Field, Anne P. L.
Grandmothers, pp. 484-488
GRANDMOTHERS: BY ANNE P. L. FIELD QUIET room faintly redolent with pot-pourri, books everywhere, and seated in a high-backed chair in the western window, with the sunset glow lingering lov- ingly on her face, a silver-haired old lady, her beau- tiful stately head framed in delicate lace, fine as a cobweb; her seerlike eyes fixed upon the golden sky, -such is my memory of a grandmother. That room was the shrine of my childhood; there grandmother was nearly always to be found; there all who knew her would bring their joys and sorrows, their burdens or their blessings, sure of her wise counsel and her benedic- tion. Her mind was an encyclopedia of treasures; what grandmother didn't know, seemed to us children not at all worth knowing. We felt like the little fellow in Mr. Riley's rhyme who said:- "My gran'ma she's read all books-ever' kind They is, 'at tell all 'bout the land an' sea An' nations of the Earth! An' she is the Historicul-est woman ever wuz!" A keen sense of humor coupled with a brilliant, searching intellect, made friends for her in every walk of life. College boys and distin- guished men of letters were equally eager to pay her homage and to catch the sparkle of her wit. Perhaps a drop of Quaker blood gave her that smooth, untroubled brow, and that serene acquiescence to the demands of grief; yet she was not without spirit; her eyes could kindle and flash fire, and her lips send forth scathing words of denun- ciation. Laces were my grandmother's one vanity. Marvelous, rare laces, ivory-tinted, like the heart of a pearl; fragile as the morning mist, and fragrant with the prisoned perfumes of time. I cannot recall ever seeing her without frostlike frills at neck and wrists, and her hair graced with a cap of threaded foam. One of those caps is my choicest relic of bygone days, and whenever I lift it out of my treasure chest, the spirit of its owner seems hovering over me, as the spirit of old Peter Grimme hovered over his beloved ward, saying:- "Then good night to you, my darling; love cannot say good-bye. I shall linger in your heart. I shall be waiting for you, and knowing all your life. . . . I shall be everywhere about you." Truly the spirit of my grandmother is "everywhere about" me. I am hourly conscious of her influence, and the living force of her nature urges me on toward the star I have chosen to follow. As a child I used to feel that to be like grandmother was the highest earthly pin- nacle of attainment, and, as a woman, I retain that same feeling, for what could be more magnificent than a gradual crescendo of experi- 484
Based on the date of publication, this material is presumed to be in the public domain.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright