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Visit # Five Minute Fridays

Todays word prompt is Visit with Liso Jo Baker's Five Minute Fridays….

Visit is what we did to my grandparents…actually my great grandparents and their daughter, my grandma as a child…

My parents used to cross the two and a half hour lines between Virginia and North Carolina more often to see them…every other week…but i was so young i barely remember that….
By the time I was in school it was just every few months…maybe 3 or 4 times a year…

I never knew any of my grandpas…but my great grandpa and great grandma lived to a "ripe old age"…
And when I think of my grandparents they are who I think of….

Its hard to remember certain memories with them so here's a few catch phrases or blurbs that are still there imprints left…




Me with my Pa and Mamaw
.

Drive down deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina and hear the gravel pop as you drive up to their small farm house…a house they had literally moved from one location to another…long ago…
Two porch swings graced the porch…and thats where much time was spent during a visit…swatting flies with a fly swatter and watching my Grandpa Floyd's baseball cap bob back and forth as he slowly rocked the swing, clothed in his always overalls and short sleeve shirt…pack of Redman chewing tobacco forming small bulge in his front pocket….always offering me a stick of hot cinnamon Big Red chewing gum...
He was a jolly man who was hard of hearing and sang loudly…even when he first woke up….much to my grandma's annoyed looks…I would sit on his lap in my pajamas and he would sing off key and too loudly always the same song about "Cindy and the Apple Tree"
He was a story teller, same worn down rust colored chair sitting beside the stove where he threaded many a yarn recounting days back in Iowa when he "traveled".  We all called him "Pa"
My grandma in my mind is at the old stove with green beans steeped in a few pieces of fat back simmering away and an iron skillet of golden corn bread in her hand as she flipped it out on an old plate….there would be brown beans and diced onions and always a lemon pound cake…which was just the perfect marriage of lemon with the exact density that makes a pound cake….I always carb loaded at these visits…because I wasn't used to mountain delicacies like sour kraut and fat back…
I'll just have the cornbread and lots of butter and a big hunk of pound cake...
My grandma made her own butter and butter milk…they sold butter…I remember seeing her come back from the chicken house and barn with old milk pails in hand frothing with the milk her withered hands had squeezed out in dark thirty am….
She churned it and strained it…and formed it…into liquid gold…
She had a quilting room where she threaded patchwork quilts up that we still cuddle under….Her name was Hazel…but everyone called her Mamas
I remember Hazel staying up late at night with her radio tuned into J.Vernon McGhee…that Bible teacher with a thick drawl going through the Bible methodically every five years….I still listen to him from time to time and think about my grandma's gnarled hands pushing embroidery threaded through sewing needles…painting pillow cases with her love…I still have some of those pillowcases on our bed…despite the fact that the years  have blurred all the threads into unrecognizable pictures…
I remember going to "meeting" with them…they never went to church much on Sunday mornings…i never knew why, but they went to Saturday night meeting services…
Let me tell you that was my first experiences in a tiny country church meeting…listening to the haunting sound of a single man crying out the words, " I am a poor wayfaring Stranger"…when you are little you don't know the meaning but you sure got the chills…
And that was when we spent the night with them…on Saturday nights…I remember getting to snuggle with them in their room…
They slept on two separate twin sized beds in the same room…I'd lay there and listen to them talk ….my great grandpa wore one of those old time night caps and always slathered a good bit of Vicks vapor rub under his nose…
Grandpa Floyd died on my birthday when I was eleven.  I was so sad, he was my favorite extended family member…my only knowledge of what a grandpa is…even though I never got to sit in his lap too often…just visit…
He was a beekeeper with lots of beehives….and he sold his honey…we kept opening up those mason jars brimming with rich golden honey and pouring them over breakfast biscuits for years to come…remembering him…
My great grandma was special to my mom…they had a special connection and I wish i had known her more …she was a quiet woman and one who worked hard her whole life and had very little…one who never saw a beach and only went outside of those mountains a few times, but who gave my mother love.  I am thankful for the visits with these people who led such different lives from mine that it seemed like visiting a different world altogether…one with pitch dark nights undisturbed by suburban lights, tall weeds, chicken coops, old barns, cellars full of all their food they grew and canned themselves, and slow afternoons where time dragged on in the heat and to the rhythm of a porch swing, cousins running down the dirt trails playing tag….

Comments

  1. Very well written Summer, brings back a lot of memories for me too. I always lived right below my other grandparents, but had many of those experiences at their house. I'm lucky to still have them both. I've collected eggs, helped my grandpa deliver them, watched him kill chickens, scale fish. Helped in picking beans and canning food. He still has a smaller garden and still cans some food. But there will never another time in my life so simple as the summers I spent in my grandparents house as a child. Not a care in the world, we roamed 'free' in his pastures and to this day I long for those simple times. It's funny now that I see all the work that goes into that simple life, I think I still prefer it to the one I live now. It's always a struggle to find that perfect balance of what I see was modern, and what I yearn for as happiness.

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  2. beautiful! Love grandparents and front porches! Blessings, and thanks for your visit to Ordinary Inspirations!

    Love, Traci

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love, love the memories you share with us here. Thanks for this sweet peek into your heart, friend! :)

    ReplyDelete

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