I was fortunate in my life to have my great-grandmother throughout my childhood. She died when I was about 20 years old shortly before I found out I was pregnant with my first child.
She was a very religious woman, but from what I heard from other family members, this was not the case when she was young. The impression I had was that she was a wild child.
I spent at least a couple weeks every summer out on her farm in Wilderville. She and my great-grandfather had a huge garden and what was too small to be a barn, for a variety of animals. These ranged from chickens to goats, to cows. In the field where the pasture was, thousands upon thousands of daffodils would always bloom just in time for Easter. The tradition of picking daffodils at Easter is one of my fondest memories.
She would take me into the pasture with her when she would feed the smaller livestock. When I was about five years old, they had a goat named Rosie. Grandma picked me up and put me on her back for a ride, and all the goat would do was walk backward.
We would take a walk in the evenings, and when I got older, she would tell me how when I was five I got tired and told her I was full and when she asked me what I was full of I told her that I was full of walking.
We would always go out and collect eggs from her chicken coop, which we would place in a cold house, this building was well insulated and had little to no light unless the door was open. She had a table on one side and shelves around the building on the other side and back wall. She would keep the eggs and some vegetables from the garden, as well as homemade canned goods.
The house was not large, but I always thought it was terrific. When I was little, she would bathe in the kitchen sink, and as I grew it would be the sink in the utility room until I was old enough to use the shower.
Spending time with her was very special; she would take me on trips so she would have someone with her. Generally, we would go to Portland to visit my Great Aunt Birdie, where I remember watching old Haley Mills Disney movies like “In Search of the Castaways” and “Summer Magic.” These are still 2 of my favorite movies.
Another time, we drove to La Pine to visit her other sister, my Great Aunt Frances; and another we drove to Salem to stay with a cousin and her family. I can’t remember their names, but I remember horses, the Enchanted Forest, and hurting my finger going down a slide.
She would pick me up from school once a week and she would take me to get Frozen Yogurt because that was better for me than ice cream.
I have so many good memories of my great-grandmother, and I was fortunate to have her in my life for as long as I did.