It’s funny how, as a kid, you assume that everyone has grandmas like you, and that one day you’ll become a grandma just like your own. Like somehow, magically, as you age you will take up canning, and knitting…but not the smoking. Until one day you’re sitting and remembering those delicious canned pears and canned cherries grandma used to make every year, that always sat in the pantry at home, and you realize it’s been 30 years since you had any of those delicious canned pears. And you don’t know how to can. Or knit. (Or smoke, thankfully.)
Thirty years, and yet I can still taste the sweetness, the rugged texture, that hint of cinnamon and cloves perhaps, in those canned pears, remember how the half-pear would slip around in the bowl, as I tried to cut it with my spoon into bite-size chunks.
And there’s a moment of intense longing for, overwhelming feeling of missing of grandma.
So, what is it today that I am taking for granted? What should I be paying special attention to, what skills are slipping out of family memory, what recipes? It’s amazing how fast, really, these things can be forgotten. My grandfather was raised a farmer, as were the innumberable generations before him, yet I don’t know the first thing about farming. Grandma was an amazing knitter, just sat and did it almost without thinking it seemed. I tried teaching myself once and managed a lopsided (although now much-loved) blanket, but that’s as far as it went. So much knowledge, so many memories and skills lost to the family, things we took for granted.
Just some things to think about, and perhaps help us appreciate more that which we take for granted today.