The common daisy was my Grandmothers favorite flower. Her grandchildren would pick them for her by the handfuls from the fields. Placed in a mason jar, they would sit proudly in the center of the farmhouse table.
I like to imagine her as a young girl with her daisies and the ‘He loves me, he loves me not’ daisy game. Days when my grandfather came courting. According to Wikipedia, the daisy game called ‘He loves me, He loves me not’ is defined as: “A person playing the game alternately speaks the phrases “He (or she) loves me,” and “He loves me not,” while picking one petal off a flower (usually an ox-eye daisy) for each phrase. … The player typically is motivated by attraction to the person they are speaking of while reciting the phrases.” Oh, there was attraction all right and their love brought forth 6 children, 24 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren as of this writing.
One of my favorite pictures of them is below: when they were young and newly in love. As the story goes, Grandpa would get his guitar and walk down the country lane to visit my grandmother. He would sit on the front porch and serenade her, trying to impress with his guitar playing. This photo is an absolute treasure to me. It shows them sitting on the front porch of the farmhouse that I wrote about in my Blog Post ‘Vonnie’s House https://art-for-arts-sake.com/2020/11/13/vonnies-house-weathered-door-ink-color-wash/.
To see my Grandparents so young takes my breath away. I would like to have known them then. I always knew them as just Gramma and Papaw. She made the best pies, quilted, tended the farm and always had a good joke to tell. My Papaw worked hard at his ‘city job’ as well as tended the farm and built everything under the sun. I loved his workshop. It always smelled of fresh cut wood, with wood shavings on the floor and tools organized all around. To sneak out to the workshop and sit quietly watching him work was divine. Mitre cuts and nails, cherry wood, oak, walnut, all becoming something new. He built many houses, he even built the cabin at the lake that I talked about in blog post ‘Summers at the Lake’. https://art-for-arts-sake.com/2020/11/27/summers-at-the-lake/
Papaw also built barns, garages, and furniture including beds, tables, chairs, desks, cupboards, and more. He even built his very own stereo cabinet complete with turntable and speakers. My brother has it in his house. It no longer works, weighs a ton, but it is still beautiful to look at. He even built the pontoon boat that we used for years at the lake. We paddled that boat all over the lake. He’d get an idea in his head and he would have to sketch it out. Once the sketch was satisfactory he would draw up the supply list and start planning the project from start to finish. Maybe that is where I get my desire to sketch, who knows?’
My personal favorite is a jewelry box he made for me when I was a toddler of 4 years old. It has traveled from household to household as I carry a bit of his memory with me. I was his first grandchild and I like to think about how he lovingly crafted a jewelry box for me. It is made of cherry wood, has small drawers, 5 in all, each lined with blue velvet. I imagine this big ole bear of a man, working on the fine details of this jewelry box for his baby granddaughter. He put a metal plate on the back of it with the year that it was made. I love this jewelry box. It connects me to him.
I think today I will go to the flower shop and buy a bouquet of daisies.
I will put them in a mason jar.
And there they will sit,
Proudly… in the center of my kitchen table.
Love to all the parents and grandparents out there. You are national treasures.
Daisy painting inspiration courtesy of Louise De Masi