Friday, January 23, 2009

My Family

I think families may be one of the hardest subjects to discuss. Feelings of each and every family member go so deep that it is hard to explain. But at the same time, it is the one thing that most shapes our entire life.

I was raised with 4 brothers and my Mom. Our Dad died when I was five so I don't remember him. Raising 5 kids alone in the 50's was a huge burden on a single Mom. There were hard times but the one thing my Mom instilled in us was that as long as we had each other, we would survive.

I am going to start a story about my grandparents first. Afterall, they are the ones who spoil us but at the same time instill morals and values into our hearts.

My maternal grandmother was a very family oriented person. She suffered with a bad heart as long as I can remember and couldn't do a lot but she was always there when we needed someone to talk to. She tried to instill the love of God in each of us and was forever teaching us the importance of a close family.
Living in the depression taught her to be very conscious of everything. This is where I learned to love crafting. She didn't throw anything out. She used scraps to hand quilt and I used to sit and help her tat quilts all summer while listening to her explain that they would come in handy when winter set in. And they did! She helped me make my first apron for 4 H Club. We sewed it by hand and it is a memory that I have never forgotten. Learning to use a needle and thread at 10 was so thrilling to me.
Her house was always open to anyone who wanted to enter. On Sundays, the entire family gathered at Grandmas to eat lunch. She had a small house and you just sat wherever you could find a place and put your plate in your lap and dug in. She was an excellent cook. Her kitchen was always messy but her explanation was that all good cooks have messy kitchens because that is where they stay.
But as sweet as she was, she had a temper. My Mom told about her and my aunt making Grandma mad once and she chased them around the house trying to smear dough in their face. When she couldn't catch them, she walked through the house and as she passed Papaw, she just smeared it in his face.LOL He never said a word. Just got up and washed it off. (I guess he knew better) This is my Grandma whom I loved dearly.

My maternal Papaw was a gentle man. He never said anything bad about anyone. The one thing that he taught me was that a child is a child no matter who it belongs to and they all need love. He loved children and had the patience of Job with them.
In his younger days, he played the fiddle for their church barn dances. He called the squaredances as he played. Growing up, listening to him play the fiddle gave me a sense of peace when nothing else could. I was his favorite and everone knew it.LOL
But I adored my Papaw. We sat in the porch swing and talked about everything. He taught everything from the difference between regular lightning and streak lightning to loving without judging. Even though he was a small man in stature, he was a giant to me. This is my Papaw.

My paternal grandmother was a very small lady, but what she lacked in size she made up for in spunk. As a child, I always remember everyone having the opinion that women were to keep their mouths shut and obey their husbands. (Yeah right) But not my Granny. She said what was on her mind and did what she wanted to do. My Mom said I took that after my Granny.LOL.
She loved her family and was there to help us when we needed it. She worked at Kern's Bakery and when they had day old goodies, she would stop by our house and give us a big box of cakes. Oh I loved those banana splits. ( Don't know what happened to them, but I can't find them anymore. ) We loved it when granny came by with her goodies.
She loved flowers. Her yard was full of roses, irises, hycith, poeny bushes and whatever she had room for. She use to come and get me for decoration every year and bring bunches of flowers with her from her yard to place on the graves. I loved her yard and I think that is where I grew to love working in flowers.
But with all of this, the biggest thing I remember about my Granny is the way she drove. Just think about a woman standing about 4'11", driving a small car with no power steering and no power brakes, driving like a race car driver. When you got in the car with her, you grabbed onto the edge of the seat and held on for dear life.LOL I remember one Thanksgiving, we were suppose to go to Granny's for dinner. We were coming home from Knox. when she passed us going to Knox. We drove straight to Granny's and she was already home! She had gone to the store, got what she needed and beat us home. (They say that's who I use to drive like also)LOL Meet my Granny.