In my first blog I mentioned memories of my grandmothers tables, and the life I ‘caught” there, and this brings a story to mind…
Laura Alice Cripe was my fathers mother and to her grandchildren [I was one] she was known as mam-ma. A quiet gentle woman, small in stature [4ft. 11in.] with grey braids that circled her head. The youngest daughter of a family of fifteen children, with a brother being the youngest one. She was born in Pennsylvania, of German descent and grew up in the Brethern church, similar to Mennonite.
Memories of setting on her lap as a young child are vivid to me and I could sense her warm love and it was a special place. I would ask her to speak in her native German Deutsche and she would..I would ask her different words and she would say them in Deutsche. I remember asking her to say coffee and was disappointed it sounded the same. [beginning of my coffee habit even then.] In my young mind Dutch meant Holland and wooden shoes, it would be years before I knew the story of her life.
The best memory of all was her wonderful kitchen and the big round table. They were a good size clan of people and always gathered in the kitchen. I don’t remember ever setting as a family anywhere in the house but the kitchen. They were a lively group, great debaters, sometimes it bordered on arguing and great storytellers always telling each story in great detail. Card games lasted until the wee hours and oh the laughter! Always quietly in the background was mam-ma putting on a fresh pot of coffee, cooking, baking and bringing out generous amounts of food, her meals dutch-style were not just mashed potatoes but boiled ones as well, not just green beans but also navy beans…you get the idea… My grandfather, a tall Irishman quick with humor would catch her eye after one of his jokes, only to see her shake her head in disbelief.. She would comment “hold tight until the wind blows over”…
After meals were over and her kitchen was back in order, she would leave leftovers and snacks in the center of the table with a small tablecloth covering it. Anyone at anytime could help themselves to a snack…the seeds of hospitality, love of family, simple life made such a powerful impact on her family.
I was only nine when she passed and it amazes me how much I “caught” from her and the impact she has had on my life. Always room for one more and there was always enough for all. Love is powerful when given without expectations..
Mam-ma’s favorite scripture was Ps. 19-14 .. ” Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer”..Selah..So be it!!
Thanks for listening…good memories for “Around you own Family table”