Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rag and Bucket

Susan, thank you for your comment yesterday. I was touched by the memories you shared, many which are mine as well. In fact, all of our histories create a quilt of the lives that make up our time, our reach into the future. I appreciate hearing from you who read the blogs. Please feel free to comment.

'Up on the House Top' came through clean and clear even with a few mishaps along the way. Set on getting it right so she could surprise me, she continued to work at it. "Are you listening, Grammy?" Yes, I was listening, "You aren't counting." I meet with a bit of resistance as I count it with her. One more time the conversation repeats. I go to the piano and repeat what I hear her play with an eighth note where a quarter note should be. Her melody plays back to her as she counts the beats. "Oh." We made headway.

Sometimes I think my parents taught the older daughters things that they forgot to teach youngest. When handed a task, I prayed that I could figure out how to do it the correct way with no instruction.

Once I was told to mop my granddad's kitchen. Never in my life had I held a mop or a rag against and unsuspecting floor. I got down on my hands and knees with water and cloth. Every inch of floor was wiped with the same rag and using the same bucket of water. When finished, I walked home. Later in the day Granddad came through the door raging about the evidently brainless child who could not even mop a floor. He was angry, Mom was angry and I was terribly embarrassed. Recipe for discouragement.

Sydney is picking up piano on her own with little instruction. I try to guide and not lead. I want her to be prepared but to find her own successes. Gabby, two years younger, is courageously stretching her small fingers and her mind as she sits before the keys. She lights up when I show her something new and thrills when she conquers a tune.

Perhaps the mop and bucket gave me determination that I might not have had otherwise. I am self-trained on the computer. I started off terrified of this contraption, but by overcoming my fears, I figured out how to design newsletters, create a presentation on Power Point, construct a spreadsheet on Excel and with Publisher, I could create flyers, marketing material and just about anything I set my mind to. Once a file clerk, I worked my way up the ladder to a public relations position. I learned not to fear challenge and to say, "I can do it. Bring it on."

Sydney asked if I would help her write a book. I shot ideas at her. She took notes. I made suggestions and she expands them with her own ideas.

We are 'door openers'. Knowledge is ours to impart, not to control. Courage comes from success. Failures turned into lessons instead of discouragement.

I filled my bucket over the years with determination, creativity and observation. I do not want to give my grandchildren the answers. I want to create the atmosphere that will make them ask the questions.

We sit at the piano, these girls and I. Small fingers capture new notes and sweet melodies ring out at the count of each measure. A bench holds two playing a duet. The old and the young. For them, we build a new place for a new song.


  1. I remember the time my mom asked me to put some potatoes on to boil for mashed potatoes. She was amazed that I didn't know to cut them up but put them into the water whole. There are so many times that people think that you should know something that you really don't know. Like you, I have become quite experienced at teaching myself!

    I am enjoying your blog immensely and would love it if you would visit me on From time to time I blog about other "granny bloggers." I'd love to include you on my next list.

  2. I will visit you, Susan. Would be honored to be on your list. Thank you.