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

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Special Memories

    Our flaming fall revue in these parts was not as pretty as in former years. However, the hard maples had pretty foliage.
    The fall flowers were also beautiful, especially the chrysanthemums. The fragrance of them took me back to my "yesterdays."
    Flowers have a special meaning for me. Each one recalls some event in my younger days. I love hollyhocks as my grandmother's yard was full of them. She did not "go by the book" on landscaping. Perhaps she didn't even know there was such a thing. Nevertheless, her flowers were beautiful ... all the old-fashioned kinds.
    Four o'clocks always remind me of my mother, who called them pretty-by-nights. I remember her wearing them in her hair to church, and their fragrance was like perfume.
    Roses have a special place in my life, too. Grandma had the old-fashioned kinds, the cabbage rose, velvet rose, and a single yellow rose that was so very thorny. My neighbor has a rose bush which came from the old place.
    Lilacs, too, have memories. I have a lilac bush planted some 40 years ago. New growth each year has kept it alive.
    My mother grew zinnias, nasturtiums, marigolds and mignonette. It's been a long time since I saw mignonette growing.
    Along with the flowers, I remember the trees. On the old home place is a pear tree, the only one left of an orchard my parents planted some 50 years ago. It is still bearing fruit.
    The old trees in the yard of my old home are landmarks. There are oak, maple, walnut and a sweet gum, all planted by my father. I go past my grandma's old home and my old home place, and there is a wistful yearning for a return to a past period in my life. I had a happy childhood and I am thankful for the heritage and the traits of character given me by my parents.
    Being thankful reminds us that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Abraham Lincoln said in his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation, in part: "The year that has grown toward its close has been filled with the blessing of fruitful fields and healthful skies. They are the gracious gifts of God."
    How many of us really stop and count our blessings? The beauty of God's creation to enjoy, the food we have for our physical needs, the privilege of attending church without being molested? The pilgrim fathers took their guns along to church for protection from the Indians. And we should be thankful for our freedom. And the Bible, which in reading, is food for our soul.
    Let us give thanks on this Thanksgiving day, and every day, thanking God for our wonderful blessings, especially autumn, a beautiful time of year. As William Cullen Bryant so aptly said: "It is indeed the year's last loveliest smile."

Mellie Smith
November 1968

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