What I remember most about my great-grandmother Elizabeth Rinker is her bustling about her house. She was always busy and yet she always had time. I adored the woman for everything she taught me, lessons that seem to have been lost since her passing away.
I remember the steepness of the street that she used to live on in Wilkes-Barre. I remember the shortness of the blocks as I would run from her house to the local corner store to buy myself a treat. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was enough for something sweet. My uncle Russell Moore lived with her to help take care of her, although she seemed more that capable of caring for herself.
It was always harvest time when I went to visit her and she would always have the canning jars cooking on the stove while preparing the fruit. I remember riding to her house in the back of a pickup truck full of apple, peaches, strawberries or cucumbers. Something always needed washing or cutting or peeling before being cooked and canned in glass jars. I would sit at her kitchen table and help prepare the fruit for the jars. Not all of it was canned. She would also bake some pies which she would send home with me.
It’s hard to remember much about her because it seems that every visit to her house was the same. Back of the pickup truck with the fruit, helping her pare or cut the fruit for canning, talking about things at home, getting my reward for being helpful. Some days she didin’t have the cash, but I was happy to be there anyway. She never scolded me for using my left hand to cut things with or stir with and always had a nice comforting hug for me. I suppose the hugs are what I miss the most about her.