Freedom Day

Fourth of July! Shall I wish you a Happy One?

What will you do with this day? Me? I plan to stay home and hopefully rest.

I’ve worked three days this week. Tomorrow is supposed to be a paid day off as well as today. We’ll see.

Freedom. What I seek is freedom from worry and freedom of time. I watched my grandmother after she retired. She called what she did every day “piddling”. She’d go out and work in her garden, if that’s what she felt like doing. She’d work in her flower bed. She’d work on her craft items – the ones that usually won blue ribbons at the County Fair. She’d do what she pleased and nothing more.

If she was hungry, she’d scrounge in her refrigerator and find something I thought was delicious to warm up. I loved to plunder in her refrigerator myself. She had interesting things – like the mayonnaise with the pickle chips already in it. I don’t know why a sandwich with that and a slice of bologna tasted so much better at her house than it did at mine. It was probably her company that made it better.

She could talk about anything at any time. I enjoyed listening to her, and when I didn’t, I’d get her to take me out and show me her garden and then her flower bed.

Outside – a place I could live if I could find somewhere to pitch a tent forever. Outside with Nanny (my grandmother) was like being in heaven itself. I lived with her when I was a young child and she taught me many lessons out in her garden. One of the more vivid ones was about earth worms. I was watching her turn the dirt to start her garden one spring day when I noticed the earth worms crawling around in it. She said they helped the plants grow. They were “friends” to the gardener. They kept the soil broken up so the roots could spread out better.

I mentioned being glad they were on the topsoil and not deep in the ground. I didn’t want to be around worms when I died and was buried. “Oh, but you will be, child,” she said, “They go deep into the ground.”

I ran around in circles screaming that I refused to die then! She stood there leaning on the handle of her shovel trying not to laugh and telling me to quit messing up the dirt.

“You won’t know anything about it anyway,” she muttered as she hefted one more shovelful of dirt out of the ground.

“I know about it NOW!” I hissed back at her.

“Well, don’t ask me any question you don’t want to know the answer to,” she said. I’ve taken that logic to heart. Hasn’t necessarily made friends, who wanted white lies, happy, but I don’t mince my words, and she didn’t either.

I’ve told my sons to get one of those cheap cardboard coffins that the undertaker keeps in the back of his place, and put me in one and cremate me.(Ha, ha, Nanny, I win!) They can mix my ashes with those of my beloved dog, Magic, and I’ll be just fine. And safe from those wriggly worms.

Oh, and Happy Fourth of July! Two more days and it will be Nanny’s birthday.

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