Monday, June 30, 2008

Early Days in my Life

Good Afternoon to you,

Just a little history of my early days...I was born in Knoxville, the 5th of 6 children born live to my parents, Jim and Cecil. We were poor, but most of the time I wasn't aware of it. I was born in 1933, during the ending years of the Great Depression. My mom worked in a hosiery mill running 3 machines, when she was able to work. There were periods of lay-offs, when neither she nor my dad had work. We lived in "company houses" owned by the mill. They were what was called "shotgun houses", because you could fire a gun into the front door and the bullet would go all the way through and out the back door, (not that anyone I knew did that).
My three oldest siblings were born in Loudon, where my mom grew up, and where her widowed mother lived at the time. I think she and dad must have lived in Loudon until about the time my brother who is just older than I am. He was the first to be born in Knoxville, followed by me and a younger brother.
One of my earliest memories is of Christmas when I was about 3 and 1/2. I remember it being Christmas morning, and I heard the back door open and saw a set of big boots (about my height) coming in, stomping off snow, and saw a market basket set on the floor, and heard a male voice saying, "Merry Christmas". I found out later that it was an uncle of mine. I remember the gift that was mine. It was a wooden toothbrush with an elephant head at the top.
Another early memory was about the time I was 4, and I could just barely see the top of the kitchen table. We were living in a section of town called New Town, a collection of houses owned by the knitting mill where my parents spent a great deal of their lives working. I remember being very hungry, and someone bringing in a bowl of lima butter beans that were hot, along with corn bread. There was a lady who owned a neighborhood restaurant across the street from us, and she had sent the food over to us. I remember how good it smelled, and I know I must have filled up on them, but to this day, I cannot stand the smell of them or enjoy the taste of them.
As I have said before, my sister was always there, helping to take care of us.
When things got better and we moved to the country when I was 5, she and I slept together, and I loved to get into her stuff. You know, nail polish, bobby pins, anything that she had was fair game to me. I know she must have often bossed me around, and I probably said things like, "you are not my boss!" But we always had a good time. She would hold my hand when we would go places, and was my good buddy.
Our household was a matriarchy. My mom pretty much ruled the roost. She would consult my dad occasionally on really important decisions, and at least let him think he was the boss. We used to tease Margaret about the time a salesman came to the house, and asked if the lady of the house was in. Margaret told him that "Mama is not here, but daddy is, and he is the boss when Mama's not here". We never let her forget that.
Well, we had some really strong wind and rain this afternoon. I had made a noon time run to Wal-mart, and saw some friends there that I hadn't seen for several years. Wal-mart is a wonderful place to see friends you haven't seen in a while. I had just gotten back home when about half an hour later, the wind and rain came through and kept me from having to water my plants. YES!
Tomorrow we plan on going in to Knoxville and taking my brother who is just older than I and his wife, and our oldest brother's widow out to breakfast. My older brother nor his wife, nor our brother's widow do not drive much any more, so we go in as often as we can to do stuff together. It is a real pleasure and joy for all of us.
More pictures tomorrow. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today.
Love to all of you.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Remembering - Part II

Good Afternoon, Dear Readers...

This is one of my favorite pictures of my sister and myself. It was taken soon after we moved from Knoxville to New Market. I was about 16 and she was 24. Our life out there was filled with a lot of work on the farm, we had no electricity, had to do washing by hand on the scrub board, no inside toilets, lived in a very old house that was not much more than a shack, no inside water (we pumped it from a cistern that was near the house). Do we look unhappy? No way!

Our two brothers who were still at home also had a lot of work to do, and of course, my younger brother, John, and I had school during the school year. My mom worked in Knoxville at her job in a knitting mill and came home to New Market on the weekends. It was my sister, Margaret, who took care of the household, and we younger children. We had a lot of fun together, and because we had no car, we spent a lot of Sunday afternoons playing games together. (Dot to dot, crossword puzzles, American checkers, chinese checkers, battleship,tic- tac - toe, etc.)

Margaret once said that she played American checkers with John so much that she dreamed about it and saw moves on the checkerboard when she closed her eyes at night. She was quick to laugh, and a lot of fun to be around. She was very patient, and my two daughters have often said how she would let them comb her hair and play with it. She loved children, but never had any of her own.


My husband, Dub, and I started reading the Bible through last night, at his request. His eyes have gotten so bad that he has difficulty reading, so we share the reading aloud of the scriptures. After we read the several chapters, we have prayer. It certainly is rewarding in a peaceful atmosphere.

We heard a really great sermon this morning from Romans 1: 16 thru the following verses to the end of the chapter. He preached on how when people do not live by faith, but turn to unrighteousness, then the wrath of God can be turned upon them.

We have had a good bit of rain over the last 24 hours and it looks like there may be more this evening.

More about my sister tomorrow. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Thank you to all of those who have made comments. I really enjoy reading them, also reading the new blogs of those who comment. Bye for now.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Remembering - A Younger Sister's Viewpoint

Hey there,

I was just remembering the life that my sister and I shared for so many years. As I mentioned yesterday, she passed away just six months ago. She had always been there as long as I can remember because she was 8 years older than I, almost to the day. We both had May birthdays, hers came 9 days after mine. All her life, she was a care-giver, in both the literal and figurative sense of the word. She cared about and cared for other people.

Margaret Elizabeth had a profound effect on the lives of others, myself included. She repeated eighth grade, not because she needed to, but because my mother wanted her there to watch over me when I was in first grade. (She never let me forget what she had done for me. ha.) She had to quit school after eighth grade, because she would have had to ride a bus a long distance to go, and Mom didn't want her doing that. I never really understood why she was reluctant to let Margaret go.

Margaret was the one who led me to the Lord when I was barely fourteen, during a revival service in church. For that, I will be eternally grateful. The picture above was taken a few years after I was married, I think probably about 1955. Margaret was always willing to help when ever and where ever she could.
She came several times to Indiana, where my first husband and I lived for about 8 years. Margaret came to help me when both my children were born. She knew a little more about "birthin' babies" than I did, even though she had never had any of her own. We shared a lot of laughs over the years over things that took place in our lives.
She is the only blood sister that I ever had, even though I have considered many friends that I have and have had as sisters. I miss being able to call her and talk to her. I miss being able to call in the winter time when it is snowing and tell her, "It's a fallin'". She would reply, "Yep, it sure is".
I miss her....
More tomorrow about Margaret.
This is Blabbin' Grammy signing out for now.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Walmart Morning

Howdy You-all,
Yeah, I was about to have withdrawal symptoms. I had only been to Walmart a couple of times over the past two weeks and I needed to remedy that.

So this morning, after breakfast and cleaning the kitchen of dirty dishes, I decided it was time to go. I asked my husband, Dub, if he would like to go with me. He replied in the negative, so I took off.

I decided I needed a few new flowers to replace those that gave up the ghost while I was gone to Texas. So first I went to the wonderful place known as Lowe's and purchased a needed extension for my water hose, and a new nozzle, then selected the flowers.

From there, I went to Wally World next door to Lowe's, (isn't that so convenient?), and the people were there running around like the proverbial headless chickens, so I joined them and found what I wanted there, and Oh I felt so good joining into the fray. From there to the grocery store to pick up some stuff there, and then on to home. Can you believe I was gone for nearly 3 hours? Unbelievable! It is so easy to lose track of time in those places.

My husband and I had a really pleasant time with our "Quiet Time" last night. It was wonderful. I look forward to this evening, too, as I am sure he must.

Not much going on here. Hope this does not bore the reader. My husband is in the beginning stages of dementia, and sometimes things do get interesting, especially when he decides he has lost or misplaced something and we go on "the hunt" to find it. Most usually it is when we are almost ready to go somewhere. I have decided it is best to just serenely help him look, whether it delays us or not.

Well, it is time to go prepare some supper. I guess I will plant the flowers (in pots) this evening in the cool? of the day. Temperatures are in the upper 80's. We are hoping for some rain. It looked like it would rain last night, but, nope, it just passed on over.

That's all from Blabbin' Grammy this evening. Signing off for now. Love to all of you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back to Basics

Good Afternoon!
At least that is what it is for me. Just woke up from my daily afternoon nap, quite refreshed. What do you do when you get back from vacation? Probably what I do...wait a couple of days to unpack everything...what? you are not that laid-back? Then you are missing the best of life. However, I did wash all the dirty clothes we had brought back. The clean clothes in the suitcases can wait until I am inspired to unpack them.
My daughter teases me about embellishing my stories, but this one is true. Just ask Gramps...he was sitting there beside me, not opening his mouth, but probably ready to make a trip to the rest area by the time we got through to the other side of Dallas. (Dear readers, any and all comments would be appreciated at the end of the entry each day. I would love to hear from you, since I don't really know who reads and who doesn't.)
We went out on the porch this afternoon for a few minutes and it looks like rain is on its way.. Thank you, Jesus! I had to water my potted plants on the porch around 8 a.m. this morning. My family here in East Tn., Mark and Allie, came over and watered them for me while we were gone. My roses in the yard were really thirsty and I know they will appreciate the rain when it comes. I watered them also this morning, but as you may know, roses love water.
I also watered our tomatoes this morning, and they stuck out their little green tongues and lapped up the water.
Our family in Texas has long observed a "quiet time" in the evening when they read from the scriptures and then share their concerns and thanks to God with Him in prayers. We are hoping to institute that in our lives as well. Our prayer life is rather sporadic, consisting mostly of prayer at meal time and in special requests from the prayer line at church, and when there is a special need in our lives.
I will probably begin working on a new quilt sometime soon. My sister, who passed away six months ago tomorrow, had a lot of quilt pieces she had cut out, and I am in possession of them. More about that later. Enough blabbin' for now. More later. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for the evening.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Home for Awhile

Hey there from travelin' Grammy,

We traveled yesterday with little or no problems. While we were stopped for lunch in Brownsville, TN, however, we did have an opportunity to do a good deed. As we were leaving a Wendy's, a man who looked as though he were hungry stopped us and asked if we needed any work done. Dub said, "no, we don't live around here". The man replied, "It seems like nobody does." Then he asked if we could buy him a meal, that he was on his way to California. {He said he hadn't had a bite in days, so I bit him. (Ha ha, not really, just a joke) } Anyway, I said, "sure, come on in, and I'll buy you something to eat.

One other thing did happen, as we were driving along, and listening to the radio, I heard this big loud buzzing, and looked around for the reason, lifting my arms from the wheel and wondering what I didn't know yet about my new car. Then I realized that they were doing one of the "testing the emergency system" on the radio station things. Of course the radio had been turned up loud for my husband is very hard of hearing. The noise almost blasted us out of the car. I could have told them the emergency system was really working. ha ha.

We arrived back in Knoxville today and stopped at my brother's home to visit with them and to take them grocery shopping, along with another sister in law. So we got to have a nice visit, along with going out to breakfast with them and having a good time chatting about stuff that had happened while we were gone.

Now we are back at home in New Market and getting stuff unpacked, laundry done, and online banking done. It was wonderful to set my little round tush back into my computer chair, and open all the mail that had collected over the past 10 days. It was also wonderful to have the time to go visit with our Texas family. Pictures tomorrow.

Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Absolute Power of Prayer

Hey there, you all,
What a story I have to relate to you today! As you know, we have been visiting our daughter and son-in-law and their family. We always have prayer before we leave on a journey anywhere. This morning was no different...It didn't take very long for the need to arise for protection from accidents.

About 30 minutes after we left their home, I ran into my first problem. They (the people who decide to change the routes by construction) had changed the way we entered I-30. In the past, we had taken a right turn off Hwy 157 onto I-30. Not so, now. I had to quickly get over into the left turn lane...then turn left and watch for a place to enter I-30. Whoops, lots of construction, having to look for the lane to be in, horns honking, ran a red stop light following a big truck (couldn't see over the top of it) It was one of those places where traffic takes turn one vehicle at a time., lots of friendly hand gestures from other motorists. Finally, found the way to go, and got onto the interstate. (Thank you, Jesus!)

Then, ran into another problem where I-35 peels off of I-30...Accidentally missed the lane for 1-30 and got onto 1-35. Got off at the next exit and tried to find my way to go back and hit 1-30. Whoa! I knew I was supposed to find a turn around, but lo, and behold, no turnaround to be found. I found myself downtown Dallas on Commerce and Market Streets. I wound up going the wrong way on a one-way street, four lanes of traffic, and when I realized it, the traffic on the street had been held up by a traffic light, and I was alone on the street facing the oncoming traffic ready to roll. I had happened to move over my right side lane, saw a bus driver facing us in the same lane of traffic I was in, motioning wildly for me to turn right. I could almost see fright in his face. I also saw a lot of motorists giving me the friendly hand signs again..

I finally found signs directing us to the 1-30 and 1-35 roads. Got in the wrong lane, of course and had to cut in front of another driver or two. More horn blowing and hand signals.

By the time we got back on 1-30 east and on our way, I felt like I had been in the Indy 500. Totally bored by now? Just saying all this to tell you for sure that I know the guardian angels assigned to us were kept busy today, and that prayer is powerful. (Thank you, Jesus)

We are now safely ensconced in our motel and we and other motorists are safe from each other for the night.
That's all for Blabbin' Grammy tonight. Whew, are we ever tired!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

On the Road Again

A big Texas Howdy to you all,
We are getting ready to hit the road in the morning. (Not too hard a hit, you understand), just enough to get going good.

It has been a wonderful visit, just kind of sittin' around a lot, and some traveling around and playing some games. I think maybe Carol had a good time driving my little Yaris around. My granddaughter, Emily, is on her way back to the University even as I write. It was really great to be able to spend some time with her!

Our grandson, Matt, has been a lot of fun and is really a pleasure to be around. I love to hear him laugh.

Our son-in-law, Daryl, has a really grand sense of humor- and can always be counted on to come up with a pun. (A man after my own heart, since I am one of the world's worst punsters.)

Andrew is going to come over and have an early breakfast with us before we take off for Tennessee. We look forward to seeing him, too.

Well, gotta go get some sleep so I can be bright eyed and pert and ready to travel in the morning. (bet you thought I was going to say bushy-tailed, didn't you?) ha.

Signing off for the present.
Blabbin' Grammy

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June visit to Texas

Howdy thar',
This is Blabbin' Grammy with my first ever posting. This is new to me, as you may very well guess. Gramps and I are visiting with our daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Daryl, on our annual trek out to Texas and the big city. We get to see some of our dear grandchildren also, while we are here.

It is always a delight to see and spend time with them. We have been coming to Texas to visit with them for over 25 years, and of course, I drive us out here each time. We only flew one time, and decided we didn't really care for it that much. They were in San Antonio at the time, and so we cashed in our plane tickets and took the bus back home. BIG MISTAKE! It took us 24 hours to make the trip home by Greyhound. That was the slowest dog you ever saw.

Now, you will see that the name of Blabbin' Grammy for my blog is really quite apt, because I have been known to really blab stuff.

Gramps is not always a happy camper travelling, although he is always nice about it. He is one sweet person, and not a complainer, as anyone who knows him can quickly tell you. Poor guy! I really love to drive and to travel. We just bought a new car, traded in our Rav4 for a Toyota Yaris, (red) and I really like it. It gets 41 mpg and I have always wanted a red car.

We have been having a really neat time here with family. Got to have supper with them on Wednesday and also got to play a game of dominoes with Carol and Daryl. Emily has classes this summer at DBU and Matt is working a lot. Andrew and Julia are expecting their first child, (a girl) on or about September 8, and we are all excited for them.

Yesterday, Carol, Gramps and I went out to do some shopping and I found a really neat glass top and wrought iron table for our front porch at home. Well, that is all the blabbin' for right now. More later. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off.