Our mother would pack up the blue station wagon and say with excitement, “Girls, let’s go to grandma’s.” On our trip we drove the back roads from Jacksonville to her house. Along these roads were black and white dairy cows and farms. We would stop at the country roadside stands, full of the freshest fruits, vegetables and homemade jams and jellies. She purchased vegetables and fruit. A little further down the road, there was an older man always sitting roadside on the tailgate of his truck selling “Hot Green Boiled Peanuts.” We stopped there also purchasing these salty delicacies. It was such a treat to get them with a small Coca-Cola.
Arriving at grandma’s, there were beautiful flowers of many varieties blooming all over her yard and hanging from the porch. The flowers were vibrant reds, blues, pinks, purples and yellows. We were not allowed to pick them. The garden was full of vegetables and herbs. She would walk through the garden with us .Teaching us, this is ready to pick and no not quite yet on others. She always beamed with pride as she showed off her bountiful garden.
Afterwards we gathered on the porch around our grandma. She would sit in her rocking chair and tell stories of our parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and our siblings’. We would listen as she narrated each detail. It would seem as if we also lived in these stories.
As the evening was coming to an end the fireflies would come out. We always wanted to know what made them glow. She would say “That is God’s secret children and we don’t question God.” She would give each of us grandchildren a jar. The grandchild who caught the most fireflies got a special…