I have been around for a long time. And with life comes lots of memories and a few trips around the block. After one of those trips around the block I realized had become the anomaly that was my grandmother...mysterious, full of stories and...a little bit wrinkly. I remember spending tons of time with her and Papa (grandfather) on their farm in Arkansas. During the summers it was hot and there was no air conditioning because Papa said the "air dition" made him sick. But Mamaw did everything she could to make the most of it. She always cooked these ginormous meals three times a day, but one of them at least once a week would be fried fish, hush puppies, home made fries and all the fixings. She and I would dig up some worms, drag out of bamboo fishing poles and head out to one of the three fishing ponds on their property. It was always a highlight of the week for me.
During these trips to the ponds there was lots of storytelling. And all of it was from Mamaw's life as a young girl. She was born less than thirty years after the Civil War and always living in the Deep South. There were stories of the Great Depression, of the murder of her brother, of the mistreatment of the blacks in the South, of her courtship with Papa. The stories went on and on and she was my hero. She was the woman in our church that all the ladies called "Mama" and came to for advice. She made soul food before it was called soul food. Her roses and tulips were second to none and her vegetable garden was envied by all.
In this day of reality TV she would have been someone we all would have tuned in to see just because she represented something that was dying in America. A lifestyle that is disappearing right before our eyes...simple, organic, live by the fruits of our labor life. But more than that she represented the grace and love of Jesus. She was THE person in my life who never had to say she was a believer....I just knew it by how she lived. What a breath of fresh air she was. In fact, as I grew up I was dumbfounded and shocked to learn that everybody's grandmother was not like mine.
My favorite reality star was Florence Ella Duncan Carroll, my maternal grandmother.
Did you spend time with my Mamaw? hehe! Some of your story sounds like my story.
I spent time with grandparents in Olive Branch,MS. My grandmother was raised during the depression on a farm in Tippah Co.,MS and taught me to "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without". My Papaw had a 3rd grade education but was a welder and auto mechanic and was gifted with a genius of how to make something out of very little.
I wish you would write an e book or something about your memories because you have a way with words and I would like to read it.
I am a big fan of Charles Portis (from Arkansas) who wrote True Grit among other books.