My grandmother was just about my most favorite person in the world. She taught me all about birds and animals and their habits. During the cold winters, she would pick out a good sized log (about 10-12 inches long) and had my grandfather bore holes in it so that she could stuff peanut butter mixed with bird seeds into the holes. Then she would hang it outside so that the birds could perch on the log and eat. The fat from the peanut butter kept them well-fed during the winter.
In the spring, she would show me where the birds liked to nest. She knew the names of all the birds and she taught me how to watch them build their nests in the spring and summer. When their babies were hatched, she showed me how the bird moms fed them just about around the clock until they were old enough to fly away and take care of themselves.
She never told me that I couldn’t climb trees; she just asked me to be careful. During the hot summer months, my grandfather would take the little wooden canoe out of the barn for me, so that I could paddle around on Mirror Lake across the road. It was fun to see the wildlife and the fish in the lake, and I learned to paddle quietly when I saw ducks and geese on the water.
Often my grandmother and I would walk back behind the house and into the meadow. There she taught me how to open milkweed pods to let out the silky white fluff along with their tiny brown seeds. Those little seeds would eventually fly away with the silk to land somewhere else to grow into more milkweed.
My grandmother also taught me how to sew. She sat me in front of her sewing machine, and talked me through how to work it. Eventually, I started making my own clothes, which turned out to be a lot of fun.
To this day, I think of both of my grandparents and all the things that they taught me. Now that I too am a grandmother to our two amazing girls, I try to live up to be the kind of grandmother that mine was.
I hope that I am that kind of grandmother.