Grandma Abby

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Grandma Abby stood in her doorway staring out at the distant fields. She seemed be calmly pondering. She was a petite lady all wrinkled and withered yet strong. She didn’t look as tired and frail as most women her age. Her face was tan and leathery from working in the garden. Her skin was as wrinkled as an elephant’s. Although she had especially deep creased crow’s feet around her deep blue eyes they still seemed to twinkle. They were filled with love, kindness and wisdom. Resting towards the end of her narrow nose was a pair of black wing tip glasses which she ordinarily only used for reading. One of her tan freckled arms stretched out and a callused hand rested on the porch rail; the other was grasping a gardening hoe. She griped it between her thumb and index finger with the sharp metal side pointing to the sky. With a single glance one could guess she was a very hard working lady just by the looks of her well worn work attire. This consisted of a brown bonnet, floral house dress and work boots. The floppy bonnet, which at one time may have been a rich chocolate color, was now a light faded brown. It rested casually upon her short wispy silver hair. The dress she was wearing was the one she wore practically every other day, or at least looked like it. Grandma called it her work dress and she had about five of them that were all the same style but different colors. This one was already slightly grubby from the morning chores. On any given day she would do anything from baking bread or running around with us grandkids, to feeding the chickens in it. About the only time I’d ever seen her in anything else was on Sunday mornings at church. It was just a simple strait knee length button up dress with a collar. It had short sleeves which she always had rolled up. The print on this one was brightly colored and randomly scattered with red, blue and orange flowers. The hem was starting to unravel and a couple strings were hanging from it. Grandma’s boots were an old hand-me-down pair of grandpa’s. They were brown leather and well broken in. The rubber soles were slightly cracked but they still didn’t have any holes.

I kneeled in the garden, across the yard, for a while watching her, remaining completely quiet and still so I wouldn’t disturb her. I would love to know what she was thinking about. I’m sure a hundred things are running through her mind every minute. She is one of the busiest ladies I know. Even when it looks like everything is taken care of she always makes something up that needs to be done. She just stood there peacefully for a moment taking in the day and her surroundings, deep in thought. Then eventually she came back to reality, picked up her hoe and trudged across the lawn to meet me. I decided not to ask her about it. I just welcomed her when she arrived and we both began to dig into the soil and scatter the seeds.





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