Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One Week a Year

Granny and Amos lived in Joshua, TX. This was about 9 miles from my house in Cleburne. And after we moved to Oklahoma, it was a short 211 miles. Living on about 16 acres, a mini farm. And although they both had day jobs, they were able to raise a few "crops" to help with their finances. Granny worked as a cook at the hospital in Cleburne. She was very proud of her job and the fact she had perfect attendance. Amos was my step grandfather and he worked at a convenience store.

She had two weeks vacation a year.  One week of that vacation, my brother and I spent at Granny's house. For some reason, memories of my childhood are sort of sketchy, but these are some of my best ones. In the 60's and early 70's, life seemed simpler.

They didn't have an air conditioner and I can't remember them having even a "Water Cooler". Well I think they did get a water cooler, but they didn't always have one. How did they do that? It was hot in the summer in the middle of Texas. My Granny and Amos slept in separate beds  and rooms. Mostly because she snored like a freight train. I am a lot like my Granny. Her bed was on the back porch. This back porch was screened in and in the winter time, the windows were sealed up. However, in the summer, the covers came off and the room was open on 3 sides. I know now that this is how they were able to sleep. We would take a bath of an evening and go straight to bed. When complaining about the heat, they would call us "Softys,  Softys"... And we would go to bed very early. When we would say something about it, She would say "You are not at your Daddy's house right now, You are at your Granny's." There wasn't much time for TV, but they did have one.

They lived in a small house on 16 acres I think. The house set back from the road and between the house and the road was a  peach orchard. I can so remember the taste of those peaches picked from the tree. The peach fuzz sticking your chin while the sweet warm juice of the peach ran down your chin. Yummy. The smell of the hot dirt between your toes. Between the peach trees and the house, was the front yard. In the front yard were a line of mimosa trees. I loved those trees. Climbing the trees was out of the question, but we still did it. In the afternoon the front yard was shaded with the trees. Amos showed us how to use quilts and rope to make hammocks. So we each made our own hammock. The scents of the afternoon sun beating down on the trees and warming the hammocks. They had St.Augustine grass in the front. It was so nice to walk barefooted on that grass. Unlike at our house where we had stickers, and had to wear shoes outside or pay the consequences.

Now Granny had a blackberry patch. She raised and sold blackberries. Her berry money she used to buy something she wanted. I remember when she bought a new kitchen stove. It was yellow and had two ovens. One on the top and one on the bottom. Even when she moved to town later, she had that stove.Amos grew green beans and sold them in town.  Our time there also include helping with the chores. We had to help pick green beans. Even when he didn't have to plow the fields, he would give us rides. He would sit on his lap and steer. That was so much fun. When the peaches were ripe, we would help him pick those as well. Sometime in there, and I don't remember if it was the week we spent there, or later in the year, we would get together and make home made ice cream. My uncle had a new fangled electric ice cream maker, but Amos had one that we had to hand turn. How much fun that was to take turns turning the handle. And when it got too hard for us, Amos or Dad would take over. The fresh blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream was so delicious just not my favorite. My favorite was the fresh peach ice cream. No cobbler, just ice cream.

 When I was really young, Granny had an old fashion washer. The one where you washed in the washer, than used the wringer to wring them out into the rinse water. Then you would run them through the ringer one more time and we would hang them on the clothes line. Laundry had the most wonderful fragrance in the whole world. I loved sleeping on those sheets. She eventually got a new washing machine,  but we still hung out all the clothes. I did miss the old washer, I am sure she didn't.

We didn't eat cereal at Granny's house. Every morning we had eggs, bacon and either biscuits and gravy or toast. She always ate tomatoes with hers. And she let us drink coffee. Of course it was mostly milk, we would pour it from our cup into a saucer and drink it. This was something we learned from her mother, my great grandma. Dipping our biscuits in the coffee, we thought we were grown up. She had chickens also, therefore she had fresh eggs. Some of her hens would lay brown eggs and some were white. Amos complained about the chickens all the time. They were too noisy for him...We loved loved the chickens.

I am sure all the memories are faded and colored, but remembering them, makes me smile. I hope that when my grand kids remember our days together, they remember only the good times. Remembering happy times spent with your grandparents, should help you when you are spending time with your grand children.

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