I've uploaded these images with thoughts of my Grandma Grace. She was shy, loved and grew beautiful flowers, made delicious cobblers and filled many of my childhood days with song. Her favorites were the old hymns and she was most happy when she was singing them while doing dishes. Her soft voice would carry out the little window over the sink to the garden, where rows of her colorful treasures grew.
When younger, she accompanied her singing with strings and there is a wonderful old picture of her playing her instrument in the garden, back in Missouri, as a teen. The instrument didn't complete the journey through the states Grandma lived in, while making her way to CA with my Grandpa and their children. Thankfully words are light to carry so the songs continued to spill out long after the strings quieted.
Grandma and Grandpa lived a simple, self reliant lifestyle. They dealt with the things that really matter; getting by as best they could while raising six wonderful children. They suffered losses and challenges, worked hard and rested little. Nothing was fancy but everything was dear. A family gathering with the children and grandchildren was the best of times. A shady spot, iced tea and shared laughter was the recipe for perfection; followed by dish washing and grandma's songs. Her favorite was He Walks With Me. How could it not be, taking place in the garden with dew on the roses. I make a trip to the Point Defiance Rose Garden, in near by Tacoma, each summer and think of her and that last song we played in her honor.
I don't remember ever discussing the particulars of religion with Grandma. She may have attended a church before I was blessed to know her, but by that point, she carried her church with her in those songs.
Had she asked, she would have found we saw things of a religious nature differently. It wouldn't have mattered. She was about heart and home and family. If you fell into one or more of those areas, you were bound to her by threads of love for life. If she was here, I would share this song by Iris DeMent with her. Comes close to my thinking and I have no doubt Grandma would have loved it.