Winifred. I'm not sure I spelled the name right.
Its 5am as I start this entry. For whatever reason I began to remember little snatches of grandma-memories. "Winnie" was grandma's neighbor to the rear. I thought her name was odd and definitely country-fide. I never forgot the name.
It would have been during the early 1950s. A wooden fence separated their properties. Grandma's yard was cut and maintained in farmer style. The grass was cut but not edged, the trees pruned as needed. Winnie's backyard was hidden behind bent trees and overgrown bushes and shrubs. I could only see the top of their unpainted house. I don't remember what Winnie looked like, but I remember she had chickens. And my impression was that Winnie and her husband liked their beer.
My step-grandfather was called Fred, never grandpa. He was a silent skinny man. It worked out well because grandma was a talker. She talked about everyone. If you weren't sitting there in the kitchen, then you could pretty much bet you would be the subject of the conversation at one point or another. I don't know if it was mean gossip or not, cause you know, I was just a kid and didn't pay too much attention to the adults. I think it was more in the way of entertainment. 'Access Hollywood' if you will. It drove my mother crazy because she knew she was discussed in hushed tones. Was she really? I don't know. I just know my mother did not like my grandmother (her mother), but I didn't find that out until I was an adult.
Grandma and Fred, transplanted midwestern farmers, had a big plot of land with their house to the rear. I'm terrible at measurements so I'm going to guess they had an acre or two. A third of it was a garden. Besides all the veggies they also had a couple of rows of berries... blackberries and raspberries. And I remember tall stalks of corn along the driveway. Grandma would can and preserve things. Steam rising from the huge pots and canning jars sitting all over. Beads of sweat on faces and clothing. Every inch of counter space covered.
Grandma also made bread. Ohyummmmmmmmmmm. The smell of yeast. Warm fresh bread smothered with real butter and if you liked, home made raspberry jelly. Fred and I could tear through us some warm fresh bread. I'm surprised my grandma never hit our hands with a wooden spoon to keep us away.
Well... now I've got to go make me some toast. Do I have jelly?