Thinking Of You

My Great-Grandmother did not turn grey in her old age, she went white instead. The photos of her in younger years are tinted sepia to the point where I’m not sure what colour her hair once was. I think it might have been the same brown as mine, but that’s just a guess. I’m sure my mother would remember if I asked her.

In my memories her hair is the same colour as icing sugar. The sort we sieved over golden mince pies straight from the oven in the kitchen, bronze mincemeat bubbling through the cracks. Though we only made them at Christmas in my head the sun is beating through the windows and the tress are heavy and green. Beneath my tiny feet the orange seat of the dining room chair creaks with each movement I make and there is flour beneath my finger-nails, packed tight beneath the tiny half moons. I know it is my job to decorate the pie crust before it goes in for baking. These stubby fingers will mash pastry rolls into smiles too thick to cook all the way through. When they break open after dinner, the dough is still white.

Spring brings daffodils

snowdrops, tulips and crocus.

They don’t stop growing.

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It’s Haibun Monday again at dVerse Poets Pub and tonight our prompt is ‘grey’. For some reason it reminded me immediately of a comment my Gran once made about my Great-Grandmother not going grey but going white instead while both her and my mum had grey streaks starting to appear.

46 Comments

    1. I’m afraid a few are which is part of the reason I tend to write about my family so much I think. Trying to pin them to paper before they had time to disappear altogether.

    1. If memory serves me I always had something under my fingernails as a child, be it soil or flour. Ba always made my sister and I was our hands before baking though so it was never the two at the same time. Though I could make an excellent mud pie when I set my mind to it.

    1. Thank you Kim. My mum said she could never work out how Ba managed to have both my sister and I baking with her in the kitchen when we were so little but I’m incredibly grateful for the memories I have from those times.

  1. That’s a lovely observation and the photo is so touching. Your (great?) grandmother has a face full of character and kindness. I feel I know her. In our house it was my youngest sister who made those deadly pastries—penguins hers were—and my dad was always forced to eat them.

    1. Yeah, that’s my Great Grandmother. She used to look after my younger sister and I while my parents were working on the farm. She was certainly full of character, a real matriarch of the family.

          1. It was pastry penguins. One of the ways my great-grandma occupied her was to do ‘baking’. Sara would roll out a whole army of penguins, pick them up when the dough dropped on the floor, mangle them and squash them and my great-grandma baked them, carpet fluff and all. My dad used to have to eat at least one when he picked Sara up in the evening. They were grey. I could have written a haibun about my sister’s penguins come to think of it…

  2. I loved this haibun so much. Your great grandmother with her white hair. That is how I shall think of my hair now – the color of confectioners sugar. So much love in this haibun and the details – the flour under your nails. My grandmother had me in the kitchen at a tender age as well and by the time I was six, I could make a caramel cake as well as she. These memories are so precious to us, aren’t they? thank you for this lovely haibun.

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment. I can still remember bits of what she taught me and when I bake I try to follow her recipes. (Even if her use of lard horrifies my health-conscious other half).

      1. LOL….lard used to the THE fat, that and suet. I still use lard to make my grandmother’s biscuits. It isn’t so bad, the lard, especially the pure white kind. We inderited quite a bit from from our great and grandmothers. We are blessed.

    1. You have no idea how glad I am to see someone picking up on that. I was quite proud of the little link and the fact it hadn’t happened my accident like most of the bits people comment on when reading my poems.

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