Backward, turn backward, O time in thy flight;
Make me a child again, just for tonight.
Take me once more to those halcyon days
When each new morn sang a melodic phrase.
Carry me swiftly on gossamer wings
Back to that place with the cool mountain springs.
Let me awake at the rooster’s first crow
Announcing the sunrise I loved long ago.
Grandpa rose early; a fire must be built,
We kids stayed in bed, snuggling under a quilt.
Grandma was first to the outhouse each day.
We knew it was fruitless to get in her way.
Grandpa was tall and as thin as a rail.
I still see his gait as he swung his milk pail.
A great story-teller, and known for his wit,
Grandpa was wiser than he would admit.
Grandma was corpulent; take no offense.
Why, we’d never tease someone at their expense!
When Grandma would reach out her arms for a hug,
No place on earth felt so warm and so snug!
Grandma loved hymns and she sang them all day:
“Jesus Is Coming, It May Be Today.”
Her hands in the dishpan, and often off-key,
She sang “Rock of Ages” and “Love Lifted Me.”
Grandpa would sit in his favorite chair,
There by the woodstove, his head bowed in prayer.
Often he’d call me to sit on his knee
And tell me of Jesus and His love for me.
They’d had little schooling, no more than sixth grade,
But that didn’t stop them for they were self-made.
The books on the shelves there were read o’er and o’er;
The newspapers saved and stacked there by the door.
When Grandpa was younger, he worked sawing wood
Far back in the mountains where tall white pines stood.
He dug precious ginseng, its roots in demand;
Commanding high prices, it meant cash in hand.
He purchased some woodland and built a small house
And raised a large family with his loving spouse.
‘Twas perched on a hillside, lush meadows below;
Each evening at sunset, the world seemed to glow.
For years all the grandkids were welcome to stay.
We’d climb apple trees and we’d jump in the hay.
We’d fish in the streams and drop frogs in the well,
Then scare off the hens when we rang the cowbell.
Though still a young girl, I remember the day
The angels came down, took my grandma away.
Grandpa soon followed; his grief was too great.
He couldn’t face life with the loss of his mate.
Someday we will meet on that bright golden shore
Where with the Lord Jesus we’ll reign evermore.
Each day as I pray while I’m on bended knee,
“Lord, make me a grandma like mine was to me.”
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