.. but today .. I really thought about my mother's mother .. my MawMaw .. yes its a very southern thing to call your grand parent but that is what she wanted to be called so we did.. she died this time of year a few years ago (actually about mid november) .. soo.. this time of year and Easter are two times I think of her most..
My MawMaw always called me Bess.. she never called me by my real name.. this was explained to me later in life by my mom.. My grand mother's sister was named Bess.. and died in childhood.. apparently I looked alot like her .. My MawMaw was convinced I was her .. or she was reincarnated and came back as me.. I never have seen Bess' picture.. maybe my mom can find one but those kinds of things are hard to come by .. my grandmother grew up very poor so photos werent priority .. food and clothing were ..
There were many things about her that made her remarkable to me.. The first thing you need to understand about my grandmother is she never had a formal education.. she made it to the third grade .. for some reason she decided she didnt want to go back when she heard her teacher was mean and had been known to smash peoples fingers in the window for being bad.. and of course when she was younger education of girls was not high priority .. she was born in 1906... so she wasnt made to go back .. and basically went thru life with basic skills.. she could read and write but struggled with them thru life..
You have to understand also .. because of this lack of education.. she tended to have her own set of beliefs and rules.. It was kind of funny as I got older.. I never would laugh at her or make fun of her in anyway .. but I would have a chuckle at her sometimes when she said some of the things she did.. like this..
Picture it.. Easter .. one of her favourite times of year because the Easter lily was her favourite flower.. and I always take lilies to her grave when I go .. usually just white casablancas because you really cant get Easter lilies all year round.. at any rate.. My aunt had made this cake.. red velvet.. (another southern thing) and she had decorated it.. she had made green frosting.. and had dyed some coconut with food colouring and had some jelly beans on it to make it look like easter eggs.. sooo.. she brings the cake in and my grandmother announces very matter of Fact.. " I am not eating that .. its green so it must be poison" .. seriously what do you say to that?.. so I went outside and giggled with my mom .. and later on we went back in..... cut a piece of cake and removed the poison green from it ...took it out to my grandmother and she ate it .. none the wiser..
The one thing about my grandmother that really stands out .. She played music by ear.. she played to organ and the banjo.. remarkably well .. she would try to teach us and get frustrated because we did just get it like she did.. I did inherit some musical talent .. I do play a couple intruments but had to learn to read music to be able to do so .. she could entertain us for hours like that .. or just by letting us sit by her feet and telling us stories of horse drawn school buses.. and the first motor car in Clarksville .. and the Bell Witch ..old wives tales and of course superstitions..
I was her favourite.. I will be blatant and admit that.. and I loved going and staying with her .. she let me make mud pies.. and discover stuff.. I would stay there with my cousin David.. and in the summers she would let us walk across ole man Johnstons farm to the pond and fish.. or pick blackberries.. picking blackberries was hard.. but the reward was worth it.. Blackberry dumplings for dessert after dinner.. crisp autumn mornings you were sent out to get some kindling and wood for the fire while she finished up the biscuits and breakfast...
There were a few things my MawMaw would NEVER compromise on.. and these are kind of amusing if you think about it .. but this is the way it was in her house.. first of all.. you couldnt make a decent biscuit if you didnt have butter milk .. lard.. and Gold Medal flour.. did you get that GOLD MEDAL .. it couldnt be any other brand.. and she bought this flour in 20 pound bags at a time to keep in her hoosier cabinet with the built in sifter.. and if the store was out.. there would be trouble .. I am telling you .. another thing.. she had to have Jergens lotion.. the original.. no fancy smells .. no new kind of lotion even if it did do a better job.. what ever.. had to be regular original Jergens.. she loved getting this as a Christmas gift.. so all of us grandchildren would get her a bottle every Christmas.. so she had like a year supply at a time.. it was hell on us when they changed the bottle because she was CERTAIN we were trying to give her something else .. until she put some on her hands and smelled it and was convinced it was the same.. she also love her cotton house dresses.. i think this is another southern or older person thing.. because you can barely find them any more.. so I took to making them for her .. and then of course no other ones would do .. Her Bess made her the best dresses and she didnt want them from any one else.. I also made her cotton sun dresses for summer.. She also believed you should have a face cloth .. and a body cloth when bathing.. the face cloth always was white and the body cloth always a colour so you could tell them apart..
Later in life her hearing started to go .. and she would talk to herself but it would be loud enough you could clearly hear her.. this was something that always made me laugh .. you would ask her what she said.. and she would look at you and tell you straight up she didnt say a thing .. LOL..
The one thing I have always admired about her was her devotion and love for the people around her.. My grandfather died when I was 3.. that was 32 years ago.. I always remember my grandmother wearing her wedding band.. she never remarried or even talked of it.. she loved my grandfather to the day she died.. they took her ring off as they closed the casket.. I cant think of another example of that kind of love and devotion in my life.. and I am proud to say I had a good example in that field.. you dont see that every day ..
Just some of the things I think about.. and remember and miss so bad it hurts sometimes.. and today .. it just hurts.. I was gathering wood for my stove today thinking about how nice it would be to go in and get the fire started and then be able to sit down to biscuits hot from the oven with real butter.. grits.. bacon .. and eggs if you wanted them .. and see the look on MawMaw's face when you told her those were the best biscuits you ever had.....