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

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Grandmother's Singing

    This is a most beautiful day! Warm days and cool, crisp nights bring typical October weather.
    It will soon be Halloween, and next comes Thanksgiving. So many interesting events happen in the fall.
    And the forests will soon be at their lovely best. The leaves turn to many different colors. We should take time to enjoy these beautiful sights. I'm sure one's spirits would be uplifted and the cares of this life would seem much lighter.
    Time is swiftly passing. I am reminded of the old song I'd hear my grandmother sing, "We are going down the valley one by one, with our faces toward the setting of the sun."
    She had a beautiful voice and she would always sing at her work, or perhaps whistle. She seemed to be happy although she worked hard. Life on the farm was work all the year around. She had no conveniences like we have today. Farms then did not have gas or electricity. Laundry was done on the old washboard. She had to carry her milk and butter to a cellar to keep it cool.
    Grandmother had a large fireplace. The menfolks would get their winter's supply of wood in the fall. Winters in those times seemed colder than they do nowadays. Grandmother said they would try to keep a fire going all winter as matches were scarce. If the fire happened to go out, she would go to the neighbor's for a chunk of fire.
    There was a saying, if one went to a neighbors and had to hurry home. The neighbor would ask, "What did you come for? A coal of fire?" I'm sure some of you have heard that expression.
    It was an interesting time to be at grandmother's house. She had so much to tell us of her past life.
    Precious memories, how they linger! As we grow older, I think we only recall the good things of life of the yesteryears. It seems, though, that we don't hear much singing or whistling around a home any more--only TV, the stereo and the radio.
    Like the poet, I sometimes say, "Backward turn backward, oh time in your flight. Make me a child again, just for tonight."

Mellie Smith
October 24, 1969

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