Gran's Apple Butter Blog

July 26, 2010

2/I: Riverbed

Filed under: Going Home,Gran,Grandma — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 3:31 pm

Chapter 2. Gran
Excerpt from Going Home, by Mary Batson

“Peace – that was the other name for home.” – Kathleen Norris

What can I tell you about Gran? Well, for one thing, Gran was a strong believer. I don’t think I ever met anyone else with the strength of faith she had. As she got older and her nights got shorter, she spent many an extended evening reading her Bible, an inspirational book, or another of her collection of “books of knowledge,” as she called them.

Gran had a copy of almost every spiritual text ever written, I guess, from all around the world – or at least it seemed that way to me – and she studied them religiously. She’d learned German from her grandfather, enough to piece together texts from the Old Country. Then she taught herself French and Latin and Greek and Hebrew – I’m not sure how or where, but it was highly impressive, although she never made a big deal about it. She said she always had a feeling there was more to all of this, if she’d just keep reading and praying and looking for Truth. And so she did.

I don’t think Gran ever realized how much people looked up to her and her words. She didn’t see herself as anything special, that’s for sure. She was just another person, nothing extraordinary – she just liked to read, and she’d read a lot. She said she’d met a lot of smart people in all those pages; some of them even qualified as “wise” (being Gran, she didn’t use that term loosely). So when people would thank her for sharing a thought and go on about how wise they thought she was, she’d smile and laugh with her twinkling eyes and say, well, thank you kindly, but those weren’t her words – she was just remembering someone else’s (although she usually couldn’t remember exactly who that was). 

Gran said once she thought of herself kind of like a riverbed, cut through the countryside by the hand of God, and whatever water flowed through her from God’s Grace, she couldn’t take credit for that. She said her job was just to take care of the river banks, to keep the waterway clear, and to show the beavers the perfect spot to build their dam, just off to the side where it wouldn’t get washed away. Beyond that, it was up to the spring thaws, the summer rains, and the occasional flood or dam break to keep things moving. 

Yeah, that’s just the way Gran was.

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
Download Chapter 1 or order your copy at!


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