Andrew Harmon


 

 

Grandmothers

By Kind Essence, M.Ed., Certified Yoga Instructor, Spiritual Intuitive Healer

It was a Memorial Day holiday in 1991 and I was in the mood for some biscuits. Boy did it take it back to some childhood memories, that kind I don’t mind remembering. Everyone who was blessed had two grandmothers, but honey, God really shined Her light down on me, because I was blessed with three grandmothers. If you want to define the term “grandmother’ than you can check it with Webster, but if you use the definition, which comes from feelings, well I’ll just have to say that I had three grandmothers.

You see I adopted one while I was a small girl. In fact you could say I borrowed one from my very best girl friend named, Alice Hightower. Now, Alice lived, very conveniently, across the driveway from me and if I wasn’t home I was at Alice’s house. Why? Mostly it was due to Alice’s’ grandmother. I never knew her real name; I simply called her, “Grandmother Hightower.”

She had the strangest magnetic attraction for me. I simply sat in her kitchen, claiming to be waiting for Alice, but secretly I’d be there to watch her. Alice’s people said they came from the South, and because my family were Northerners, to me that seem like some mystical place which claimed some high order of power.

Where my grandmother appeared to be cushioned and refined, Grandmother Hightower appeared to be rough and rugged. Her statue loomed over me as a child, almost to the point of being frightening. Her feet were large, flat, dark and very sand papery, definitely not manicured! I could imagine them treading many miles in the trenches of plantation fields of cotton or tobacco. More than likely it was tobacco, because she was always gumming on that stuff around the house. She said she liked the taste of it, as she spit out the juices in the back yard. Yuck, was my response.

Her legs and arms were stout! Thick! Couldn’t imagine her doing any kind of aerobics, except the kind field hands know as, “tote that barge, lift that bail, if you get a little drunk, well, you know the rest.

A leather mask is what she wore, frozen in position never changing with time. Lips and nose were non-descript to me. That hair, what little she had, always seemed to be uncombed, so contrasting to mine, long and heat processed; hers was tight, curly and bob wiry prickled.
Coal black eyes, encircled with gray mass, were embedded in their sockets; eyes which seemed to know many secrets, yet untold, gleamed from her face. Cold eyes which always seem to comfort me, kept me coming back for frequent visits.

But mostly I remember her hands, always busy, always reprimanding, yet always soothing. I remember her always in the kitchen, when her hands seem to be their happiest-washing dishes, washing down the floor or stirring up some enticing brew in one of her huge kettles; or kneading out that dough. That was an everyday ritual for Grandmother Hightower. She made scratch biscuits early every morning, easy enough for me to get some before I went to school, while I waited for Alice.

She handled that dough like a potter works clay, tossing, shaping, and mixing, all with a lot of love. I’d sit there very patient, never had to say a word. She knew what I was there for, my eyes said it all. Oh please, may I, may I!

Soon the biscuits would go into the oven. Soon I knew joy would come. Privately I prayed that Alice would be taking her good old sweet time, as usual, because it wouldn’t be long before those biscuits would start smelling up the kitchen and start my mouth watering and Bingo!

Grandmother Hightower would march right up to that stove, why she didn’t even need a potholder; her strong hands could pull that tray out without feeling the heat or getting burned. That’s when I knew she and that stove had a special relationship. They honored and respected each other. Her love and fixings, along with that stove’s right temperature produced some of the finest, golden, brown biscuits this side of heaven.

Then Grandmother Hightower would yell out, “Karen, whicha sittin over dar watin for? You betta come over here child and git you self some of dese biscuits, for they git cold!” She didn’t have to ask me twice. I grabbed me a plate, picked out the plumpest, brownest ones I saw, packed them with butter, then she’d come over and pour the sweetest tasting honey all over them. My hands and mouth would be so sticky, as I crammed every crumb into my eatery. Then she made me wash-up, so I wouldn’t be dirty going to school, cause she knew my mother would fuss.

I don’t know if Alice ever loved or appreciated her grandmotherthe way I did. I could only hope she never let a day go by without acknowledging that love. As far as I was concerned, Grandmother Hightower stayed in my thoughts long after the first school bell ring and classes began. Sometimes, at lunchtime, I would produce more smiles. You know why? Cause Grandmother Hightower would surprise me and I would discover another one of her sweet, biscuits in my brown paper lunch bag.
 


Kind Essence offers yoga classes, workshops and retreats. Contact her at 856-297-7070 or cateyes7777@hotmail.com for information regarding classes in her Wynnefield Studio.
 



 

 

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