For the past week or so, I have been haunted by the image of something that was in the attic of my old homestead. My great grandmother, Dora Mabey, had an old grocery carriage that folded up. I remember as a child, seeing it in the corner of our old attic. I remember being very young, six or seven years old, and asking my dad what the old grocery carriage was. Dad told me that it had belonged to my great grandmother and she used it to bring groceries home from the small grocery store, which was about a mile down the road in the center of our little town.
The old grocery carriage had two wheels, which were in the back of the carriage. There were no wheels in the front of the carriage, so the person using the carriage would have to tip the wired frame carriage in order to wheel it. I remember that the carriage portion stood about three feet high, the handle added about another foot to its height. It was about two feet long and about a foot wide. This particular grocery carriage would fold up so that it took up hardly any room in our old attic.
This past week, I dreamt about Great Grandma’s grocery carriage twice. In one dream, it was as if I was back in time and I was about seven years old again, and I was with my dad in our old attic. This dream was so vivid, so real. I remember when I would look at Great Grandma’s carriage, my heart would fill with compassion for her. Dora Mabey never learned how to drive, so she had to walk the mile down Main Street to the grocery store. Then on her return trip wheel her little grocery carriage, filled with groceries, she would walk the mile back to the old Mabey Homestead.
My great grandmother was about five feet tall, she was thin as a rail, but she was filled with a rugged pioneer spirit. She actually helped my great grandfather, William Mabey, build the old Mabey Homestead around 1890. I’ve attached a photo of my dear great grandmother, with this blog.
I don’t fully understand why the image of Great Grandma’s little grocery carriage keeps coming back to me during this past week or so. My dreams of seeing it in my old attic are so real, so vivid that it actually tends to shake me up a bit.
Maybe I should not share this with my reading audience, but I have been working hard to get a series of my “Fond Memories” stories published in a Central Florida daily newspaper. I have to confess it has been an uphill battle, and I still haven’t succeeded in convincing this editor that the column will be well read, since there are a LOT of baby boomers living in the gated communities in Central Florida.
I don’t want my readers to think that I’ve gone off the deep end. But somehow, I am convinced that my great grandmother is reminding me of the stock that I come from. That when the rains fell, when the snow began piling up, when the winds bent the branches of the maple and the oak, that she buttoned up her old overcoat and walked the mile down to the little grocery store. Only to walk the mile back home, with her little grocery cart filled with groceries.
Life is tough. Despite the advanced technology, the CDs, the DVDs, the ipods, satellite television, cell phones, and the whole gambit of gizmos that we now have, sometimes we have to dig deep and weather the storm.
Is it possible for our loved ones, who have passed from this earthly life, to communicate with us? I’m certainly not going to get into a theological debate on the subject. But I know that I have been seeing the image of Great Grandma’s little grocery carriage, in my inner eye, for the past week and a half. That imagery has come to me at a red light, on line at the grocery store, at the library, while watching an old rerun of “Gunsmoke” and has vividly come to me twice in my dreams.
Plain and simple, life is tough at times. I have such a strong feeling that my dear great grandmother is telling me to get even tougher in pursuing my goal of getting a column published in the local daily paper. Sometimes, we have to dig deep and move forward with fierce determination.
Peace, love and harmony, Richard