Sep 16, 2011

Spotlight: Debbie Hayes

Debbie, thank you so much for sharing this very endearing story with us. Your love of family really shows. Frankly your loving nature shows with everyone.

Now in her own words:

Farewell to Summer
Another summer has come to an end...or at least by the calendar. The beginning of school and the time for harvest takes me back to my grandmother, Bonnie. Bonnie lived in Florence most of her life. She loved old-timey things. I learned so much from my dear sweet grandmother.

I remember coming home from school to find bushel baskets full of all sorts of vegetables or fruits that needed tending. We would sit and shell beans and peas for hours. As a child, I thought of this as drudgery. For what seemed like forever, we would tackle bottomless baskets. I never dared to complain, for somehow, that just would not have been right. I learned so much from her and about her during these endless sessions of “putting things up.”
Grandma would talk about how things used to be. How they would work the fields of her family’s farm planting crops for feeding their large family. There were no stores nearby to go grocery shopping. All foods had to be put up for the future. There would be many hungry mouths to feed all winter.
Grandma loved her mother, who would be taken away from her way too soon. She would tell me many stories of how beautiful her mother was, and how she worked so hard to provide for her family. I had visions of her beauty and kindness. It wasn’t until years later that I was able to obtain a picture of lovely Beulah. All family pictures had been lost in an unfortunate fire. Yes she was beautiful, and I am sure she would have been proud of her daughter Bonnie. I know I always will be.
I am sure that the countless methods for canning, preserving, and other handy skills taught to me by grandma were also taught to her by her mother. I would give most anything to come home to her and bushel baskets of produce now!

So as I spend time with my grand-daughters, teaching the same things, even though there are stores in abundance, I hope that they realize that it isn’t about putting up the vegetables and fruits, but more about the wonderful times and stories that will last a lifetime. Farewell Summer!

Webby Debby
Making It Grow

For those of you who do not know,  Debbie is a Master Gardener and has been on SCETV' S  Making It 'Grow for twelve years. I might add that she is a pretty spectacular person as well.

Until next time,


  1. Hi Debbie, I am sure your grandmother would be so pleased if she could know that you are able to pass her knowledge of canning and preserving on to new generations of your family. It seems to me that there is a general resurgence of interest in canning and preserving food. "Homemade" and "local" are much more valued than they once were.

  2. Debbie thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. You are such a special person.