She made her way down the stairs using the flashlight that her Grandpa kept just inside the door. She knew just where she was going and what she was looking for. Her Granny had put a huge box of her and The Bugger’s baby things down here long ago, a life-time ago it seemed.
She found the box right where she knew it would be, bottom shelf –way in the back of the storage room. She never dreamed she would need these things. She quickly filled her back pack with tiny T-shirts and sleepers. She put socks and cloth diapers in too. She had to giggle when she found the old worn pink blanket that she had bravely given up when she was five and entered school. She hadn’t wanted anyone to think her a “kindergarten baby”! It was too worn to take, so she placed it back into the box. Her pack was almost full, so she closed up the box and began to look around. There were only two of her Grandma’s quilts left, the rest were in her cave. They were packed in zippered plastic bags for protection. She decided to take them both. One was for Victoria but the other one was going to be a gift for a new friend; she hoped.
She had brought another bag with her that had a strap she could slip over her head and across her shoulder. She looked at the shelves trying to decide just what she should take. She wanted to make sure that what she took would be accepted. It wasn’t that she was thinking that they would demand some kind of payment for caring for Victoria; it was more like she wanted to make sure that she would be allowed to retrieve her. She also didn’t know exactly what to expect when she went back there. She took a deep breath and sighed.
She filled the bag with homemade soaps and lotions that her granny had made. She even tossed in a few that she had made. Now that the goat was gone, she wouldn’t be able to make more, well; unless she found another goat…which was possible –if not probable. There was still plenty on the shelves. Before her grandma had died, they had really stocked up because her grandma had been teaching her how to make all that stuff. She thought the honeysuckle was the best, but all those smells were already in her cave. There was some that had no smell and she figured that those would be good for Victoria. Lastly, she put in ten of the candles that she and her grandma had made. They smelled good too.
Loaded up, she grabbed the two quilts and made her way back upstairs. Once outside, she set her bags and the quilts down and made sure the door was closed and the boards back in place. Lastly she tossed some dirt on the stairs that led outside to hide where she had swept her tracks away with a branch with some leaves.
She picked up her load again, settled the quilts over the shoulder bag; well it wasn’t the best way to carry them, but it was the only way she could keep her hands free. She headed back to her cave; she had some moccasins to finish up!
“Now honey, we have to keep stirring this mixture so that we don’t get any lumps.” Granny said to me.
“Just like if we were making gravy or oatmeal, right Granny?” I asked.
“That would be right, dear. Do you pick out what kind of smell you wanted in this batch?”
“Yeah, I picked the honeysuckle, that’s my favorite. But we can use the rose if you want.”
“I think honeysuckle would be fine. I still have plenty of my rose soap. Although when we make the next batch, we really need to do some for the fella’s… sandle wood and juniper would be great for Poppy and The Bugger, and it seems like it’s going pretty quick.”
I started giggling because when I went out into the woods, I used those very soaps because I didn’t want the deer to smell me. I don’t know if it really worked, but it sure seems to!
Granny just gave me one of her ‘I think I know you are up to something but I can’t quite figure it out but I will’ looks.
I keep stirring the soap until Granny declared it ready for the molds. This batch we poured into the long wooden frames that Poppy had made us. They were about five inches wide but about two feet long. We found that the long narrow molds allowed the soap to dry and harden quicker and more evenly than the usual square ones. We had lined the mold with waxed paper although sometimes we use a light coating of oil. We were trying something new. I thought that it should work out but if it didn’t, I knew I would be the one either scraping the mold or scraping the soap. Oh well, at least Granny’s craft kitchen was smelling wonderful.
I just loved Granny’s craft kitchen. Here is where she kept all the cool stuff. She had a small room off the back wall where she dried all her herbs and also where she kept the bottles of herbs in oils. She knew so much about herbs, I figured it would take me at least a hundred years just to master the basics! But she loved to teach me and even would let me learn by doing… although I have messed up many a batch or five of this and that.
When you first walk in, it’s like a room with the south wall all windows and full of potted plants, she even has a lemon tree and a lime tree! But the north and east walls have counters with cabinets below and shelves above. Every shelf and cabinet is full.
There is an island in the middle of the actual kitchen part of the room with a stove top and a large work space; there is even room for a huge cutting block. The counters are made of a beautiful black and gray marble. Granny said that the counters in here cost more than our whole regular kitchen put together. Then she winked… so I’m not sure if she was just foolin’ me or not. And we do have nice counters in regular kitchen, but she said those were granite.
On the West wall is the doorway to the herb room and the door to the house. I think that this use to be the garage, at least it is big enough to be a two car garage. It always smells good in here and even though it is usually plenty warm since we are usually using the stove, there is a small wood burning stove in the south and west wall which Granny can make the most delicious bread in!
There was room on south side to hold some comfy chairs and hanging from the ceiling was Granny’s quilting rack. I think this is the room I spent the most time with Granny in. Seems like when we were together it was either in here or in the regular kitchen. I was always with Poppy outside. Come to think of it, I hardly ever was in my bedroom or the living room.