Grandma’s treasures

Over the last number of years (I like the vagueness of just saying “number” as opposed to quantifying it), I’ve lived in probably a dozen different apartments between Boston, Texas and Dublin.  Molly’s been to most of these and has even been a roommate in a few so it was funny this past Autumn when she was here in Dublin and she asked me what was up with this little plastercast piece that I think I’ve hung above the kitchen sink in every home I’ve lived in since I was 21.

This little piece used to honor the same spot in my Grandmother’s kitchen.  When I was younger, I always thought that this was actually my grandmother’s house — it’s not, but it does still remind me of her house (which I remember to be yellow but who knows if it actually was). 

This photo to the right is the spot in Leavenworth, Kansas where I spent so many fun times in the summers as a kid growing up.  The house is now blue and it’s hidden in the back there just behind the barn.  This was a GREAT place to visit — my grandparents had cattle and corn crops.  That red barn was dusty and full of cobwebs and stray cats and smelled of cattle feed.  There was a well with a genuine hand-press water pump just outside the barn.  I felt really lucky that I got to go and visit my grandparents’ farm while other friends’ grandparents just lived in a house on a street like anyone else.  My grandmother used to make lovely homemade bread and yummy strawberry shortcake.  We often had watermelon and corn-on-the-cob sitting outside under a big shady tree in front of her house.  She used to pop the top off of Dandelions and we’d dip the stems in a mix of Dreft and water and blow bubbles as if they were straws. Seriously, on reflection, very idyllic. 

She passed away when I was about 11, but this post is a salute to the quintessential grandmother — Ruth Parsons.  And it’s because of her that the little plastercast yellow house will always grace wherever I call home.


  1. Christiana Childers says:

    You pretty much sums up my visits to my grandparents down to the barn smells! Same same!! We didn’t blow bubbles from dandelions but she had these really cool metal ice tea spoons where the handles were straws. Loved that.

    • amyswear says:

      Okay – ya’ wanna’ hear some more “same same”? My Aunt Rita used to have those exact straws that you’re talking about. They had a scalloped-edged spoon…scary!

  2. mollyg says:

    thanks for taking me to leavenworth with you! I always saw that picture of your grandmother and the dusty background made me think that this was not necessarily where I would want to visit. mind is changed – beautiful scenery of the barn and farm! and, I can see why you are such a wonderful and thoughtful person – what a nurturing family you have! thanks!

    • amyswear says:

      Ha! That’s funny — I guess if I were looking at that dusty old photo, I’d think the same. It’s actually a lovely spot — I can smell the grass just looking at that photo of my grandmother’s farm.

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