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Grandma Said - My Grandmother's Life of Love and Laughter
It was unimaginable. Grandma passed. She was our forever; powerful and magnetic. Full of wisdom; her words gave you pause, or simply made you roll with laughter. My Grandmother was born in 1904 and lived to 101. Not only was she a wise, loving and caring woman, but she baked the best darn rolls in the world! Now, mind you, I haven't been around the world, but I dare say that they were the best! If you loved your Grandma (speaking of those passed) as I did mine, you will believe and wholeheartedly so, that your Grandma was the best too!
There was always a hearty meal, even though at times the cupboards looked bare. My Grandmother, reminds me of a story called "Stone Soup". This is an old folk story, about hungry travelers who had nothing more than a pot. Villagers of the town wouldn't share their food with them, so they hatched a brilliant plan. They added water to the pot, brought it to a boil and added a stone. This struck curiosity amongst the villagers who began to inquire about the soup. The travelers said they were making stone soup, which was a magnificent soup, that would be better if there was more garnish. The villagers pretty soon, and one by one added vegetables and seasonings until the pot was brimming and bursting with flavor. Not only was the soup tasty, but it was hearty, and enjoyed by the travelers and villagers alike.
My Grandmother, a woman who was always able to make a way out of no way, would be the traveler in this story. She was a woman who embraced everyone and everything. I assure you that as the traveler, she would have found a way to not only make the pot of soup, but bake rolls, a cake and stew a chicken! She was every-body's Momma, and Grandma. She was a woman so revered; her qualities exuded nothing but love.
My Grandmother canned fruits and vegetables, baked cakes, pies, rolls and made jam. There was always warmth, even though the furnace did not always work right. She made quilts; Grandma would lay one of her heavy quilts on you, and not only would you sink two whole inches into the mattress, but within five minutes...guaranteed...you were sweating bullets! That's the truth...well, that's my truth!
My Grandmother had a way with words. Some of the things she said didn't make sense to me until I became an adult. She'd leave you to ponder the meaning. It was a lesson that I did not recognize as such at the time. She didn't explain herself, she had her say, and it was left to you to understand. This did not always fare well with me, because my conclusion would sometimes leave me to think something far fetched. When I look back on my times with her, I can only laugh at myself, for my humor was as wicked then as it is now.
These are some of the things that my Grandma said. I've included explanations for some, and some ...well, I just didn't.
"My name is Wes and I ain't in that mess!" - This was one of the most popular, especially if something that occurred which was nothing more than nonsense.
"Every frog praises his own pond." - This would be attributed to someone, anyone who was self-righteous, a braggart, and thought of themselves better than the next.
"A cheater never tithes." - Now, when I was a kid, I thought she said, "A cheater never thighs!". I wondered, "Thighs, what in the world...is she gonna stew a chicken or sumth'n?!" I realized much, much later in my life what she said and meant. If you are church goin' folk, and you tithe to the church, but cheat outside the church, then you've simply canceled out your tithe. Uhmhmmm....yup!
"Don't upset your momma, or I'll go through you like cod liver oil!" - She said this to my son one day when he was being mischievous. Hahahaaaaa.....
"You've got to watch the signs of life. Everything obeys God, but the people." - I asked, "Well, what do you know what you're watch'n for?". She simply said, "Look harder!". Nuff said!
"People are the only ones of God's creations who don't obey his word." - Ya'll better get this one!
"That fool boy try'n to be slick, but he gotta be slicker than that to out slick me!" - I think my Grandmother was 90 years old when she said this about one of my younger cousins who tried to, of all things get one over on her. Shame on him.
"You reap what you sow. You reap a good seed, you'll sow a good seed!" - No explanation needed!
"I'm get'n too old to shift them gears!" - In a way...I really didn't want to know what this meant...period!!
"If you sow it in the dark, you'll reap it in the light." - This is similar to the saying, "What goes in the wash, comes out in the rinse. If you're familiar with that saying, then you know what's meant here. Watch it now!
Huggie (that's one of my brothers) "..Huggie is so funny that if you were dying, he'd make you laugh so hard that you'd say, 'Hold on Lord, let me get this laugh out, and then I'll be ready to go!'"
"I don't understand why ya'll women make so much fuss when you're hav'n a baby. Holler'n don't take out the pain, that just makes it worse!" She asked me if I hollered. I told her I hollered, screamed, cussed and fussed....and I'm still holler'n scream'n, cuss'n and fuss'n!!
One of my nieces was a crrrry-baby...whew! My Grandmother said, "Well...the more they cry, the less they pee...so, let her cry!!!" I don't think my nieces diaper needed changing that night!
"It costs so much money to have a baby now. I had my babies at home. Rob's (her late husband) cousin was my midwife...I paid her all right...I paid her no attention!!"
While in recovery from hip surgery at the age of 97 My Grandma said, "I've had so many needles, that I think I'll take a set home to sew with!"
"Everyone who says As-Salaam-Alaikum ain't a Muslim, and everyone who says Amen ain't a Christian!" - No explanation needed...and uhm...amen!
"Don't nobody know who shot JR. (from the show Dallas), but if I had my rifle, it might've been me!!"
My Grandma and I were talking about ironing, and she said, "Chile', my iron don't even no I'm home!"
"What's your name?" - This was the last thing my Grandmother said to me before she passed. At first it was unsettling. I thought, how could she forget my name? But quickly rationalized that forgetting a name is nothing compared to dying!
My Grandmother protected, nourished, guided and was the Matriarch of all Matriarch's. Her love was unconditional and her reckoning was unforgettable. The challenges that my Grandmother faced in her lifetime, helped to shape and mold her into the dynamic woman that she was. She is missed terribly, but the memories are forever, just as the love is eternal!