Margie moved in next door to us a few years after we moved into our home in Ashland. She was in her eighties and was still quite spry. You would see her out in the yard pulling out weeds and doing other chores that much younger people would have long forsaken. She was a grandmother and she loved the location of her home because she could hear the sounds of children as they walked to and from school. Best of all, Margie loved living next door to a family with small children. That turned out to be an incredible blessing for me.
At that time, I was working early mornings as a baker and would leave for work before my children were awake. When I came home from work, I still had a lot of work ahead of me – as many mothers do. My saving grace was Margie. When I was at the end of my rope and my kids were needing attention I could call upon Margie. I might ask my kids to go ask Margie for an ingredient for dinner or I might send them to bring her something I had made that day. My children looked forward to spending time with Margie – she had toys for them to play with, she loved hearing about their days, and now and then she offered them a sweet treat. She was their next-door Grandma – and she was a lifesaver for me. She gave me a break when I most needed it. And I am forever grateful to her for that.
This weekend, Margie’s family is gathering to celebrate her life. I delivered a lovely Strawberry Rhubarb Pie to Margie’s daughter, Katharine, so that she could share it with her siblings and their families. I hope they know how lovely it was to have Margie as a neighbor and a friend. We will cherish the memory of her always.