|Ella Neff Herr July 11, 1899 - December 31, 2000|
I grew up on the farm where she and my Grandpa farmed, and she and Grandpa lived just a short walk across the meadow. We had a path worn from our house to theirs, and I remember walking often to their house, opening the white wooden gate at the corner of their yard, walking up the short hill, under the rose arbor,up the walk that was lined with Portulacas and across the porch. After a quick knock at the door, I would hear "come in"...in a voice that was so welcoming and sweet. It got shakier as the years went by, but it was the most kind, most welcoming voice you could ever want to hear.
In earlier years, I would often find Grandma quilting in the back room. Sometimes I would play at her feet, pretending to play "Noah's Ark" with plastic animals. I would line them up under her quilting frame and bring her rubber boots to wear so that her feet wouldn't get wet. She always wore them with a smile!
Sometimes she would be baking those famous sugar cookies. She always would let us eat more than Mom would, but would remind us not to spoil our supper!
I remember eating breakfast at Grandma and Grandpa's house in their tiny kitchen. The toaster sat on a shelf above the table, and sometimes...if we were lucky...the toast would pop out of the toaster and fall directly onto the butter dish that was strategically placed below. :)
Grandma grew beautiful flowers and huge cabbages, like you see in the picture above. I know she and Grandpa grew other things in their gardens too, but these are what I remember most.
In later years when I would stop in, Grandma would be in her black rocking chair and Grandpa in his recliner. She would often be crocheting and Grandpa would be reading, with the radio always tuned to the same local Christian radio station. She and Grandpa weren't outspoken about their faith, but taught us by example how to follow Jesus.
All of us twelve grandchildren would say that Grandma made us feel like she loved us the best! I just happened to be one of the lucky ones who lived next door.
I'm so glad to have this picture of Grandma with Eric and Jenna, taken just a few weeks before she died. Both kids have vague memories of her...
Grandma always said that she wanted to fall asleep one day and not wake up again. On Sunday, December 31, 2000, Grandma got her wish. She lived a full and happy life...101 years of it...left many, many happy memories with those of us who loved her!
Oh how I would love to be able to spend a day with her again.