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A very long time ago, when i was little, my mom and i would go to visit her mother. My grandma Ivy. She lived somewhere around Winlock, Washington, way off up some little country road out in the woods. My mom called the house "a shack". And, i suppose it was, by a lot of people's standards, but to me it was the perfect place.
My mom's brother,Cleo, lived there with her off and on, and he had an old logging horse, Ned. Cleo was the favorite of all us kids, but Ned was who i wanted to spend my time with. He was the first horse i ever sat upon. He was big!
The house had a water well where Ivy got her water. She actually cranked it up in a bucket on a rope! She had a vegetable garden, and she cooked on a wood stove. I remember seeing her sit on her little vanity stool at night, brushing her hair to re-braid it for bed. Her hair fell to the floor. I thought it was beautiful.
She would take me by the hand and she, my mother and i would go into the woods to pick blackberries, huckleberries, salmon berries, thimble berries and wild raspberries. She had tin coffee cans with wire strung through holes in the cans, so we could hang the cans on our arms and have both hands for picking.
To this day the taste of a fresh blackberry makes me feel like a little girl again.
I was a little afraid of Ivy. She was very strict, and seemed not to like anybody, but i loved her home and how she lived, so i guess i loved her too. I know i loved going to visit her and Cleo.
This is what her place looked like in the late 80s, long after
she had died.