Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Grandmother the "Witch"

I've lived a magical life and I am lucky because I have always been surrounded by love, imagination, colorful story tellers and taught to believe.

Image from The Graphics Fairy


From the time I was a small child my grandfather wove tales of our heritage to amuse as well teach us. In addition to my relatives, Hocus Pocus Johnny Mocus, the alligators in the basement that guarded the barrels of money and the shark that bit off the tip of his finger, my grandfather loved to share tales about my grandmother who was a "witch" and lived in a beautiful tower.


via Martha Stewart

 He claimed that after we went to bed, she took her long black hair down, hopped on her broom and rode off  to see the city and perhaps to visit her friends before going to sleep in her tower castle and then coming back by morning to see us.


Image from Wicked Faerie Queen


He often took us driving by her beautiful tower and when we asked if we could go in the answer was always no, you could only go in at night and the only way in was to fly on your broom to the top window.


via Pine Cones and Acorns

Being of a young, fertile mind I thought perhaps the story was true because after all, my grandmother did have long, black hair ( most witches do), it reached her rear end, and she always wore it in a bun, she also always took it down at night and would brush it, 100 strokes to keep it soft.  In addition, she did a lot of sweeping with a really cool broom ( witches have these too), and sometimes when she wasn't looking we would take it outside to the garden to see if we could get it to work.

Then, there was her tower which was perched on a hill, overlooking the beautiful Lake Michigan and surrounded by beautiful houses and a park, clearly visible for all of Milwaukee to see, even those far out to sea. 

Visible for all all to see, even the ships out to sea!


My grandfather would drive us by the magical tower and although we could see the beautiful windows and the architecture there was no door that I could ever find.


I dreamed of visiting her here!

 Most importantly, every time we asked her if she was a witch, and I can tell you there were many times, she just smiled and said we should "believe in things we cannot see."





I never really had reason to doubt these stories because I did often see my grandfather come out of the basement, from a room we were never allowed  into, and he always came out with a box of money, which he gave us a quarter from every Friday to go the penny candy store (dating myself here...now a days that doesn't get you much). He did take us to meet Hocus Pocus Johnny Mocus, a distant relative who gave us candy and soda and was a magical man. And my grandfather was missing the tip of his index finger. Clearly evidence to a small child and her siblings to believe any and all tales.


Image Graphics Fairy


I also had other reasons to believe, my grandmother was from a family of 13 children, and she had 10 children herself, from a stock of hard working, land owning, German, Catholics. She was magical, because whenever you were with her she made you feel like the most important person in the world and she made you feel loved. She was a hard worker, industrious, intelligent and she loved to read, which is a magical gift that she passed on to me. 




 She worked magic in the kitchen and would whip up delectable treats, Cinnamon buns, Christmas cookies, cakes, and tasty morsels for family and friends, and often she let her little apprentices stand side by side with her, rolling dough and frosting cookies. Even when times were tough, she always used her magic and faith to find ways to feed her children and to make sure they had a wonderful life.

My grandmothers "slab apple pie"

 She instilled in us the value of family, the importance of love, and a zest and joy for life. She also taught us about the magic of tradition and to always be there for one another and the fact that there is "no place like home."

 I believe and think that is the most magical of beliefs. So my guess is that if she was a witch she was the best kind there is...a Good Witch.

I think of her often and miss her all the time but mostly when I see her tower which I visit each time I am in Milwaukee. I stand there and imagine her up high with her friends sharing a cocoa and a cinnamon bun looking down and smiling at me.


Image Pine Cones and Acorns

Happy Halloween!
 Be safe and Enjoy! I hope you do not eat too much candy and tasty treats!


6 comments:

  1. This is such a lovely tale. I was thoroughly engaged. How blessed you are x
    leah

    ReplyDelete
  2. My grandmother also told me lots of magical stories and I have the most wonderful memories of that. I will never forget how serious she looked when she told them, nor how much I believed them. I loved your retelling of your grandmother's story about being a witch and also the great images you used to illustrate it. Hope you have a spooky and fun Halloween!

    ReplyDelete
  3. S=Both she and your grandfather sound magical. You have written so poignantly here, and you are left with such magical memories, their job was done well!
    Much Love
    Di
    x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Elizabeth Dear,

    I left a comment yesterday on this beautiful post, but it is not here!
    I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this, and what a gift it is to have these magical memories. I can imagine a little book based on these stories!

    A magical Halloween to you...I have a little treat for you here: http://lovelyreveries.blogspot.com/
    I hope you enjoy sweet friend!

    xoxo,
    - Irina

    ReplyDelete
  5. Could please let me know where I could get a copy of the photograph of the two school girls. Thank you.



    Barbara

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for coming to visit Pine Cones and Acorns. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Although I try to come to visit every blog that comments sometimes I just do not get the chance, but I do try to comment here.

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