The Appley Aroma of Love
Sometimes I think it was those myster- iously delicious apple turnovers that account for my love of homemaking - not just the turnovers themselves, but the love that sent them.
When I was six years old we were living in Toronto.
That same school year, in the midst of a wonderful snow-clad winter, my mother was told that my eldest brother's health and well-being depended on his going to a warmer climate. (In those days, it was often believed that climate could generate health.)
My mother was a woman of decisive action; whatever seemed to be needed she could provide.
In this case, she needed to provide a pair of grandparents in a southern city who would be delighted to make room for a mother with five children, ages 4 to 12, and a dad who would be visiting as often as possible.
I was not aware of how the plans developed. One morning we were all standing on the railroad-station platform in our very best clothes, waiting for a train that would take us to Boston, where another train would take us to Wilmington, N.C.
My next clear memory is of the welcome we received at my grandparents' home. I remember peering over hugging shoulders and beyond kisses to discover where we were.
The reception was a jolly one - six pairs of arms reaching out to hug each of us in turn, welcoming this family of seven.
By evening, we were at one with our benign surroundings, and my youngest aunt was teaching us just-before-dark neighborhood games.
The grammar school was a mere two blocks from Grandmother's, and except for my eldest brother, we were all enrolled the next day.
When we went to school for the first full day, I learned that morning recess was a time for refreshments. Out on the playground, the children were finding places to open their packages brought from home. Just as I was beginning to feel left out, I spied my granddaddy at the playground gate carrying a basket.
We met in moments, and he handed me one of four small bags, saying, with a twinkle in his eyes and his soft southern speech, ''I made it just in time, didn't I? Your grandmother took these out of the oven just some minutes ago.''
The joy of that moment was complete. My very own granddaddy had brought me a recess treat.
The package felt warm and soft as I opened it, curious to see what smelled so good. Two little apple turnovers, wrapped in soft paper, sealed forever in my mind the wonder of having grandparents to love me. A glowing sense of heavenly affection curled up inside me.
Each school morning thereafter, we all, including my brother at home, had two little apple turnovers just out of the oven for morning recess, hand delivered by Granddaddy.
Ihave always felt that it wasn't the climate, but the love in those delicious pastries that made my brother well again.
Homemaking to both my mother and grandmother was a beautiful expression of soul-filled endeavor. Those recess treats gave me a precious awareness, a silent birth of feeling that has stayed with me until now.