Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Granny (also known as Mom, Momma, Sarah Doris, Dinker, Mrs. Gotcher and the lady that makes fried pies!)

It was a little over a year ago that we said goodbye to her earthly presence but the memories of her will forever live on in each of those who had the privilege to know her.  Looking back on those memories rarely ever bring tears.  Mostly they bring full on belly laughter as I reminisce of the "granny-isms" that made us love her so.  There are more than any one blog could possibly contain but a few of the favorites are worth sharing.  Even if they are "had to be there" moments, I was there and I NEVER want to forget.  

The first one that comes to mind is simple.  
(that should be heard with the most southern drawl you can imagine.  More like {biiieeeelllllyyyyy) 
I only know him as pawpaw.  But others call him William, Bill, or those closest call him Billy.  But you can bet your bottom dollar, when she called "BILLLLY!", he answered.  

He isn't much of a softie.  All my life he's put on a hard as nails persona but there was something about the way he was with Granny that let you know, his softer side was her.  He ALWAYS made a point of getting her something special for Christmas.  She spent my whole life referring to him as "Deddy".  She'd ask him questions, or sometimes talk about him like he wasn't even sitting there and he'd pretend not to hear her.  I always thought he was the boss.  He always worked and she cooked and raised babies and grandbabies.  Once she got new living room furniture.  I was at least in my teens so it had been a LONG time coming.  I asked her what pawpaw thought of her getting new furniture, knowing he wasn't much on spending money.  She quickly told me, "I don't reckon I need his permission to buy furniture." I learned right then and there, SHE was the boss of that house.  I can't believe I'd never seen it before.  I never doubted it again.  

Some things change.  Some things never do.  That's what I love about grandparents.  She lived in this house my whole life and my mothers whole life as well.  The photo above is in the living room where I spent time as a child.  Every christmas of my life, the tree went up in that same spot.  The same door still stands, the same photo is on the wall behind them.  They were a bit behind the times in embracing technology.  I can remember them refusing touch tone phones, saying that rotary dial was good enough. That rotary phone hung in the kitchen all my life.  It got the job done.  It was always funny to me that when I moved away, Granny couldn't understand that she could still call me on my cell phone because the number was local.  She would just wait for me to call her.  They didn't have cell phones for quite some time but when my pawpaw finally caved, he got an emergency type cell phone.  He needed to have it while out working.  He came home and told us he "got one of those phones with a LID on it."  You probably had to be there and know him but he was referring to a flip phone.  It is likely the one he still carries today.   

 Granny Bucks.  This was started when I went to college.  I moved to Auburn for college.  I was the first grandchild and the first to move away in a VERY long time.  Being a close family, moving away wasn't easy.  Mom and Dad paid for my college tuition but paying for housing,etc was up to me.  I hated it then, I appreciate it now.  I took student loans that helped me afford it but I also learned to take my education seriously.  I was going to have to pay that back!  I never left for a trip back to Auburn without some Granny Bucks in my hand.  She'd always whisper, "Go out on the back and get me my purse", and she'd slip me either a signed check or some cash.  I couldn't turn it down, I was a poor college kid!  It was what I thought was "our little secret".  Then I learned that she pretty much "granny bucked" everyone!  My sister got it in college, the other boys did as well.  It wasn't that I wasn't special.  We all were.  The apples of her eye we were and that is how she showed us!

A few of my favorite sayings were:

"Ethyl.  I need to get some ethyl in my car."-this is apparently what she called gas.  We regularly stopped at the Spur station and she'd exclaim "filler up with Ethyl".  

I was very small, probably around 3.  We went to church with her and I made a point of sitting in her lap.  She probably let me get away with more than mom did!  I not so quietly petted her nylon micro pleated dress and told her "that dress needs to be IRONED!"  She giggled about that all my life.  Telling her to iron her dress when it was supposed to be like that!  

I was smaller than that when I would find and carry around her Pock-book.  It was one of my first words and favorite things to do.  I would unload anyone's pock book that would let me pilfer through it.  She'd let me even knowing it wasn't nice to look through a ladies "pock-book"!

Anytime I would walk into the living room to visit, she would request that I come and "sit a spell".  
When I walked in and found them both taking an evening snooze, she'd insist that she was NOT asleep but rather "resting her eyes".  She would then tell me to "turn off that goof box" which is how she usually referred to the TV.  That is, unless her "stories" were on.  If that was the case, you'd have to wait until the next commercial break so she could keep up with her "stories".  Everyone knows you don't need to watch soap operas intently to keep up on a yearly basis.  She'd then ask if I had eaten or if I was hungry.  There was always something in the kitchen or something she could whip up.  After we'd eaten whatever was my fancy, she'd tell me to come back and sit and leave those dishes for later.  There was always time for them later.  When it was time to leave, she'd declare that "you don't have to go." And then insist to see  me out the door.  I rarely ever left empty handed either.  It it wasn't something for me, or for Jason in my married life, it was something I needed to take to "ye mama."  She always left me with a "Call me sometime."
I still miss doing just that.  

Don't let that innocent face fool ya.  She knew the ways of the world.  She preferred to play the wholesome and innocent one but as we got older, we got to see her true colors!  My sister and her especially got down and dirty.  Tracie always got a laugh out of telling Granny the cold hard truth about things, and often Tracie would be surprised by Granny's real world knowledge.  It wasn't uncommon to hear her exclaim a profanity here or there when something wasn't just so.  
As a breast cancer survivor, it became common place to laugh and joke about her prosthetic "private parts".  She was more of a prankster and joker than we really knew.  

Granny loved her some babies!  I was the first grandchild in our family on either side.  That made me #1.  I loved to taunt the other grandkids of my #1 status.  It's a rivalry that still runs on today.

A few years passed and #1 grew up and had some greats.  BOY, oh, BOY.  If we thought Granny adored her grands, she REALLY laid it on thick for these new comers.  I guess it is pretty special when your #1 has some #1's!  haha!  So Jackson was born and just when she thought she couldn't love one more, Lincoln came along.  Grumpy, little, crybaby Lincoln.  He was skinny and quirky but somehow managed to find a way into her heart like nobody else.  Now don't get me wrong, she told me once, how special Jackson was to her and how she loved him so but that Lincoln... He had some sparkle in his eye that she was drawn into.  He has a way of doing that to people.  She wasn't the only one but boy, she had it BAD for that Lincoln.  And of course, he loved every minute of it. 

Speaking of phones, heres the famous rotary phone.  I can remember in the day of answering machines, Granny would leave a long 5 minute message on ours for mother.  When she was done with her conversation that seemed almost 2 sided, she'd add "This is mom"  or "this is Granny" as if we'd never have guessed who it was by the conversation that had just gone on and on.  

There was once an advertisement for a pig in the local classifieds.  I'm not sure how it all began but at some point, a wrong number was dialed and Granny was on the receiving end of the call.  The person calling couldn't seem to comprehend that she was NOT the person with a pig for sale.  She had to be quite firm, even rude to them.  The story was retold and it became the running joke to get Granny riled up by phoning her about livestock that she might or might not have for sale.  
Often telemarketers got the same rude treatment from Granny when they wouldn't take no for an answer.  She wouldn't put up with any of that *&^#$^#.  And then, she'd hang up and laugh while recalling the conversation to us later!

Valentines Day will never pass by without reminding us of Granny.  THESE heart shaped cupcakes always make an appearance.  I'm happy to own my very own heart shaped cast iron pan and share the legacy of the cupcakes with my boys and eventually a PINK loving little girl.  I'm happy I have a piece of this memory to continue on for years to come.  
She's celebrating the first year of forever in the presence of our Lord.  While we miss her earthly presence, I know that she's singing among angels and smiling down on the little girl I will wrap in the wedding ring quilt she made for me (before I had even considered children) later on this month.  

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