Saturday, April 21, 2012

Grandpa Lachmayer's Rhubarb

I worked with my grandpa this morning, if only in my mind. It's the rhubarb that does it-it was his and now it's mine. We work on it together every year, and have for as long as I can remember.

It was a fine morning to be out there in the garden  with my memories of him and the songs of the High Kings on my iPod. 

Down behind his house, gone now too, alas,he had a long bed of rhubarb and current bushes. All the grand kids loved the pies and jellies that resulted from those plants and loved the hours pestering him while he worked on them too.

When he was getting older and I finally had the horse I wanted all my life, Magnum, I used to load my little orange Chevy up with horse manure and haul it down to him. It made the rhubarb just burst out up of the ground and the stalks grew as thick as my wrist.

Somewhere during that time he gave me a few root cuttings and I have dragged them from house to farm to house to farm as I moved, and cared for them just as he taught me.

This morning while I was cleaning the nasty reed canary grass roots out of the bed and piling on composted horse manure, then mulching with half-rotted hay, he was there. 

The scent of meadow hay and warm horse; the sound of the song sparrows, the green of the valley...they all brought him close again. It was nice to spend a while out there with him, making things right after the ravages of winter.... I love you Grandpa...thanks for the memories and the rhubarb.


Jan said...

What a lovely tribute.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that we remember our
grandparents with food. This morning, I picked mustard greens, the unopened flowers and some leaves, just as my Grandma taught me. Stewed them with some garlic and olive oil. Just the smell of them takes me back to Grandma's house, always smelling of herbs and good cooking.
I wonder how our grandchildren will
remember us?

PK said...

Hi, I was steered over here by Ysabetwordsmith at LJ. Love the mix of words and pictures...want my (family) blog to be something like that. Anyway I was particularly interested in the little yellow flowers in the middle of this post. They look like some I saw this morning, that I've not seen near home before. What are they?

threecollie said...

Jan, thanks, he was the sweetest man you could imagine

Anon, boy that is sure the truth...I can't cook or garden without remembering the people who taught me how, or fed me when I was a kids....

PK, those are a woodland flower called trout lily or spotted adder's tongue. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment.

Jeffro said...

Our predecessors do tend to pop in once in a while. Good thing, too.

Anonymous said...

Way down here in the deep south, my Granny said put your (taters) Irish potatoes in the ground by Valentines and the rest of the garden by Good Fri. On Easter Sun. we had some new taters aka creamer, about the size of a quarter, she just couldn't wait. Her greens would melt in your mouth. Thanks for the memories...

Cathy said...

" . . . making things right . ."
Marianne, this post is as lovely as anything we're likely to find on the internet.

Talk about making things 'right' . .


threecollie said...

Jeffro, I have all my "grands" in photos on my kitchen wall. I talk to them...does that make me weird? No, don't answer that. lol

Anon, that sounds wonderful! I had the incredible fortune to grow up surrounded by a full quartet of grandparents, one great grandpa, who was quite a character, flocks of aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, a great, great aunt who was a flapper once and more. Such an array of wonderful characters...and lots and lots of good, old-fashioned cooks.

Cathy, thanks! I wasn't going to post yesterday...not much to say...but it was so lovely out there.