Today's subject on NaBloPoMo is to tell about your grandparents! Here we go.
Grandma & Grandpa, my Daddy's parents
Grandpa, wasn't he a handsome dude. Grandpa was loved deeply by his kiddos and grandkiddos but he had a past we really didn't know anything about. In fact, I think this is the youngest picture I have of him. He kept his younger self pretty quiet. In fact, I didn't even realize that my Aunt Dea was Daddy's half-sister from a previous marriage(!!!) until I was senior in high school. Divorce was an unknown word for me.
Grandma...I know it's small but it was a very tiny picture. Grandma was an awesome grandma who ALWAYS had candy in the house. There were candy bowls everywhere and pop and ice cream. Kind of like the Hansel & Gretel witch who had the candy house! When she died and they cleaned out her bedroom drawers and closets she had secreted bags of candy, BAGS!
This was Grandpa's daddy, Joe Ben (feels like a Walton episode). He was gone well before I was born.
Now here was my greatgrandmother Hattie Jane. I do remember her but only from a wheelchair and a nursing home aspect. She passed in 1963 so I was only 7.
Now we get to my grandma's parents. The guy on the right is my grandpa with is father-in-law, Clyde. I didn't know Clyde, he was long gone when I arrived on the scene.
Now we have Grandmother was a bit intimidating. You always acted proper around her, she was the matriarch of the family. They also called her Little Grandma. (She's in the middle of her kiddos there.)
Now to my mother's side of the family.
Here are my mother's parents, Granny & Granddaddy holding my mother. She was an only child.
Granddaddy was AWESOME! What a great guy and he died way too early. In fact he died June 1979 just 3 months before his first great-grandchild, our girl B was born. So sad, because he was so happy about that. Granny was who we all three learned all of our etiquette from. She taught me how to sew, iron sheets, and manners, manners, manners. In fact, when I was born she gave me a book called "Manners for Moderns". She was a tyrant about that, as my mother knew all too well. Granny was a fantastic granny but as a mother she was extremely hard on my mother. Granny was also a bit on the OCD side and tried to make Momma tow that line too. It was very hard on Momma and the effects of her upbringing and the bad parts of it came back around when Momma was close to dying. It was not pretty. She still had so much anger towards her mother, even though she loved her dearly. Her love was intense for granddaddy though and they had a wonderful father-daughter bond. He was the softness between mother and daughter and when he died mother was forced to deal with her mother. It was very hard. I loved them both deeply.
Now here we have granddaddy's parents. I briefly remember her but not him. Sort of American Gothic, don't you think.
Now we come to my favorites! Here is my Greatgranny, my mother's mother. Greatgranny was my hero. I loved her intensely. She taught me so many things and it was pure joy to spend our week during the summer there. We learned how to milk cows and feed them; how to strain the milk to get the dirt and junk out so you can have cream and fresh milk. We learned about barn swallows and saw that lots of bird nests around the farm had Greatgranny's beautiful white hair in them. She would brush her hair then clean the brush and put the hair on fence posts and the birds loved to use the hair in their nests. She had bug and butterfly collections which inspired me to have them too, briefly. She would play with a tarantula, flipping him on his back to show us his mouth, ICK! She let us (us means all of the cousins and more that would often be around) ice store bought sugar cookies using her multitude of flavorings. When we ran out of cookies then we iced saltine crackers. The table was usually covered with iced things. She taught me the love of poetry reading out of my Aunt Margaret's high school literature book (I have). She was a GREATgranny for sure and I aspire to be like her someday.
This was GreatGranddaddy, yes we called him that! A handsome, quiet guy. He was very tall and I thought he was sort of a giant. In those days the men were taken care of and the women kept house, cooked and didn't rock the boat. I have a picture somewhere of GreatGranny standing at the table feeding all the men while she waited by the table.
GreatGrandaddy kept the garden, very large garden going. He would get out in the thing with his tiller and his overalls on and work it, producing what they lived on. They lived off the land only buying eggs and a few oddities. They had milk most of the time from Pet the cow and her one calf a year provided beef. Big Dan, their son, my great uncle, kept them in wild game of rabbit, squirrel, deer, fish, turtle, and snake. They also had their allotment of government cheese and peanut butter. They totally lived off the land. GreatGranny & GreatGranddaddy lived with Big Dan and Ree, as the house was theirs. I didn't even know that until I was married some 10-15 years. I always thought it was their house and was devastated when I learned that, thinking we might inherit the land. I love that place probably more for the memories than anything. It is empty now, the house falling in and the land overgrown, but the memories will last a lifetime.