Wednesday, June 21, 2017

# 9 AND SO FINE!!

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Start spreadin’ the NEWS..!

Our new little GRAND arrived yesterday, in NEW YORK CITTTY!

She and her parents are doing fine, and we’re all so Blessed.




Friday, June 16, 2017

FAMILY FOREST---AINT BESSIE




The five sisters:  Aunt Eddie, Mammaw, Aunt Lu, Aint Bessie, and Aint Lo


A little more about Mammaw’s Sister, Aint Bessie (she of the Ole Fly fame).   She was a fun, lively woman, when we would be all gathered for talk and meals, but she became mysteriously stricken with a great weakness and pain of limb upon every rising from the dining table.   I think that most of my opinions and views in those days were formed and shaped by Mammaw---the greatest caretaker and influence in my life.   Probably Aunt B's being a younger sister gave her some leeway that Mammaw didn't get, for growing up, the younger girls were mostly exempted from the field work and cooking and washing for all that big family of young-uns.  Since all I really knew of Aint B. came from her maybe-twice-yearly visits, I sorta leant toward Mammaw's view that she could help out, if she'd just get up off the couch.

Aint B. had a plump little figure and some beautiful clothes.   She took a morning bath which required bringing in the big old #2 tub from the back porch (not by her) and filling from the kitchen faucet, and then everybody out of the house while she bathed (usually Mammaw and I were out in the garden, hoeing or picking something to cook or to can).   And she had lovely skin---she carried a bag with lotions and her perfume and hair stuff in it, and she slept in a big hairnet to keep her permanent pretty.   We could come back in when she got into her housecoat, and I'd empty the tub, pitcher by pitcher, into the sink, then take the tub out, while I watched her lotion arms and legs and put cream on her face, and later a little puff of powder and tiny dab of lipstick.  


Image result for Vintage Coty powder box

Then she sat down to wrap her legs.   She had roll after roll of gauze or cotton strips or some white fabric that she rolled round and round her legs from knee to ankle before she pulled on her stockings and rolled her garters on.   She took all that off to sleep, re-rolling the little rounds and sticking in a pin.

She kept repeating like a mantra about her Milk Leg she'd contracted, and how sore they were all the time (I wonder now if it was something like phlebitis, and that kept clots from forming like surgical stockings).  And her legs were just really pretty underneath all that wrapping, so I, too, thought she might be exaggerating her malady a bit more to account for her not being able to clear away or wash dishes or cook, and that she had to get right up from the table after every meal and go lie down and elevate her feet on a pillow.


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And I envied the HECK out of the fact that she had a "standing order" for a case of Co-Colas to be delivered and set on her back porch in Mobile every morning.   She drank twenty-four six-ounce cokes in a day's time.  And guess what lucky person got to run over to Aunt Lu's with the wheelbarrow every day to get that case of cokes?   And back for three or four more trips, for bananas or Bromo or the Pinkham's that she forgot to bring.  I even had to go get ice a time or two, because we ran out so often, filling up those big tea glasses with Co-Cola, and all.

(Looking back, I wonder if the reason she stayed with Mammaw all the time, despite the impossibly-tiny house, might have been ME).  



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The three rooms were Kitchen at the back, with a good sized rectangular wooden dinner table and six chairs, the Middle Room, which held Mammaw and Grandpa's double bed on one wall, with a BIG round black pedestal Dining Table under that saggy-screen window and the beehive in the wall that you could hear humming.   There was a big pump organ on the third wall, and the fourth, of course, was taken up with the head of the bed and kitchen door, with a space somewhere in there for a good-sized wood stove---a really pretty, curvy one, like an immense black vase with pipes in the middle of the floor, all taken down for Summer, and creating a marvelously-open space.    The belly of the stove had a garland of raised-up rose buds, one of which had tattooed a permanent "rose" on Uncle Samalee's beeehind when he was about four, and had just gotten out of the tub and bent over to get his drawers on.  

The front room had another double bed on the north wall, a couch where I slept on the opposite, covering a never-used closed up fireplace with a doilied-and-what-notted mantel, which would take you unawares; if you sat up wrong in bed, it would conk you in the noggin.  The bed was Aint B's, and there was also an across-the-corner dresser to the "suit" along with a chest of drawers, and a pretty maroon-brocade platform rocker with a chunky metal smoking stand.   I just cannot imagine. 

Aint B. had her own little built-in maid-servant every Summer trip, for I fetched and carried cokes and cake-on-a-saucer and a funeral parlor fan and her purse and her hair-scarf and her magazines---she was the first person I'd ever seen who bought those Romance and Screen and True Story magazines, and I was fascinated. 
 
   She told fabulous stories of the city, of the streetcars and the train station and all the big stores and the parades.   And they went right down to the water and bought their shrimp right off a boat.   Not quite the enchantment of Aunt Eddie's Indianapolis (I was fated to be here), but I was rapt, all the same.  

People from all over town would drop by and sit on the porch with Aint Bessie, and she held court every day til the sun got too hot out there, or she'd get her "parasol" ---Mammaw and all the Aunts had a big black umbrella for shade, and they all called them parasols--and venture around the block to Aunt Lu's store or up or down the street to people's houses.  She'd go to whatever doings any one of the three churches was putting on---luncheons and teas and watermelon-cuttings---all functions that Mammaw wouldn't have even come in out of the hot garden to attend. 


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from the internet---her silhouette, size, white hair, and certainly looks like Mobile to me

I know that the bit about The Fly painted her in less-than-her-best light.  I think it's just my memory of that one particular day---I was maybe eight, and I can STILL hear her say, "Look at that OLE FLY!" and the sound of the flappy old worn-out swatter hitting the equally fragile screen, right before the immense cloud settled on that good dinner.

She and Uncle Les adopted their nephew when his mother died shortly after childbirth.  They lived in Mobile, and I think I remember Uncle Les had something to do with shipyards.   Ron never came with Aint Bessie, but would ride the bus by himself later to come for a couple of weeks with Mammaw, Aunt Lu, and Aint Lo---who all lived that small Delta town.   What an adventure that must have been, and him not yet ten years old.  I envied that freedom, and still to this day LOVE the sight, sound and scent of a GREYHOUND.




Monday, June 5, 2017

BONNIE FAYE




There’s a wonderful expression in the South which conveys happiness, pleasure, delight, gratitude, and whole host of other good things:  the word is TICKLED.   There’s no gonna getcha anticipation or those fun-scary creeps associated with a Tickle Monster, nor is any touching or jostling involved (well, there MIGHT be some, at the Ticklee’s express request, but that’s nunna my binness).


You can be Tickled that the Grandkids are coming this weekend, Tickled to see them, and Tickled to make their favorite nanner pudding.  Other forms are when something’s just so gosh-darned funny you’re Tickled to death, or you can be Tickled Pink (that would be my choice, of course)  to receive/hear/learn/bestow something dear to your heart, your lifestyle, your conscience or your pocketbook. 

And sometimes something can TICKLE YOUR FUNNYBONE so you laugh long and loud, or it can be just so fun and sweet, you just smile all over.   Sis has a flock of chickens, and they are just the dearest little clucky souls.  One, especially, is my favorite (and I think is secretly hers, as well, but neither of us will ever let on---biddies have tender feelings, plus their beaks are just ankle-height).   Bonnie Faye is simply the most beautiful barnyard creature I’ve ever seen---an almost houndstooth pattern to her poufy elaborate robes, and the fluffiest stockin’-tops I’ve seen since visiting the Clydesdales.   I don’t know if it’s too many Harry Potter movies, or if she’s seen the Buckbeak centerfold in Better Coops and Gardens,  but she’s got the regal bow, the incline of the head, and the calm acceptance of the reverence she’s due. 

  Girlfriend’s got quite the Royal Thing going on:






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A fun comment from Sis when she saw this post just now:

Awww, I DO just love her so much! She still lays a tiny little white egg about 3 times a week. She also has short term memory loss now and when we let everybody out in the late afternoon to play, she looks down to peck a bug and they all run off. Then when she looks back up, everybody's gone and it's panic time!!! BU_KACK!!! about 100 times until we go out and show her where everybody went, then she waddles over until the next time... Life is full of BU-KACKS isn't it. We all just need someone to show us where everybody went from time to time.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

MEMORIAL DAY, 2017



It's not quite holiday weather here today, with the warmth of the sun and bright skies and the snap of flags in the sunshine, the smoke of a thousand backyard grills raising delicious scents into the Spring air. There were no sunbeams to wake to, but the damp skies will not dim the services and celebrations of this long Spring weekend.

But weather hasn't much to do with the feelings that surround this special day, this day of remembrance and honoring and taking stock of our nation's blessings. The placing of wreaths, the little flags stuck into the earth of countless graves, the floral tributes, the handful of limp posies clutch-wilted in a child's hand, the tears of remembrance---those will quietly and reverently go on even as the scent of charcoal drifts up and the promised rain comes down.

I have a deep-imprinted vignette in my memory-collection, of sitting there in a hot scratchy dress several years ago, to see my dear Mother-in-Law receive the folded flag "With the thanks of a Grateful Nation." And so we remember GrandDaddy, in all his twenty-something years of service, and I keep a secret, heartfelt gleam of pride for our other servicemen and women, and those we'll never know of as we sleep safely on their watch.

And just looking at the flowers in the picture above, the two tall, stalwart reds and the smaller, just-as-strong pink, I think of all our sisters and daughters in uniform, especially the one determined young woman who left for training just this past Monday with the tiny tremolo of our long-ago bedtime “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” echoing in my heart.   I gratefully salute the strong, brave women who step up to the mark, who serve standing proud beside the men whose strength and bravery have stood true for centuries.

We feel a surge of gratitude, of pride, of thankful praise for all the ones who take our well-being and our freedom so seriously that they live and die for it, and us.

And so I say "Thank you," to each and every one, and give a prayer of thanks for all of our service-people, past and present---those standing proud in uniform today, those who have served, no matter what the term, those who have retired from their service, but remain ever soldiers, those lying beneath the brave small flags, and those in unsung graves around the world, known only to the angels and remembered in the hearts of those who loved them.

114 YEARS AND SIX DAYS


Sunday, May 21, 2017

SWEET AS CAKE!!



In addition to shirking my attentions to my own blog, I’ve missed out lately on a lot of the wonderful ones I’ve enjoyed over the years.   One of these is CAKE WRECKS, and today’s little story-in-cake is absolutely charming.

The tiny characters from all over the world of baking are simply the sweetest ever, and the little poem to accompany is spot on perfect.

Y’all go enjoy something SWEEEET!