Deanna is our guest today…

My friend Deanna Lagroix is today’s  Guest Blogger. As a teacher, she wrote many class plans and memos… over the years, she wrote letters to friends and she kept a journal. Now Deanna is writing stories about her well-lived life… she shares this one with us today:

Grandma’s Lamp

It was a nightly ritual. Grandma was the last one to leave the kitchen at the end of the day. She would have cleaned off the table after making and serving supper for “the men” who’d come in from finishing the evening chores at the barn. Grandpa and my two unmarried uncles would carry in an armload of wood for the wood box, wash up and come to table. Conversation was limited and they would then retire to read or doze on the sofa while Grandma washed the dishes, reset the table and made the preparations for the early-morning breakfast. The small cistern attached to the large wood stove was topped up with water that was kept heated for all the household needs and, of necessity, it was usually Grandma’s task to feed wood into that stove.

In the early 1950’s I lived for a year on the farm with Grandma and Grandpa and attended the rural one-room school that my mother and her siblings had attended decades earlier. As the autumn evenings turned to the darker onset of winter, the lanterns were lit to guide the men to and from the barn and Grandma would check the oil and the wicks as she lit the indoor lamps on the table and the sideboard.

When the questions about my homework were answered and the discussions over the market prices for pork or beef concluded, we all prepared to retire. Grandma would blow out the extra lamps and after one last look around she’d take up “her” lamp, make her way upstairs to the bedroom and place it on her dresser. She would remove the hairpins holding the coiled bun on the back of her head, allowing her thinning grey hair to cascade down her back, then don her flannel nightie and stretch to relax that tired body.

Back at the dresser, she’d bless herself with the holy water collected at Church and say out loud, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul” and then would turn and blow out the lamp to end her day.

I am the fortunate grandchild who inherited the lamp and it honours my home on the mantle of the fireplace. Grandma, Annie MacLean MacCulloch, died in 1957 at the age of seventy-two. I have reached that age this year and her spirit and her love live with me still.

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14 Comments

Filed under Guest Bloggers

14 responses to “Deanna is our guest today…

  1. Jan Morgan

    I certainly hope she sends more! What a gift for words!!

  2. Joan Hall

    THAT WAS A LOVELY STORY DEANNA, IT GAVE ME SHIVERS. YOU WERE CERTAINLY FORTUNATE TO LIVE WITH YOUR GRANDPARENTS FOR THAT YEAR….WARM MEMORIES . i’D LOVE TO HEAR OF THE ONE ROOM SCHOOL HOUSE ADVENTURE….KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! jOAN HALL (the howe isle Joan! )
    GOOD IDEA JOANNA!

    • Thanks Joan… if the North Van Joan Hall reads this post… the author of this comment is “the other” Joan Hall that I told you about. You two have more in common than your name.

  3. Paula Hourihan

    Thank you Deanna for “Grandma’s lamp”. For me the great thing was seeing your name there and saying to myself and to my husband Gerald: Hey Deanna is writing Joanna’s blog today. Thank you. It brings back nice memories of my winters spent in Progreso, the trip to Chiapas last year (with Joanna’s son),where we met more friends, the bridge games with Earl (and sometimes Deanna) on Tues and Thurs afternoons at the Marmex In Progreso and all the wonderful Canadians and Americans I’ve met in the past 4 years. I think of Deanna who went back early this year because a new grandchild was born . I even see Greer posted a comment. So thank you for the story and thank you also from bringing back such lovely memories,
    Paula Hourihan

  4. Noreen

    Loved your story Deanna and look forward to reading more.
    Noreen

  5. JAVQUIE

    Hola Deanna,
    Thanks for the memories. Your story took me back to that wonderful place
    that I like to call “childhood warm fuzzies”.
    I hope to read you again.
    Jacquie in T.O.

  6. Leslie

    What a wonderful story. It made me stop and reflect on the memories I have of my grandmother.

    • I had the same reaction to Deanna’s story… you will love the rest of her writing! From time to time I am sure she’ll send me other pieces to post

  7. Greer Lavery

    An enjoyable, pleasant little story. Thanks for sharing it Deanna.

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