Here’s what I remember:
Playing ring around the rosey in the side yard where the sweet william bloomed. Games of button, button, who’s got the button, hide and seek, crazy eights and old maid. Cutting roses, flags (irises), mountain laurel and peonies from the front yard. Making popcorn and grilled cheese sandwiches in the same skillet on a gas stove. The tick, tick, tick of the gas stove lighting and then the sulphur smell of matches. Dirty socks from running around shoeless in a house with a coal-burning stove. A TV tray at the front door with Halloween candy laid out, waiting for trick-or-treaters.
And Sunday dinners (usually ham) and playing in the creek and “bless your heart” when I was sad and a jewelry box that unfolded when you lifted the lid and head scarves and white sweaters . . .
But most of all, I remember, “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.” Followed by the most wonderful, I-love-you-forever Grandma hugs.
And even though she’s gone, I know she does love me forever. And I love her, too. A bushel and a peck that run clear to heaven and back again.
Burla Fitzgerald Loudin
February 4, 1915 – May 5, 2012