I know that it was not too long ago that I was complaining of my missing childhood memories.
So today, I wanted to share that one came back! And it was because of one tiny purple grape.
It is a hot summer day. There are smells of farmlands in the air- fresh cut hay, cow manure. There are sounds of horses neighing and cows mooing in the background.
I am 8 years old and wandering through my great-grandparents farm in Neola, UT.
I love coming here. My great-grandmother is one of the most loving, dear women I have ever been around in my life. The instant I walk into her modest home, aromas of baked goods hit my nostrils. Grandma, wearing an apron, spreads her arms open and gives me a hug that envelops me and makes me feel safe and loved and welcome and cherished all at once.
She has a smile that brings tears to my eyes today just thinking about it.
We didn't visit their home often, but when we did- it was like we had never left. There were wonderful conversations to be had- she always wanted to know exactly what I was up to. There were new pictures to look at on her family tree, painted for her by one of her grandchildren on her kitchen wall. Everyone was on the tree. Everyone accounted for. And her family was large. But she knew everyone's name, age, and what they were doing. They were her 'dear ones', as she called us.
One summer day, as I wandered through my grandparents yard on my way to one of the weather-worn barns, hoping to find baby kittens hiding under the old tractors stored there, I passed by their garden.
Grandma was a canner. She bottled anything that could possibly be put in a mason jar. Pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, apple sauce, beets, pears, and apricots. She also made her own grape juice. It was such a beautiful purple color- and so delicious on a hot day.
As I passed by their overgrown garden, I noticed some vines, hanging heavy with deep purple grapes growing next to a nearby fence. I had never eaten these kind of grapes before and they looked so delicious!
I remember squeezing the inside of the grape- all slimy and warm, into my mouth, and then fishing through it to get the seeds out. I was instantly hooked! I spent the next few minutes eating as many as I could, throwing the skins on the ground and spitting the seeds into the dirt.
How My Memory Came About
Erik bought some grape plants last year. This year they are producing- and I have been patiently waiting for them to turn purple. Today as I walked past them, I noticed that a few have ripened- so I picked one off the vine, gave the skin a squeeze, popped the slimy insides into my mouth and BAM!
I was instantly back on my great-grandparents farm! I could smell the smells, hear the sounds, and feel my grandmothers hug. I haven't felt that for years. I can't remember how long it has been. Grandma had a stroke years before she passed away, and her ability to communicate or do anything for herself left her. No more hugs. I missed her even before she physically left us.
But today, she paid me a visit. Today, I know she is watching me. She knew I needed one of her hugs.
And I got one, as well as a cherished memory back. All because of a little purple grape.