As far back as I can remember, Grandma Bailie never wasted anything.
I loved her with all my heart and spent every moment I possible could with her because she had so many beautiful stories to tell.
She lived with everything in abundance as a young girl but her parents made her account for every penny spent and every moment lived. Their thinking was that just because you were privileged did not mean you were allowed to be wasteful.
"Time and money should not be wasted Emma!' was a phrased used often in their household.
Then just before the war Grandma Bailie met and fell in love with Fred Bailie.
Grandpa Fred was from the other side of the track. He lost his Mum as a youngster and grew up hard and poor but Grandma Bailie loved him.They married and moved into a tiny council house, against her families wishes. Grandma Bailie was cut off from her family and disinherited.
The war raged on and Grandma Bailie was on her own most of the time except for when she did the odd cleaning job in a local factory or an upper class home, as was needed. She had to make ends meet in order to survive through very tough times.
During this time she learned to live with very little and had to once again had to account for every penny, but this time through necessity.
After the war the couples fortune never really changed. Grandpa Fred could be real mean sometimes but Grandma Bailey did what she always did. She never wasted time or money and she kept on loving Grandpa Fred, she knew how he had suffered out on the battle field.
I would listen to all her stories as we sat in front of the tiny apartment that she now lived in all on her own. Grandpa Bailie had passed on.
One evening I asked her why she had never gone back to her family to make amends and ask for help. Why she had stayed with Grandpa Fred with his bad temper and meanness. It sounded to me that if he had made an effort they could have lifted themselves out of their situation but he was too stubborn and set in his ways.
Always regal but with a sadness in her eyes she smiled down at me and said "Just because something is not that good and a little off, does not mean you have to toss it out. If your bread is stale, you can toast it, dress it up with jam and cream and it would then taste good."
I was thinking how times changes with each generation.
Mum was a free spirit and a bit of a rebel. That came from the two opposite personalities she had grown up with. Grandma Bailie taught her to follow her heart. Was this because she was caught in a web she couldn't escape from all her life. Her parents first told her what to do and then Grandpa Fred called the tune in their home. I wondered.
Mum rebelled against the stringent rules of Grandpa Fred and fought tooth and nail for her rights. This was a new generation where the women wanted more authority. She relished this time. She took part in every protest at university. She would fight for equal rights for minority groups.
I'm not sure if the story is true but she told that she spent a night in a police cell for punching a police officer while taking part in a protest march for women to play football. We always told her we didn't believe it but she insisted it was true. She would show off the scar on her one right hand knuckle from the scuffle with the police officer and we would smile and nod.
When Mum and Dad decided to divorce, I told Mum what Grandma Bailie had told me about the stale bread and Mum quickly cut me off. "My child, this piece of bread is so stale, the only place for it is in the dustbin."
I didn't argue with her. No one ever argued with Mum.
I had these two extreme role models in my life.
Grandma Bailie who had this beautiful personality that was hidden under circumstance of her time. Her decisions in her life were based on what society prescribed and she lived with that. She made her peace with what was dealt to her.
Mum on the other hand did as she pleased with not a care in the world what society thought about her and her actions. She was strong and fierce in her beliefs and convictions.
I was the next generation and again the times had changed. Mum and Dad allowed me way more than Grandma Bailie and Grandpa Fred did her. I did not need to rebel like Mum and Dad taught me to be gentle and thoughtful. I had freedom of choice as long as I was prepared to deal with the consequences that went with the choices.
When I married Mark I was wonderfully happy. He was a thoughtful and loving man and I often tried to imagine how we would complement each other and how we would shape each others personalities as we grew old together.
Dad would always just ask me if this was the choice I wanted to make. But Mark and I, we were good for each other and had the same interests. We ran a very successful business and could argue without it being harmful to our marriage.
Now there is the next generation that will come along and who knows what times that will bring for them. Two beautiful girls that give us tremendous joy are also part of the family. Sometimes it's been difficult when in the one I see a bit of the rebel Mum was but there is nothing I would change in my life.
All these thoughts had been running rampant through my mind as the sun poured into the kitchen where I sat with a cup of steaming coffee, waiting for my computer to boot up.
I wanted to try a new ciabatta recipe I found on the You-tube channel. I was going to make an authentic bread that even required me to make my very own yeast. So a few days before I had already made my starter. Following every step of instruction down to the tee my bread eventually went into the oven.
"Morning Honey," Mark kissed me on the cheek and dusted flour off his lips. "If it tastes as good as it smells, I will lock you up forever and you will make bread for me morning and night."
We laughed as I took a peeked at the bread through the oven window. So far - so Good, I thought.
The timer alerted me to take my ciabatta was ready and I placed it on the rack to cool.
I picked up the tray with two cups of coffee, my ciabatta on a board and fresh farm butter in a dish, then stepped out onto the patio.
There were perfect air bubbles in my bread as I proudly cut a slice for Mark and spread butter on it.
"That my darling husband is a perfectly fresh slice of homemade bread. No need to toast it and dress it up with anything and definitely no need to toss it out!" I said.
"Thanks Honey - it's just perfect."
I closed my eyes and smiled - Thank you Grandma Bailie
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I like the infusion of very appreciate pictures.
Thank you for reading. Sorry I could only get a reply to you now.