sweet corn

When I was much younger, which is a polite way of saying, “nearly five decades ago”, we went to my grandparents’ farm.

We got there at dusk.

I don’t know how far we had traveled. I can’t remember how old I was, so I can’t remember where we lived. It could have been a couple hours, up from New Hope. It could have been all day, from Carol Stream.

My grandpa led me to the field. He picked sweet corn, two or three ears. My grandma got the water boiling. I sat at the kitchen table, eating sweet corn. Nothing else. No one else.

He was pretty quiet, my Swedish grandpa. I never doubted that he loved me. Not after giving me my heart’s desire that night.

Who know you love them, that clearly?


13 responses to “sweet corn

  1. Hopefully every single grandchild!

  2. This reminds me of a story from my parents. While attending Purdue University, they stopped along a country road near a corn field. They went in to grab 2-3 ears of sweet corn. Getting home and after putting it in the boiling water for the proper amount of time, they found they had gotten field corn. Not exactly what they were looking for.

  3. Paul – when we were living in texas, going to UT, we would get what they called “yellow corn” at the store. We were expecting sweet corn. It tasted (and textured) like what your parents had.

    Thanks for the story!

    And Jim- judging by the pictures you share, you are doing great!

  4. I love how the most important part of your memory lives on. The details fade. God is merciful to us in that way, sometimes.

  5. Paul – I love that you help me see that.

  6. Jon, thanks for that heartwarming story. It brings me back to Jamaica when I used to go to market with grandma. I was the only grandchild who would get up at 5 am or earlier on a Saturday morning to go to the market, so I had her all to myself. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I have the same memory of my grandparents’ Pennsylvania Dutch farm. The corn was called “shoepeg” because it had small white kernels, and it was the sweetest corn I’ve ever had. Like you, we had only that for dinner (called supper then), dripping with butter, and it was all we wanted.

  8. Whenever I visted my Grandparents, my Grandma would make a huge pot of Portuguese beans, there would always be leftovers for me to take home and freeze, her way of spreading the love.

  9. I love the reality of being fed, and the metaphor, too. Both are so powerful, so necessary.

  10. I spent from birth through age 3 with my grandparents, then each year I went back for a week each summer; never leaving my Papaw’s side. He was a gentle man. He would pick a bushel of peaches and set out to can them for the winter months. But not until I got my fill! I would sit beside him an he would peel a peach, remove the pit, slice it into a huge bowl, then do it again and this time it was for me. Bowl got one, I got one, until I grew tired of it. What a patient man he was with me. Such beautiful memories of love.

  11. Brings back memories of my mom’s and dad’s garden. Daddy grew the best cream and sugar sweet corn. I can still taste it.

  12. I’m sorry. I’m not keeping up with your comments, responding to each one. However, I’m enjoying reading them, thankful that my note can help you remember delightful times.


  13. Very very interesting post..I like this one. gotta bookmark this one.