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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)

TITLE: Meeting Grandma for a Christ Mass Feast
By Clyde Blakely


All six of us grandkids loved to go to Grandma’s for Christmas. When we walked through the front door and were embraced the aromas and hugs we knew we were in for a real special time. She made the best cookies, baked a variety of pies, together with turkey and ham, stuffing, mash potatoes and gravy, potato salad, hot apple cider, homemade breads, and sweet potatoes with pecans topped off with melted marshmallows. After eating, we played out in the snow knowing hot chocolate there would be waiting for us! Mmm, mmm, mmm. The food overstuffed our stomachs but most importantly, we were at Grandma’s and would be filled with love also.

They lived in Gateway, a small quiet village of less than a hundred people nestled in an equally small valley in the center of Oregon. The big excitement most days was to sit in rocking chairs on the back porch with Granddad and count the number of railroad cars on the lumbering trains as they started the steep climb out of the valley.

I don’t know how long they’d lived there but it was before electricity and indoor plumbing and my memory. As a child I assumed they had always lived there. Most of their foods were either home canned or stored in the root cellar built beside the house; just a large hole covered with timbers and soil. We were never allowed even to open the small cellar door “because black widow spiders lived there”. Why weren’t black widow spiders in the outhouse too? That question vanished whenever we had to use outhouse and try not to breathe at the same time. We really enjoyed the new bathroom when they finally had indoor plumbing. It was build under a winding staircase which led to a bedroom not tall enough to stand upright in. The bathroom was so small the only place Grandma had to mount a full length mirror was on the back of the door. When closed you could watch yourself go to the bathroom. Hilarious for grade school kids! Giggling echoed though the door which generally irritated, yet probably amused, the adults.

Grandma lived there until Granddad passed away from a “bad heart” at 62 years of age. He didn’t really have a bad heart, it was gold. We loved him and he loved life and all people. He preached in the little church there. I remember his red face as he gave his fiery sermons. He didn’t want to see anyone go to hell.

Grandma outlived Granddad by 25 years, another husband, and all her children. My cousin Wally met Grandma, too, when she finally got to heaven. Grandma will be there to embrace me, my wife, our kids, and grandkids when we, too, go through that heavenly door to sit together as a family again at the great feast prepared for us in perfect love by the Lord and Savior. I can still smell so clearly the aromas of Grandma’s Christmas dinners but they will pale in comparison to what awaits us there! Oh, what a feast that will be! Mmm, mmm, mmm!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 10/26/08
Oh wow… I shouldn't read this on an empty stomach. :) I love the thought that your Granddad "didn't really have a bad heart, it was gold" … what a precious statement. Your ending with future promise is a wonderful thought.
Joshua Janoski10/28/08
A lot of these stories this week are about wonderful grandparents who left wonderful memories for their grandchildren, and this story is no exception. A wonderful re-telling of memories. I appreciate you sharing this. I enjoyed reading it. :)
Angela M. Baker-Bridge10/29/08
I also favored the line about grandpa's heart. Wonderful memories, yours for the keeping and sharing!