Grandma’s Kitchen

Grandma’s kitchen had no modern appliances, no fancy gadgets.It didn’t even have electricity. It was a place thatThroughout my childhood remained much the same.As I stepped through the door of that room on a hot, sunnySummers day, the interior was cool and dark. The verandaAt the side of the house kept the early morning sun fromPenetrating Grandma’s sanctuary. When my eyes adjusted toThe dimness, I would see the gas lantern hanging above theOld, oak table. This was no ordinary table nothing likeThe fancy chrome ones of today. It had two leaves in theCenter to accommodate the eight people that sat around itThree times a day. In the summer kitchen against the wall,Stood another eight leaves. This table was giganticCompared to the small drop-leaf table that stood in frontOf the window in Mothers kitchen.I was thrilled when Grandpa offered me that old, oak tableWhen he gave up his house to move in with my uncle. It nowGraces my kitchen and is my pride and joy.An oilcloth covered the coarse, grained top where scars hadAccumulated over the years. Around the table, likeSentinels, stood six matching press-back chairs.Besides the table and chairs, Grandma’s kitchen was filledWith other things that fascinated me. An icebox stoodAgainst one wall and a gingerbread clock perched high on aShelf nearby. I loved to listen to it chime out the time.Once a day, Grandma would climb onto a chair, open theGlass door adorned with golden flowers and insert a keyInto the face. She would wind it several times, beingCertain not to wind it too tight, then lay the key safelyIn the bottom of the clock and close the door with a click.I loved that clock. We had electricity at home and our clockCouldn’t hold a candle to the lovely, gingerbread thatStood high on the shelf in Grandma’s kitchen.Against the south wall of the room, stood a monsterCook stove. I would watch as Grandma blackened it withStove polish. Around the edges the chrome sparkled and aWhite porcelain circle in the center of the oven doorBore the name Hartland.At one end was a reservoir filled with water from theCistern. It held warm water for small tasks. But theWarming closet was my favorite part of the old stove.Out of it came tasty treats cinnamon buns, baked bread,And pancakes to be served with real maple syrup andCloverleaf rolls. Grandma made all of these with lovingHands.On wash day water was carried from the cistern and heatedIn a copper boiler on the top of that stove.Grandma’s kitchen had many other things that were ofInterest to a small girl. The wainscoting fit tightly toThe wall and was painted snow white the top half of theRoom was always papered.Behind the stove stood a woodbox and a butterbox forKindling. We children had the chore of seeing these wereKept full not one of my favorite jobs.One cold morning, I entered Grandma’s cozy warm kitchenTo see a large, cardboard box covered with an old, flannelSheet sitting on the oven door. Grandma lifted a corner ofThe blanket, allowing me a peek. Eight piglets lay curledInside the box. They had been born during the night andThe old sow, being an ornery critter, refused to let themSuckle. Grandpa had put them in a box and brought them toGrandma, hoping she could save them. Nothing on a farm wasWasted and the loss of these piglets would mean a shortageOf meat and lard.Grandma did save them too. Many times a day, she sat in herOak rocker near the stove and fed those piglets with anEyedropper. Then, when they were old enough, Grandma madeCream Of Wheat and let them suck it off her fingers. TheOnly one that didn’t make it was the runt of the litter.He was just too frail.Baby pigs weren’t the only creatures that were raised inGrandma’s kitchen. Grandma had an incubator. I’ve watchedHer clean eggs and place them gently into that odd lookingContraption. She kept them warm for days until the wet,Sticky chicks emerged from their shells. After a fewWeeks, I would find them in the yard, scratching up theDirt.Most every memory of Grandma’s kitchen is pleasant.There was only one exception that comes to mind. I mustHave broken one of Grandma’s rules, though I can’tRemember what it was. Grandma sat me on a milk stool andTold me not to get off until the long hand of theGingerbread clock was on twelve and the short hand onThree. I sat there, for what seemed an eternity butin reality was probably about ten minutes. When theappointed time had passed, I was allowed to go. Neveragain did I goad Grandma into punishing me. Though Iloved that gingerbread clock, I had no desire to sitand stare at it, watching the time pass ever so slowly.My memories of Grandma’s kitchen are happy ones andremain forever etched on my memory. I laugh now atthe recollection of sitting on that stool and watchingthe hands of the gingerbread clock creep ever soslowly along the face. I can see the spirits of themen and women who sat around that table, laughing andenjoying food and conversation with my grandparents.I haven’t forgotten the good times Grandma and I spentin that room, or the aromas that filled the air.Homemade soup, freshly baked bread, cinnamon rolls,chicken and dumplings, fresh coffee and so much more.Whenever I encounter these smells, whether it is in abakery or in Mother’s kitchen, I take a trip back intime. Back to the good times shared by loved ones.Back to Grandma’s kitchen were love abounded.