Memoir: Chaney

In 1950, Chaney arrived at the
grand-old house on Hampton Street,
deep in the low-country of South Carolina,
to work for my great-grandmother.

In 1960, when my twin sister and I arrived,
our great-grandmother sent Chaney
next door to our grandparent's
home to care for us. 

And there Chaney remained,
year after year.  She cooked
and cleaned and fussed over us as
if we were her own.

She was family and we loved her.

Chaney hummed when she ironed
and starched the sheets.
She made a savory macaroni pie
and perfectly sweet iced tea.

She called me "Miss Suzy."
I simply knew her as "Chaney."
I never knew her last name.
No one did.
Mama said, "No one thought to ask."

And therein lies the pickle of my Southern roots. 
Chaney M. Gruber 1903 – 1975
Digital Art by Sue Viseth
In memory of Chaney, I found her last name by searching the cemetery directory of my hometown. She passed when I was a teenager, but I never knew her age. She will forever be timeless to me.

Poetry ~ October

Meet me in October
at the coffee house on Maple Drive
where leaves of every color
make autumn come alive!

We'll sip pumpkin spiced lattes,
and snuggle by the fire,
reminisce and gossip
of how fast a year goes by!

And when our cups are empty,
I'll slip a kiss upon your cheek
and watch you fade into the autumn mist
until again we meet.

Poetry ~ Traces

 a dark storm
obscured her path
sending her back in time
in search of traces
left by a younger self


her obsession,
the necessity to leave clues
on the path she'd traveled
in preparation for lost thoughts
in a future filled with chaos


she is grateful for the traces
that remind her

of a path less traveled
and clear signs of a future self
destined to leave her mark