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Not another make-you-cry column, hopefully

I had a very sappy and kinda sad column ready to fly onto the page this week, but something nagged at me.

I read and re-read it trying to edit my way to satisfaction. Eventually I came to the conclusion that while what I said is “important” (just go along with me here!), I had a gut instinct that things needed to be lightened up around here. So, here’s my attempt at makin’ things lighter for you — hopefully making you smile (if only for just a little bit)!

Last night at 8:45 p.m. I wasn’t hungry. So, what to do when there’s nothing to do and you’re not necessarily hungry? Eat, of course.

So I proceeded to scour the fridge/freezer hoping to find that right snack to quench the hunger I didn’t really have. When I opened up the freezer, I found spaghetti sauce. Not just any sauce. (A sauce that has a multiple page recipe cannot be described as any old sauce.) It was my late Grandpa Don’s.

Mom has recently perfected the ever-evolving dish and made a batch. Part of my birthday present was individual frozen servings of my beloved Grandpa’s sauce.

So I made all the necessary components needed to eat the spaghetti dish and sat down to enjoy.

Well, this dish evokes a million memories of my Grandpa Don and Grandma Rosie. Both have died, but both live vividly in my memories. Christmas can’t come without warm thoughts of this dynamic duo.

One Christmas, my over-the-top, larger-than-life Grandpa purchased a tree too large for the house. So what to do? Well, open the grate to the upstairs and then you’ve got a tree downstairs and another upstairs at the same time! Two for the price of one!

Or the old fridge that contained every version of every condiment from every decade. All resting near a small hole where Grandpa instructed us grandkids to kick ice cubes when we dropped them!

Bullet holes up Grandma’s living room seat and on the wall around her chair where Grandpa tried to kill a squirrel. (Many uninvited animals inhabited in my Grandparents’ home. See a relative if you’re interested in hearing one of these shake-your-head stories.)

Booming laughter and lots of love.

After my Grandpa died, the family had to sort out his many hobbies. Grandma, who wasn’t all that well herself, could be seen dragging a wagon full of stuff to and from the little house (which was used for storage).

A worker.

Memories of when my mom had me go water this plant someone gave my Grandma toward the end of her life. (Grandma had a self-diagnosed “black thumb.”)

As I was filling up the water jug, Grandma hollered from her chair, “I don’t know why your mom just won’t let that thing die!”

Or when she was battling the ants. I visited during one of those wars and Grandma told me frankly, “I don’t know who’s going to die first — them (the ants) or me!”

Incredible sense of humor. Happy hearts. Joyful memories.

I feel these memories may be “you had to be there” kind of stories in print. I hope I’m wrong.

I hope you see that the deep, unrockable way my grandparents loved me and the family has left lasting footprints on my heart. I won’t ever be able to shake Grandpa’s booming laugh from my ears or Grandma’s warm hug from my arms.

I won’t be able to go through a Christmas without thinking about that tree. The cousins. My aunts and uncles. And my Dunkle Bug. Bubble bread.

And I don’t want to.

Spaghetti will never be just spaghetti to me.

As seen in the Lawrence County Record

Categories: Life on the farm

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My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

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