Well, today I am talking about New Stuff...specifically, New Adventures, New Beginnings and New Challenges, kind of keeping with our abc theme.
Thinking about coming from Tennessee to Texas kind of reminded me of my mom's family coming from Tennessee to Texas to make a new beginning back in 1908, a little more than a hundred years ago. She was only seven years old at the time, and her dad was looking for work. His brother had written to her dad telling him there was work to be had out here, so the whole family and extended family that was in Tennessee got together and had a picture made.
My mom is the one seated on the right of the picture, and her mom is the woman seated on the left with my Aunt Edith on her lap. There are five other children of hers and Grandpa's in the picture. They came out here to Lorena, Texas by train to work on the Westbrook's Ranch. My grandpa worked as a hand on the ranch, my grandma worked as a cook in the ranchhouse, and my mom and her siblings worked out in the fields, hoeing and picking cotton, and chopping out corn.
Mom was always full of ideas, and one day she got the idea that if they wanted to get out of work, they should rub poison ivy (she and her brothers, Arthur and Gene,) over their face and then they would break out and not have to chop out the corn. Ya' gotta remember, folks, she was only seven or eight and had no idea what a misery that could bring on. Well, her two brothers broke out in poison really bad, but it didn't affect her, so she wound up with having to do hers and their work. Anyway, that was one little sad adventure she regretted. Ha.
They had the challenge of adapting to a new area, just as I have had over the past few months. The man in the upper left of the picture is my grandpa, William Gaston Black, and standing next to him is my aunt that I wrote about the other day, the one we called "Ainty" or Aint Emmaline. We never pronounced Aunt as Ahnt, like a lot of people do. We are from Tennessee, you all. Ainty was the one who went to nurse people back to health, and one side of her mouth was twisted like she had something wrong with it. She also had a little finger on one hand that she could wiggle like it wasn't fastened on good or something.
Oh, my! There are all kinds of stories in my family's background that are simply fascinating. Anyway, they came to Texas when my mom was seven, and her dad died within two years of their coming here. They had a child who was born in Texas and died before Grandpa did. The child was responsible for my Grandpa becoming a believer in the Lord. It is told that when the little boy, Franklin, was dying, he looked up and pointed to heaven, and said, "Right there" as though he could see Jesus and heaven, then died. Mom told how Grandpa became a believer right then and there. She said that Ainty shouted and said, "Hallelujah" because Ainty had been praying for him to believe.
It was not very long before Grandpa became ill from pneumonia, from getting wet while working in the rain when he had the measles, and passed away. (Another story here, but will save it for later.) The family then had to pack up and move back to Tennessee, because without Grandpa, they could not stay on the ranch. They returned to Tennessee exactly a hundred years ago.
I am sure that not in their wildest dreams did they ever consider what the world would be like a hundred years from then.
This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later.
Thinking about and writing about all this that happened to them makes me realize that the challenges I have had to face are next to nothing, because of all the help and encouragement I have had from family and so many new friends and those I already had. God is good, isn't He? He brought them through rough times, and He is bringing me through as well.
ADDENDUM: Believe it or not, I was going to write about my new adventures, beginnings and challenges, then after I started thinking, my whole ideas kind of went in a different direction...and I wound up not writing about my adventures, new beginnings and new challenges. Go figure! I'll save that for another day. Ha.