Gran's Apple Butter Blog

August 10, 2010

2/III Pioneer

Filed under: Books,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 1:15 pm

Chapter 2
Excerpt from Going Home, by Mary Batson

When Gran didn’t have time for a whole story, she’d just throw out one of her famous one-liners and leave it for us to chew on. Some were funny, some were deep, and others we never DID figure out. Some were easy: “Schmaltziness: the good, the bad and the ugly. First of all, there is no ugly.” But how exactly are you supposed to interpret this one: “Continents are like grocery stores: Better around the edges.”

Later we’d gather around her kitchen table and discuss what we’d come up with until we’d get distracted, watching the birds out the window, and she’d switch to the ever popular topic of when human beings would finally learn to get along as well as all those birds out there, happily sharing their harvest with each other and the occasional squirrel. 

Gran spent many an hour around that table attempting to teach me the ins and outs of being a Real Lady, although she had her own definition of what that meant. Besides being a Real Lady, she was also a gutsy, hardy, good-hearted pioneer woman – strong as steel on the outside, good as gold and soft as summer cotton on the inside. Her voice was soft, her words well chosen, but her message always got through.

In spite of the fact that she grew up on the Mason-Dixon, in her heart and in her kitchen Gran was about as Southern as they come. Actually, Gran was a lot of things. Raised proper, poor but proud, family first, and all that went along with an ancestral mix from Ireland to Oklahoma, Cherokee plain to Star Hollow, as a child she’d learned a thing or two from her Native American neighbors, growing up to be quietly strong, peacefully confident, self-dignified, integrated and one-hundred-percent authentic. She was the same person inside and out, no matter her circumstances or whether anyone was watching.

And one last thing about pioneers: They tend to set their own boundaries and generally don’t accept the limits others may be certain exist. And they don’t really worry about the parts of the map that read “There be dragons here.”

© 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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