Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~ Robert Brault
I remember visiting my grandmother, Cladie Mae Leslie, in Durant, Mississippi. She taught me how to shell purple hull peas and speckled butter beans. What a thrill it gave my child’s heart to discover purple splotches on the creamy white flesh of the beans. How I loved sitting with her on the porch swing on warm summer evenings, swaying back and forth while listening to the rise and fall of cicada and tree frog song. Magnolia blooms perfumed the humid night air. It was a little thing.
In Jackson, Mississippi, the first thing my grandmother, Molly Belle Lowe, would do when I arrived for a visit was to bundle me up and take me to the grocery store. There I could buy anything I wanted to eat during my stay. She taught me to love flowers and trees. I helped her water her gardens. My favorite was her mint patch because the refreshing tang of mint exploded when the spray hit it. I helped her pick figs and after supper we’d enjoy them with sugar and cream. It was a little thing.
At least two weekends a month we visited Granny and Grandaddy Diehl’s farm in Vilonia, AR. Granny let me pet her chickens and gather eggs. Grandaddy encouraged me to help him in his garden, only truth be known? I probably made more work for him. At five in the morning I followed him to the barn to milk the cows. He wore striped overalls and heavy work boots. I wore shorts and flip-flops. I can still feel the cold, dew-covered goose grass slapping my bare legs on the way to the barn. While he milked I hunted for nests of kittens in the hayloft. It was a little thing.
Now that I’m in my early sixties, I look back and realize these experiences were actually big things because they made me who I am today. When I pick up my grandchildren we visit the grocery for treats during their stay. We sit on my porch in the evenings, petting my cats and listening to the frog and night bug’s song. We shell peas or speckled butter beans together and they excitedly exclaim when they find a purple splotched one. They pick fruit from my garden and make cobbler with their grandfather. We visit my hens and after giving them a good petting, the grands gather eggs.
These are small moments in their lives. Time spent together. Little things. But when they are in their sixties, they will realize, just as I did, how big they actually were.