Friday, January 19, 2007

Random Facts and Follies About My Grandmother

1. Before Alzheimer's and dementia took their toll, Granny always made sure she was "put together." She wore face powder and rouge- the cream kind. She wore pantyhose and heels. Most of the time she would wear her faux pearl necklace I had given her. The most important part of the ensemble- her hair.

2. Granny loved chocolate, especially Reese's peanut butter cups.

3. When Granny was a little girl, she had to protect her little sister Ruby from a bully. On their way to school, the bully picked on Ruby. Ruby would cry, but Granny would just push the bully in the ditch. I have a feeling she may have given him a few shiners, too.

4. When Papa and Granny married, Granny ran away from the courthouse after the ceremony. Papa had to chase her for the wedding kiss.

5. Granny's advice-

Never trust anyone with beady eyes.
What's in the blood stays in the blood. (a person behaves like their family)
If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas.
Don't ever do anything that would shame the family.
Stay out of other people's business.

6. Everyone called her "Miss Pearl" or "Aunt Pearl." (Yep. Sisters named Pearl and Ruby.)

7. Granny loved, loved, loved fried catfish and shrimp. She wouldn't eat any kind of chicken because chicken made her sick when she was expecting Mama. She would eat KFC. Totally logical.

8. Granny kept her porches swept and scrubbed, and I mean scrubbed with soap. She swept her front walk several times a day because of the pecan tree that just got on her nerves. She hated when it bloomed and all of those blossoms fell on her clean walk, but she sure loved to pick up the pecans.

9. Every night before Granny went to bed she wrapped her hair with toilet tissue. She pinned it in place with bobby pins, put a round, silky scarf on top, then pinned it in place. This kept her hair in place until the next Friday morning hair appointment. All she had to do each morning was tease it a bit. I thought all grandmothers did this. She looked a lot like Mama Harper did on the TV show Mama's Family:

10. Before Papa died, Granny made 2 pans of biscuits for him every. single. day. One at dinner (lunch) and one at supper (dinner.) It didn't matter how hot it was, she still baked biscuits. Papa and Granny didn't have air conditioning, except for the one window unit they ran only when my mama visited.

11. Granny never learned to drive. She tried, but could never get reverse figured out. The sheriff's wife offered to teach her, but Granny declined.

12. Granny worked hard her entire life. First as a child helping her mother at home and helping on the farm. (Granny picked cotton.) Then, as a wife and mother and surrogate mother to her sister's children. She never worked outside of the home, but worked very hard at home. And, she could always find work for those around her. While doing one chore, she would assign me another one, and so on. The next thing I knew, I had been working for hours.

I sure miss those days. And her.


Anonymous said...

What great memories! Thanks for sharing. Funny that I posted about my two great-grandmothers on Wednesday of this week. I was blessed enough to know them and love them deeply, now miss them deeply!

Have a great weekend~

Nancy said...

the biscuit thing blows me away. I barely have the time and initiative to make them about once a month, but I'm trying to learn.

Roxanne said...

I had the SAME EXACT Granny. . .and she was also called Granny. She used Merle Norman makeup--wore creme base, creme rouge, face powder and "Lady Bug Red" lipstick. She would dig it out of the tube with a Q-tip until it was all gone.

She swept the walk RELIGIOUSLY and mopped her kitchen floor after dinner every day but Sunday.

She died 21 years ago, and I miss her pretty much every day.

Big Mama said...

Those are great memories. I completely understand the no chicken except for KFC. Ever since my pregnancy, chicken that is not in fried form makes me sick.

And the hair is classic.

Tammy said...

Loved this...I can just imagine how much you missed her.
She sounds a lot like my Gammee in a lot of ways- hard worker all her life, picked cotton as a child, bakes buiscuts. (My grandmother was from Oklahoma so sort of the south).

What a great big sister your grandma was, too- and gutsy! :D
Thanks for sharing your memories of her!

Lynn said...

My Granny was so so like that. She slept in a little flannel night cap. Like an elf. She lived to 105 and delighted me everyday of my life. I wll never never forget her. And I miss her too. Even after almost 15 years! You've given me great inspiration to blog about!

Anonymous said...

I remember my grandma's little containers of rouge that she let us girls use when we played dress-up. Haven't thought about that in ages.

Thank you for sharing your memories and jogging mine.

BTW, I love your profile pic.

Anonymous said...

Precious. She must have been a real treasure.

Anonymous said...

Melanie, this may be one of my favorite posts of anyone of all time. I am just choked up. The older we get, the more we cherish the idiosyncracies of our family members. It's good to document it for generations coming after us, and you do that so eloquently.