Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My Grandmother the Witch



For those of you that have followed me for some time this post will be a flash back from other years, but I love to re-read it and re-post it at Halloween as it brings back so many happy memories of my grandmother; because you see I grew up believing that she was a witch. 






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 from its bun, 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 The Graphics Fairy




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 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, even one that entailed a shark biting off the tip of your finger. 




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 classical music and to read, which are magical gifts 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!




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7 comments:

  1. Elizabeth what a touching, sweet post and such a wonderful window into your family's story. I love your grandparents! They were playful and loving and such creative storytellers. I stopped by to respond to the thoughtful comment you left on my post and I was smitten by this post. It actually reminded me of my grandma Mary who told me she had a pink cow in her backyard that made all my strawberry flavored milk that was her special treat when I visited. I was so little and it seemed so magical to me.
    Also--I loved reading your views on my blog. It's a wise perspective that believes we are exactly where we need to be. I think simply trying to be the best human being we can in the most ordinary moments is an extraordinary way to live. I'm so happy to hear about the contented place you're at as you approach your milestone birthday. You are a wise friend.

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  2. What a wonderful tale! Your grandparents sound like fun and loving people. I imagine them sharing the joke at the end of the day.

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  3. HALLO, Elizabeth!

    What a rich heritage of storytelling you have in your family! And that tower, it looks like a tower we have here in St. Paul; I bet that place will be hopping tonight! I too have fond memories of Halloween with my mom, in the warm and secure safety of our kitchen. I was never allowed to go out to trick or treat, so I stayed in and made popcorn balls for the visitors with my mom. Oh, how I'd love to feel that sensation just one more time.

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  4. Boy, could I go for a slice of that apple pie, right now. Hope you have a great Halloween, Elizabeth.

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  5. A BEAUTIFUL TALE..............JUST BEAUTIFUL!
    THAT TOWER Is MAJESTIC AS WELL............
    I just started eating the CANDY!!!!!!!!!
    XX

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  6. I absolutely LOVE this post!!! Thank you!!! xoxo

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