Lilacs and African Violets have always been favorites, because they take me back to Grandma's place. I told my story about Grandma S when I first started blogging. She was a hard-working Swedish farm lady, and we all loved her dearly. Most of her grandchildren outgrew her in height by the time we were 10. But she was mighty.
After she and Grandpa were both gone to heaven, I didn't see the old place for many years. I didn't even know what had happened to it. One summer my sister and I took a trip back to visit my still living grandparents, who lived in the same town, but up on the hill above the town cemetery. My cousin, who has been a missionary in Africa all of her life, and raised all of her children in the desert of Mali, was on home leave at the same time. Our relationship with her is one of those that picks up right where it left off. It can be years between talking, but it's like it was yesterday.
We took a trip out to the old place. We reminisced about learning to ride bike across the road, about burying birds in "Five Rock Patio," about club meetings in the old barns, about me being too scared to go up into the hayloft, so I got left out of a lot of the fun.
The house was now just rubble, having fallen into the cellar. Some of the outbuildings were still standing, but hadn't been used for years. The memories came rolling back upon us as we walked through the weeds and discovered bits and pieces of our past. My sister, who has a knack for such things, picked up some rusty souvenirs and made a wonderful collage. I should take a picture of it and post it.
Our memories of Grandma's lilacs were that they were in a very deep ditch, right by the side of a very busy country road. It's amazing how much smaller things are when you are grown up! All that remained were a few scraggly bushes. My cousin dug one up that day and transplanted it at their cottage in northern Minnesota, where they spent time when they were home on furlough. This is where my brother also dug them up and brought them home to MG and to the two of us.
As we were plodding through the memories, the weeds higher than our wastes, we wondered what people would think if they saw us rummaging around this property. My cousin, Ann, said, "Well, they'll probably just think we're a bunch of preacher's and missionary's kids hunting for our roots!"
We laughed and cried, but it was so true. We had all lived in many places, some much further away than others. But the fact that two of Grandma and Grandpa's sons became missionaries in Africa and one (our dad) became a pastor was such a huge part of our lives. They didn't become Christians until Dad was 10, and his brothers were older than he. What a heritage they began when they gave their lives to the Lord.
Dad is on the left, and the two missionary brothers are on the right.