Today is the day with the letter you have been waiting for. By now, you have probably been thinking…I know Nana loves our family and her family. I definitively know Nana loves God. I know Nana likes reading, sewing, watching movies, and taking care of our family. But when is Nana going to tell me about pie?
My love of pie started with my grandma, at least my first memory of the delicious treat is from her house. Even now, when I am enjoying pie, I am filled with fond family memories. But, it isn’t just my grandma I remember, it is a collection of memories throughout my life – where I have shared pie with loved ones, hunted for pie shops through dark and winding streets, and made pie for special occasions. Pies are special because they require a practiced technique – and you should always share pie with someone who is special to you.
My grandparents lived in a small town in Indiana where they owned a motel. Their home was on the property. In the back yard, they had a variety of fruit trees, and I remember a blueberry bush. Grandma would send us outside to pick some fruit to have with an upcoming meal. Once she sent me out to pick blueberries. I don’t remember having them before…and when I tasted them I thought they were wonderful. I was fortunate that I didn’t eat too many when I was picking because my grandma took those blueberries and made them into a pie. I still remember that pie being one of the best pies I have ever eaten. I really think that it gets better each time I remember it.
My grandparents’ home was the center point of their motel complex. There was a building of two-story units off one side of their home that was separated from the house by a carport. On the other side of the house, there was another building of units, but I think it was a single-story unit. I also remember two fish ponds and a nice little seating area out by the ponds for the guests. My uncle and his wife owned a restaurant that sat on the property as well. My grandfather had an office in the house where guests would check-in for their stay. He even had a switchboard to connect incoming callers to guest rooms. The person sitting at the switchboard would receive the call and would plug the connecting cable into the corresponding receiver for the room to “patch through” the call. I cannot imagine what Grandpa would have thought about our telephone technology we have in 2017 – or even any of the technological advantages we have to ease the burden of running a business. I remember always having to be quiet in the afternoons so Grandpa could rest on the sofa. When you are the one running the business, you are your number one employee. This meant that Grandpa was usually the one who took care of the guests who checked in late at night. He took care of families traveling together as well as truckers who were transporting goods from one place to another. When I was little, I did not understand why Grandpa could not play with my sister and me when we came for a visit, or why he couldn’t take trips with us like Grandma did. At the time, I thought it was because he did not like us. We were girls and he was used to my cousins who were boys. I misunderstood his necessary focus on his livelihood for dislike of me.
Sometimes in our lives we form an idea or opinion about something based upon our own understanding of the situation. This is natural, and there is not anything wrong with this process. But we are wrong if we take our own understanding as the definition of the facts. My grandpa was a business owner in a business that allowed him very little down time. I could not understand that when I was a little girl, but as I got older (and busier myself), I could, and I should have. I missed out on having a better relationship with him because I decided he didn’t like me when I was little, and that obviously meant he did not like me as I got older.
I really do not know if he liked me or not – because I never gave him the chance to know me.
Don’t be like that, Charley. Give people the chance to know you – give them the chance to change your mind about how you see them. Invest in relationships. You might be surprised. And, you might have a wonderful relationship as a result.
The Bible tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). I have shared this passage with you before – but the words are so very important to us. “Lean not on our own understanding” is such a vital lesson – because we often alter our memories. Not necessarily on purpose, with intent to misrepresent the facts; but it is more of how our emotions make us feel at the time that shape the memory as it is becoming imprinted on our minds. God says not to do that – do not rely on our own understanding of the “facts” – but trusting that God will reveal the truth, open our hearts and submit to His leading. Perhaps he will lead to a reconciliation or even just a better understanding of a misunderstood relationship.
I have wonderful memories of time I spent with my grandma. Time together at her home and dress shop in Indiana as well as time at her home in Texas, where she moved after I was married. I hope that one day, Charley, you will be able to look back at times we have shared with the same fondness. I know that my grandparents loved me and I do know that that my grandma liked me and the person she saw me becoming. I hope you know that both Pa Pa and I love you and like you, and thoroughly enjoy watching you become the person God created you to be.
I am not sure I remember Grandma’s Blueberry Pie correctly or not; but each time I remember Grandma making that pie, I remember the love she had for me, and the things she taught me. This makes my memory fonder and the pie tastes that much better (in my memory). But really…it is pie and it is blueberry. What could be better? Maybe coconut. I love you, Sweet Girl and am counting the days until we can share some pie!
Copyright ©2017 Kelly Morris