was always at the front of the house except when they lived in the house
with three stories. Her bedroom was on the second floor then. Didn't
matter that no one ever saw her bedroom; it was always neat and tidy. The
shiny dark floor made the white quilt on her bed most attractive. I used
to love to slip up the side stair to the room to wander about quietly
while taking in the effect the room had on my mind. Somehow it gave me a
cared for feeling. It was like Grandmother had made the bed so perfectly,
polished the floor carefully and straightened the matching white curtains
all for me. I only touched the quilt as I crept around the bed being
careful not to leave any roughed up places on the bed. Grandmother was
very strict about making sure no one rumpled the bed after she had made it
up. No matter that someone might want to feel the softness of it, Gramma
with a glance could make a point and that was, “stay off this bed.”
When the big old three-storied house got
to be too much for Gramma to clean they moved to a smaller house and it
was here she had her bedroom directly behind the wide, front porch
window. The long wind chimes kept a merry, minor note as they swung back
and forth while the constant prairie winds kept them in motion. This time
the black, tall bedposts were even more visible against the white and
black wedding ring pattern of her quilt.
“Come on, Missy! Time you learned to make
a bed.” Gramma didn't care that a child's small hands could barely tuck
in corners and smooth the top of a bed. She demanded you work in whatever
way it could be done.
“Gramma, why do you like this old
feather mattress? It is so hard to smooth it. One little tip of my finger
makes a dent in it.” I didn't mind questioning my aging grandmother.
“Don't you worry with that, now.”
Gramma always had short instructions and she definitely expected
obedience, especially on this one matter.
Gramma died with I was only nine years
old but I never forgot her love for quilts and for making quilts. There
was an understanding of love on the bed that was covered with a quilt.
Even a child could feel the strength of it. So today when my life is
divided by numerous chores I still take the time to, at least, keep baby
quilts made up for gifts. I've found there is nothing as appreciated as a
hand-made quilt and in turn there is no joy any greater than giving that
still hear the soft sounds of the wind chimes out side Gramma's window,
the black and white wedding ring quilt on her dark, postered bed and with
that memory I have peace. These were the quiet times with her while she
taught me to use a needle by hemming tea towels, or to crochet string she
had saved from packages wrapped with the bright colored ties. I'm a little
disappointed my own grandchildren are busy at the computer, playing
soccer or basketball, or visiting on the phone with their friends to be
interested in such dull activities as I knew with my grandmother.
“Ouch,” I exclaim as I bring the blood to
my finger from my needle and I'm again reminded of Gramma's words.
“Remember, always keep a thimble handy!”
For years I was so angry with her for leaving me I wouldn't use one but
I'm more at an accepting time of my life when I'm close to her age and it
doesn't seem like such a bad thing now. I understand now, she had no say
in the matter.