We’ve started keeping our 3 year-old granddaughter, Ellie, on Thursday nights so her parents can have a much-needed night out together once a week. They both work full time at Visiting Angels® and while it’s a labor of love it’s still very stressful keeping 100 + caregivers properly deployed looking after seniors all over middle Georgia.
Last Thursday, while we were sitting down to dinner with Ellie and two other sons, my good friend Johnny called to ask if we’d like some fresh Peaches & Cream corn from his garden. It didn’t take me long to give him a resounding “Yes, I’ll be there soon as we finish dinner”!
So, after dinner, I drove over to Johnny’s where he already had picked about three dozen ears and had them in a box for me. Then he proceeded to walk me through his garden and pick a bunch of fresh peppers and cucumbers and before I left he gave me a bag of Vidalia Onions as well. I don’t know why Johnny treats us so well but that’s part of why we love living in the country.
When I pulled into the driveway my wife was in the front porch swing with Ellie doing what nannies are supposed to do with granddaughters…….reading , telling stories, laughing and making memories. So I thought I’d join them and show Bess all the produce Johnny just gave us. She was properly awed as she always is from Johnny’s garden.
I pulled up a rocker, opened the box of corn and proceeded to shuck it. My mind immediately rewound about 65 years to when my mother would ask me to shuck corn on the back steps of our house. Contrary to what most Georgians think, south Jersey grows some of the sweetest corn you can imagine. Sometimes in the summer, Mom and Dad would stop by a roadside stand and bring it home for dinner, fresh.
After I’d shucked a few ears, I decided to call Ellie over to help me; (see the photos at http://www.facebook.com/VisitingAngelsofCentralGA/). Do you know how much help a three year-old is in shuckin’ corn? Obviously not much; but that’s not the point. The point is I wanted her to be able to tuck away the same kind of mystical memories that I was reliving at that very moment. So hopefully, years from now, when Ellie is rocking her grandchildren on her front porch she’ll remember the great time she had with her Nanny and Pop-Pop way back in 2017.
If we’re not careful to cultivate these kinds of experiences with our grandchildren they’re likely to growup thinking that corn grows in the freezer section at Kroger’s® or that milk comes from the refrigerated section of Wal-Mart® or even worse, that biscuits grow in a can that you whop on the edge of the kitchen counter when you want to let them out!
Think of it, most of our grandparents’ generation had some connection to a farm; some of our parents’ generation did too. But kids growing up now? Not so much. So, we owe it to them to get a little healthy dirt under their fingernails when we get a chance. That’s why, when they’re here, I always include the grandkids when I gather the eggs from the chicken pen.
Well, I hope you find some great corn this summer, and that you get to shuck it with your grandkids. Under no circumstances should you buy pre-shucked corn…even if you have an aversion to corn worms; you’ll miss half the pleasure of fresh corn on the cob!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…see you next week!
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or search for us at http://www.facebook.com/VisitingAngelsofCentralGA/
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