Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer with Grandmother.

Summertime not only brings the hot weather but also the memories of my youth and the end of the school term. The day after school was out and we knew Summer  was upon us, my sister and I made the plans of what fun things we might get to do.

The first thing on the agenda was the visit from my Father. He always picked us up to spend the Summer with him and my Grandmother. I'm sure a sigh of relief was from my Mother as that meant she would only have my younger sister and brother for the three months that we would be gone. Mother and my stepfather would now have the time to devote to the two younger children because my sister and I were always having to be taken someplace, in some activity or just sometimes being the older siblings and demanding more of the time.

On the way to my Father's house, we got to take turns steering the car and knew that we would get to stop to have a hamburger. It may not seem like a lot of excitement now, but the thought of getting to stop at that little drive-inn was the highlight of our trip.

We would always miss Mom, Dad and the children but we knew we would have a fun filled adventure with Grandmother and my Aunts and Uncles. My Father had it made because about a week after arriving at his house, we always got invited to my Aunt's house and we loved that.  Her children were our best friends and getting to help her children make homemade cakes, can tomatoes,go swimming at the springs were some of the most fun a child could have.  It was always sad to leave them and come back to Granny's but only for about an hour.

I was named for my Grandmother, Elizabeth, and I am pretty sure some of my habits I got from her. Everyone was always expected to wash their hands and be at the dinner table when it was ready. One night would be the best Pinto Beans I have ever tasted, with fresh sliced tomatoes and of course corn bread. Father, my Uncles, my sister,Grandmother and myself would eat until we could hardly move. The only time anyone would get up from the table was for more ice for the sweet tea.We were the center of attention and the grownups acted like they really enjoyed our chatter.

Of course after dinner, my sister and I were expected to clean off the table and do the dishes. It seemed overwhelming at times but when we were finished, not only could we watch television but usually with a big slice of chocolate cake. It was now Grandmother's time and everyone had their place to sit in the living room. As we had gotten to chat at the dinner table, it was now time to be silent so everyone could hear the television. After watching a few programs, it was time for a shower and off to bed on a feather bed set up in Granny's room. We would sit in front of her vanity table and brush our hair forever to keep from having to go to sleep.

Every day when we would go outside to play or visit the close neighbors, Grandmother would be very stern and insist we put our shirts in. We always had a small tee shirt that she wanted us to wear under our shirts. I thought that was the worse thing but years later I realized that she was afraid our shirts would blow up in the wind and our bodies would be exposed. A little old fashion but one of the wonderful traits I remember about her.

During the day she had plenty of time to go about her daily fare because we roamed the neighborhood. All the kids on the block like to sit at this little old ladies house on the corner. She had a swing on the front porch and always had apples, pears or peaches. I laugh today at the thought of about five or six of us gathered on her porch. What a kind lady because I'm sure we must have driven her crazy. The lady on the other side of Granny's always made us take off our shoes and stick our feet in a pail of water before we entered her house. They say it takes a village to raise a child, well this small little neighborhood was our village for the Summer.

I hope when I have Grandchildren that I can be as loving and kind as Grandmother was to us. We learned so many things, from crocheting, gardening, cooking, canning, cleaning, and all the things that go with running a home.

How proud I am , that not only am I her namesake, I have turned out to enjoy some of the same things that she did.

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