharon Crying

What a neat and wonderful story and thank you for the list of veggies she planted in dappled shade. Very helpful and useful for me.

Thank you Sharon.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Jul 5, 2012 5:13 AM CST
Your stories always leave me - quiet....thinking.....
Thanks for another great read! Smiling
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 5, 2012 8:57 AM CST
Hey Vic,
It was the shade garden that was important in this story. Somehow it played second fiddle to the snake. Glad you picked up on it. Thanks!

Hetty, seems my stories leave most people laughing, but the truth is - that was a very quiet moment in time. Sometimes the stories trigger a memory in people and it's their own memory that creates their reaction. Most people say leave the past behind, but my past is so much a part of my present, it's difficult to do.

I hope you have good memories, too.

Thanks Ladies!
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Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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rocklady
Jul 5, 2012 10:02 AM CST
Dear Sharon,

I do enjoy your stories so much as they remind me of my dear Grandmother. She and Grandpa lived jus a few doors down from us until the beginning of World War II. They then moved about 10 miles away to my uncle's farm. Being a "city kid" nothing gave me more pleasure than being able to ride on the school bus to visit the farm. Each day, it seemed, as I walked down the road leading to the house, I encountered a black snake stretched across the road, which caused me to finish my journey at high speed in order to get away from it.

Still now, I wonder if she somehow "planted" the snake in my path to get me to the house so she wouldn't worry about me. I have always been one to stop along the way to investigate plants, etc.otherwise known as dawdling.

After Grandpa died, Grandma came to live with us, which suited me fine. She told me stories of her girlhood and other family stories. She taught me to knit, embroider and crochet. Unfortunately her efforts failed at tatting, but after her death, I did learn that, too, partly because I could hear her say, "You're not stupid, so I know you can learn this."

Summertime was always a wonderful time for me and I eagerly awaited the end of the school year, because then she and I would visit relatives -- lots of cousins, aunts and uncles. What a wonderful time we had! I still have the tiny little suitcase that Mother packed for me. I recall eagerly awaiting the Trailways bus that would take us to some of my favorite places.

Grandma imparted words of wisdom to me that you don't find in text books, and I am so thankful to have grown up in a "kindler gentler time."

Jean

Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 5, 2012 10:14 AM CST
How great to hear from you, Jean.

Our blessings certainly do include those that came from a 'kinder gentler time', that's a fact. I'm so glad you have them too. We are the fortunate ones.

I had forgotten the trips. At that time there was a passenger train and the station was at the foot of the mountain just about a mile from our house. These days it takes about 90 minutes to drive from where I grew up to Lexington Kentucky where my aunt lived at that time. In those days, we'd board the passenger train at 6 a.m. even before daylight sometimes, and we'd arrive in Lexington by dark. Just the two of us, Ninna and I, would make the trip to see my aunt and her family. Not often, but just often enough to make it special. The train was always smoky, dusty and noisy, but I was so proud to be traveling with her. We didn't stay long, because Ninna had to get back to her garden, but it was just long enough to make the trip magic.

See, you just triggered a memory for me!
And tatting . . . I used to have her little tatting needle thing. I'll have to go on a search for it. I've probably forgotten all I ever knew, but I also remember, I think, that it could be done with fingers only. Right?? Or is that something else I've forgotten?

Thanks so much for joining me here. It's always great to hear from you.
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Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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rocklady
Jul 5, 2012 10:20 AM CST
Sharon,

For tatting, you need a shuttle. 50+ years ago, I made enough lace for our first daughter's christening dress. Recently I found my shuttle and wondered, "Do I still know how to tat?" Sure enough, after tying a few knots, I was back onto it. Just like riding a bicycle, I suppose!

Jean
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 5, 2012 10:33 AM CST
Shuttle!! That's the word I was looking for!
Yes, I have Ninna's. Somewhere.

Wow! A long time has passed since I tatted.
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Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
Region: Florida Daylilies Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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rocklady
Jul 5, 2012 10:53 AM CST
Me, too! However, I have a granddaughter who has taught herself to knit. My task now is to teach her to crochet and tat.

Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Margaret
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mcash70
Jul 5, 2012 1:19 PM CST
Another wonderful story Sharon, that once again brought back memories of my grandmother. Lovey dubby
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
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Ridesredmule
Jul 5, 2012 2:06 PM CST
You are incredible..So are the rest of your family. I love reading this one very much. I can just see that por snake baking.
Loved it!!!!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jul 5, 2012 2:50 PM CST
I do so love your stories, Sharon (for all that I tease you!). You were fortunate; I only met my grandmother once, when I was very young and she came from Oklahoma to California to visit us after our grandfather died. So the only memory I have of my grandmother is her fussing at my Mom for buttering her toast for her (my mother ALWAYS buttered all the toast as soon as it came out of the toaster). She felt my Mom thought she was too feeble to butter her own toast! I still have that toaster, although it no longer works. It was the kind you put the bread in the top and it came out the bottom. We called it a "pop-down" toaster. Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 5, 2012 4:31 PM CST
Thanks Ladies, glad you enjoyed and very glad you let me know.

But now everybody will remember the baked snake and no memory of her incredible shade garden!!
She was one innovative woman, that's for sure.

Oh yeah, woof, I'm going to remember your statement up there. Smiling
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Jul 5, 2012 5:58 PM CST
I will so not remember the snake Thumbs down and have already printed the veggie garden info Green Grin!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Jul 5, 2012 6:04 PM CST
No matter what you do that snake will linger in your mind, Vic.
Just like it has lingered in mine for the last 50 years.
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Jul 5, 2012 6:11 PM CST
Crying
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Jul 5, 2012 6:42 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

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