Tuesday, October 21, 2014


It’s well known in the South that we rely on our PEOPLE---our relatives, our friends, our confidantes and closes and chums, and just the word encompasses more than Streisand ever dreamt.


Our People are the ones who raise us, raise us up, shore us up, look after our welfare til we’re up on our feet, tend and scold and feed and arrange and hug.  They're the ones we went to visit in our first high-top shoes, the names on tattered envelopes smelling of time and Toujours Moi, the first owners of the dresser scarves, the battered jelly strainer, the tiny lapel watch from nursing school, the Magical Teapot which still mystifies.   They may be five-generations-back and mere myths in the mist, but we know them by the stories and the memories, the names on the back of crumbling photos, the pale spider-crabbed script in a musty Bible, the faded-to-gray pictures in an equally worn album.   We DO need our people---those hard-working, far-back farmers and hunters and folks of field and plow; the men who logged the woods and the women who met the noon train with their hot dinners to sustain them.


And my memories of our people mostly run to the female side—the Grandmothers and Aunts who took a hand in our raisings, teaching us manners and math and cooking and faith.    They are the WE of me, thank you dear Mrs. McCullers, and the long line of those stalwart, sensible, good-hearted, laughing women with their snuff and garden hoes and way with crochet, their black-skillet wisdom passed on with the skillets themselves---those are mine, and I’m so thankful.


Today, I happened to look in on Angela’s blog, with photos of her friend’s daughter’s wedding, and was treated to such a charming Sepia Sentimental Journey of family memories that I hope you’ll look in.   A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY, indeed.




donna baker said...

You were blessed, Rachel. No fond memories of grand parents for me. It would have been nice.

GSL said...

Another beautifully written vignette that has sent me on a similar reverie...when I was home over my birthday my mother fried up breakfast in an inherited black skillet.

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Kim S. said...

Being food obsessed, I tend to think of ‘my people’ in terms of food and am fascinated with old recipes and traditions. I try to always identify my recipes by the name of the person I got it from. I love that one day my great-great grandchildren might talk about making Bebo’s Fruit Salad. I wonder if the fact that in my mother’s family plain old vegetable soup (tomatoes, corn, butter beans, peas, carrots, potatoes and green beans) is ALWAYS served with long strands of spaghetti noodles harkens back to their Italian past and if it is minestrone by way of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.