Gran's Apple Butter Blog

September 21, 2010

2/IX Apple Butter and Fresh Honey

Filed under: Book Series,Books,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 1:53 pm

Chapter 2 – Apple Butter and Fresh Honey
Excerpt from Going Home, by Mary Batson

Gran’s theories didn’t stop with banana splits. She always amazed me with the ideas she’d come up with. Like the time I spent spring vacation at her house, when I got to see a whole other side of her. One morning I woke up not long after sunrise and wandered out to find her sitting on her front porch, sipping coffee, watching the world go by.

And go by it did – Gran’s house was just off a main neighborhood street, and at that time of day the road was absolute chaos, cars filled with people rushing here and there, never enough time, never enough sleep, never enough anything. Gran sat there, took a sip. Watched. Took another sip. Coffee slowly cooling in the cup; it was a fresh rainy morning, just meant for good breathing. She stood up, threw a few extra handfuls of birdseed out for her babies, as she called them (who’d apparently called a convention), sat back down, sipped some more, calm, peaceful expression on her face.

Then she started talking. She said she was so thankful that she lived in her little world, a world of peace and content and joy, rather than the world she saw whizzing past her front porch every morning. Even on the weekends the people rushed past, in just as much of a hurry to have fun as they’d been to get to work all week. True, she’d had to make a few big choices to create her little Kingdom of Enough. And those in the Other World didn’t always understand. They’d look over and feel a pulling, wishing they could sit and sip their coffee as Gran did, but then they’d remember some Great Reason why they were running that race, and they’d turn back to the steering wheel and hit the gas, trying to drive out Gran’s tempting image with even more speed. Occasionally someone would stop to buy a jar of fresh apple butter or honey with the comb (my favorite). They’d strike up a conversation, and sooner or later they’d say how much they loved her world, how much they’d love to have a kingdom like that for themselves.

Then Gran would share a bit about how she did it – the life choices she made so long ago. Her stories brought mixed results. Some guests would get a dreamy look on their face, and you had the impression they were tucking away a Nugget Of An Idea. Others could muster only a harsh laugh or a bittersweet smile, clear that they did not consider Gran’s choices something they ever could or would emulate for reasons they never shared. And that was perfectly fine. Gran wasn’t trying to convert ‘em. But if they asked, she’d share her way.

That particular morning as I sat next to Gran, she of the great white rocking chair, I of the little wooden steps, was the first time I began to understand the idea of parallel universes. I’d seen them talked about before, on Nova and in books written by geniuses like Einstein, with words too big for my little head. And yet, there before my eyes, I was SEEING parallel universes. Gran’s world, so unique, so very different, was right there, parallel to a world in which cars were racing, hearts were racing, lives were racing, no one quite sure to where, but they thought they’d recognize it when they got there, if they ever slowed down enough to realize they may have passed it six exits back.

Side by side, those universes were, and yet they could not have been more different. The drivers of the cars couldn’t comprehend Gran’s world, and she’d chosen to never go back to theirs. Maybe they could hear about her way, and intellectually know, but they could never understand – not with both feet firmly planted on the racetrack of the world they’d chosen to live in.

Gran used to say maybe I could draw them a map someday, ‘cause I grew up in BOTH worlds – one foot in each. And she said if I could ever learn to maintain my balance well enough in this position, maybe I could be a bridge in between. I thought that sounded like a pretty cool idea. A world without Gran’s apple butter and honey is definitely not a world I’d want to live in, and, being a relatively nice person, I’d like to share that with you. Come on over – she’s making a fresh batch right now…

© 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!


1 Comment »

  1. I enjoyed the story. Your Grandma is a wise woman. Thanks for sharing some of your interactions with her.

    Comment by Cassandra — September 22, 2010 @ 9:23 am | Reply

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