I grew up off a rural two lane highway that followed the quietly meandering, humble beginnings of the Mississippi River. One of my great fortunes in life was that across that highway, lived Violet. One of an elite few individuals, whom I call the greatest I've ever known.
Violet was always busy. Always cleaning or cooking for the rural Lutheran church that was located between her house & ours, or cutting or chopping firewood. She was handy with an axe and chainsaw. She kept her lawn beautifully mowed and tended a generous sized garden.
Yet she was almost always available with time to visit.
There was an old pull down ladder staircase that went to her attic. I remember playing school up there with her granddaughter, Beth. And a pond on the road just near her house, where we collected tadpole eggs in the spring.
She had a fancy tree in front of her house toward the road, was it a weeping willow?
There was even a time or two when we stayed overnight at Violet's.
Most of my memories though, are in her kitchen.
I'll never forget her kitchen, or the treats that came from it.
Violet's kitchen was where I first experienced crushed oreos over a bowl of ice cream. There seemed to be a never ending source of treats coming from her kitchen and the
giant chest freezer in the room off of it.
And pop. Violet was
the only adult I knew who pushed pop on us kids. (And we loved it.)
Some of the best recipes in my recipe box came from her kitchen.
When I was dating my future husband, I had to take him to meet Violet.
I have a photocopy of a newspaper clipping on marital
advice that she gave us when we got married, titled "True love
changes with time."
After I grew up & moved away, Violet held each one of my babies.
We drove many extra trick-or-treating miles each Halloween to go to her house. She had extra special treats waiting.
She delighted in the twins. And was tickled pink when Johnathan was born a "birthday twin" with her first great-grandson.
I have often wished over the years that we had named Lilly, our only daughter, after her.
Here she is with Beau when he was born in 2007.
In a little while I'll head back to that rural church by the pretty little bluff where I grew up, to pay final respects to Violet. It couldn't be a more beautiful morning.
She was a wonderful friend over many decades to my mom. Adored by everyone who knew her. An amazing part
of the rural community I grew up in. She was born, raised, and lived
out her life there.
She was & always will be Ball Bluff Township's