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

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What I'd Like To Do

    I'd like to see the old log houses as they were when I was a girl ... My grandmother's old orchard, where there was an old hollow stump my cousin and I used for a postoffice when she would come to Grandma's. She would leave a letter for me in the stump and I would leave one for her.
    This I would like to do ... go to my birthplace, where I grew up, and dig for a china doll I buried when I was seven or eight. Many years went by; I did not mark the spot. Mother did not approve of holes in her lawn.
    I'd like to go to my Aunt's old place and dig for a bottle that contained a message written some 40 years ago. My cousin, who was like a sister to me, and I buried two bottles to be dug up in 10 years. We only waited five. We found one under the apple tree. The other we couldn't find. We supposed a root of the elm had covered it.
    I would like to visit two graves--those of a woman and boy buried on my great-grandfather's farm. My cousin and I used to place flowers on the graves. We never knew who the people were. My mother planted two cedars on the graves.
    Also on my uncle's farm was an old house place in the woods. Nothing was left except the fireplace. We would often go there and find beautiful pieces of china. One time someone came--no one knew from where--and dug holes around the old place. My uncle investigated some trees nearby, noticing the formation of several in a row. We envisioned a pot of gold having been dug up. No one knows to this day what happened.
    There have been many experiences in my life and my grandchildren never tire of the stories I relate to them about happenings in our growing up and in our married life. They will come to me and say, "Tell us the story of the little lamb."
    I had a dear girlfriend with whom I would sometimes spend the night, and she would come "a piece way," as we would say, to an old house. We stopped to play with a little lamb, took it upstairs, and it got away and jumped out the window. We were almost afraid to look for it, but it ran off none the worse. We went by an old spring, which was in a cave, to get some pieces of a petrified trough. We heard growling and we got away from there fast, not even looking back.
    Then there is the story of Whitey, the cow. My cousin and I tied a white rag on her tail. She looked around and saw it and took off. We were two badly frightened girls until we caught up with her and removed the rag.
    Then the tramp, or hobo, story--One time there was a deep snow. My three small sons and I were sitting by the stove and in walked an old man, ragged and dirty. He was half frozen--said he had slept by a log fire that night. He wanted a cup of coffee. I said there was no water from the spring. He said, "Melt some snow." I drew some coals in the hearth of the stove and made him a cup of coffee in a frying pan.
    Meanwhile, I sent one of the sons for my father. It amuses the grandchildren when I tell them how I took the cup and saucer and the stool [upon which he sat] outside and covered them with ashes and poured boiling water over them.
    There are many other stories, but space will not allow relating them. I'll stop with this little anecdote of my little 5-year-old granddaughter. She came to me one day and asked if I'd like to know what she was going to be when she grew up.
    I said, "Yes."
    She said, "A little angel."
    "Now is the time for that," I replied, as she is a very mischievous girl and likes to tease her little brother.
    Remembering can be a wonderful way to pass many lonely hours.

Mellie Cole

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