Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2001, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Old Fashioned Gardens

    On reading the poem "When Dreams Are Best" by R. W. Davie, I was prompted to write. The first line, "Down on the farm, I hear them buzz, those bumblebees of old --" reminded me of my youth. We used to catch bumblebees in hollyhock blooms, tie a string around the bloom, and listen to the bumblebee's buzz. We sometimes got stung, but learned to use caution.
    Those happy days that were still are and dreams are often best. We always had an abundance of hollyhocks. We children often would get the blooms and put a small stick through them and make lovely ladies with many ruffled dresses. We also would make parasols of some of the blooms.
    Mother grew many old fashioned flowers--such as touch-me-nots and four o'clocks (we called them pretty-by-nights). To this day the fragrance of them takes me back many, many years.
    We were happy down on the farm. While I enjoy our modern conveniences, I wouldn't want to go back to the coaloil lamps and wood cook stoves. I believe everybody was happier then than now, most folks were content with what they had. There were no wars and most farmers grew a large part of what they ate. There were no cars and our social activities were in our own communities.
    Everybody went to Sunday School and church on Sundays and looked forward to big camp meetings in the summer. Large crowds attended and people believed in shouting and praising the Lord.
    Farmers were blessed with plentous harvests. I can only remember one drought year and that was at the turn of the century. The Lord says in His word, "If my people will turn back to me, I will water their land."
    Going back to the subject of hollyhocks ... I have many different colors of them. They were pretty this year.
    There still are hollyhocks at my mother's old farmstead. I live close by the old home. When I go past, many happy memories come to my mind. I am always interested in old houses and old cemeteries. I am also a collector of odd shaped rocks. Some I have painted with pictures of animals and their faces smile or frown. Some have pictures of flowers.
    Life can be, and is, very interesting if we only apply what it takes.

Mellie Cole
July 20, 1954

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