I know tomorrow is Mother's Day, but today I thought I would mention my other "mother's" that have influenced my life.
This is my Granny, my mother's mother. Granny was awesome and influenced my life like you would not believe. Granny only had the one child, my mother and she taught mother the stuff she taught us (Bro, Sis and I.) We were only allowed to stay the night at her house one at a time. We were told that it was so we could experience being the only one, the king of the hill in a way. We were doted on and lavished with whatever we wanted, well, sort of. We slept in, we got our favorite foods, we got to do little chores and made money to spend the next day at the dime store. Granny showed us how to set the proper table and proper table manners. Meals here were refined and very quiet with nice table talk. We were taught how to iron sheets and pillow cases and how to make the proper bed. It was fun really, we loved it. When puberty hit my oily skin and oily hair became a problem, she set out to find a solution. Every time it was my turn I would arrive on that Friday afternoon to find an array of skin things and shampoos, lemons or vinegar to cut the oil. She doted on me the whole weekend. When my girls came along it was the same for them. They have tons of wonderful memories of their Great-granny, my granny to hold on to.
This is Grandma. Grandma was my daddy's momma. Grandma had five children, very different from mommas side. Grandma had so many children, grandchildren, great grandchildren I was surprised she could keep them straight and sometimes the names were a jumble. Family dinners over there were fun and full of people. Kids would be running around, crying babies, laughter, and oh the cigarette smoke was in abundance, although Grandma or Grandpa did not smoke, everyone else did. The house was messy and had piles of magazines, toys, kids. It was an amusement park of grandparents houses. We didn't get one on one time here as there were too many kids, and to spend the night, well, that was with three or four more cousins. What I learned here was the tolerance of people and how to get along with others.
What I did learn was how I did not want to be, and I know that sounds weird but some of the stuff that happened I saw on that side of the family and didn't approve in my young mind. At a young age I was shaped by these two different households. I took it all in and it created the ME that is here today. I'm not saying this is bad, it is what shapes a person, the influences, good or bad that affect how we mature and grow into adulthood and what paths we take.
This is Greatgranny. The most influential and admired person in my life. Greatgranny was Granny's mother. Greatgranny was like an over grown kid sometimes. She raised four children, two boys and two girls. They lived in Jay, the country and my favorite place to go when I was a child. When we were there Greatgranny would take walks with us tagging along. We would walk across the road to the tunnel under the highway. I twas a cattle crossing and during the hot summers it was the cool place to be. Usually the barn swallows would nest near the entrances and she would lift us up one by one to feel the eggs or the babies in the nests. A lot of the nests around the property had her white hair in them because when she emptied her hairbrush the hair would be attached to fence posts for the birds to carry away for their nest building. She had bug collections and started me on how to collect bugs and butterflies, briefly. She had a way with animals that was where I got my love of animals first. When we stayed we took turns getting to sleep in her little feather bed that was in the freezer room. She and Great granddaddy did not sleep together and somehow then, it didn't seem to register to me that was odd. We would get up early and pad down to the barn with her and the collie, Sandy, close by to milk and feed Pet,'s the one cow. The smells of the early morning mixed with the hay and feed and manure (trust me) was intoxicating. MEMORIES were made. When I wanted to run away from home as a child, as all children do at one time, that is where I wanted to run to, to Greatgranny's.
This is my honoring the "mothering" women in my life that shaped and influenced my life, made me the person you "read" here.
(You see there is a distinction in my family that granny, granddaddy, greatgranny, great-granddaddy ran on the maternal side as far as names go. On my paternal side the names area grandma, grandpa, grandmother, etc. I hope to follow in that tradition with this new granddaughter and be a "granny" but you never know. My daddy bucked that tradition somehow and became PaPa.)