A Character With Character

Grandmother from my novel isn’t called Nana

Anne Chisom
8 min readSep 5, 2021


CCO Public domain photo by Linnaea Malletta

Note: this is a blog post version of a book chapter. Thus, I’ve not added section dividers or more photos.

Jemima Cornflower turned to look one more time at the garden she had planted. It was too early for most of the food crops to show if they were growing well since it was only mid-May in upstate New York. She turned back to face the fence that enclosed the space to keep it safe from rabbits, at least, and deer if she was lucky.

She closed the gate on the fence and turned to go into her cabin. She stretched and let the morning sunshine loosen the tight muscles and joints in her 87-year-old body. One of her friends had told her she resembled older actress Vanessa Redgrave, with her tall, straight stature, long dresses,and pulled-back long gray and white hair. The friend added that Redgrave’s facial features made it appear that perhaps she also had an American Indian heritage.

Jemima looked up as she felt more than saw some activity in her driveway. She then spotted an elderly woman walking toward her.

Jemima felt she knew the person approaching her even though she physically would not have recognized her. She frowned, then fixed the visitor with an intent stare.

The other woman was dressed in linen-looking slacks and jacket over a soft blouse. The woman spoke. “Well, it seems you recognize me even after all of these years.”

“Yes, Geneva, I recognize you.”

Jemima held up a hand to shade her eyes so she could get a clearer view of her unexpected visitor.

“Why are you here? You haven’t been here since the early 1980s. Why would you come back here after all these years?”

“Jemima, I see you are as direct as I remember.” The visitor smiled slightly, then stopped speaking and sighed.

“After all of this time my granddaughter’s coming to visit this part of New York State. I know she’s never been here before but that’s not her fault.

“She knows almost nothing about our family, Jemima, so I’m hoping when she comes you can help her. You can answer some of the questions she’s going to have better than anyone else. You can protect her from…



Anne Chisom

Writing on whatever strikes my mood, from politics to humor (or a combination of the two), to spirituality, or whatever else shows up. Retired, not in retreat.