On My Grandparents’ Farm

My grandparents

My grandparents

On my grandparents’ farm in the little village of Gnadenthal I learned to….

carefully take a warm egg out from under a chicken’s body

grandma playing guitarsing German Christmas carols while Grandma played the guitar

put the food left over on people’s plates after dinner into the slop pail for the pigs

gently comb my Grandma’s waist length hair

make cold coffee to take out to my Grandpa in the field when he was combining

pick strawberries and raspberries on the hottest summer day without complaining

cousins at Christmasplay cooperatively  with my thirteen cousins

wait patiently for the adults to finish eating and it was the kids’ turn at the table

shoot a gopher

sit very still in the cab when they jacked the truck up high in the grain elevator to empty out the wheat

beautifully embroider tea towels

use a page from the catalogue as toilet paper in the outhouse

grandpa and me heading out to milkmilk a cow

pick peas from my Grandma’s garden and split open the pods with my fingernail

roll the dough for the little buns that fit on top of the zwieback

grandpa and melisten attentively to the stories about my grandparents’ life in Russia 

pedal my Grandma’s treadle sewing machine

look for the Easter baskets my Grandpa hid in the hayloft

eat halva and summer borscht and vereneki and sour pickles

pluck the feathers off a dead chicken

play hide and seek in the dark pantry

drive a tractor

walk barefoot down the dusty path to the village store to buy a treat

nod politely when Grandpa told me a hundred times how important it was to get a good education

My grandparents with their children and grandchildren some forty years ago.

My grandparents with their children and grandchildren some forty years ago.

say the table grace Segne Vater

quickly fall back to sleep after waking up every hour during the night when the clock chimed

take only a tiny sip of the Christmas wine

hum along with the songs the wind sang when it blew through the Russian olive trees that grew all around my grandparents’ farmyard

be very quiet while my grandma listened to funeral announcements on radio station CFAM

peters cousins dress up
invent endless games of make-believe with my cousins

know everyone was welcome in my grandparents’ home

understand nothing is more important than loyalty to God and family.

Off to my grandparents in Gnadenthal for a few days

Off to my grandparents in Gnadenthal for a visit

realize I was a person worthy of having someone love me without reservation

Other posts about my grandparents……..

My Grandfather

Whenever I Hear a Clock Chiming

Grandma and Embroidery Hoops

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