While out running errands with my husband Saturday, we fell into a conversation about David’s grandparents.
Hearing him talk about his grandparents warms my heart, as I really didn’t have much time at all with any of mine. My grandfather on Dad’s side passed before I was born, and my grandmother and grandfather on my mother’s side passed when I was about 5 or 6 yearsold. My grandmother on my dad’s side remarried, and then passed when I was 18. I wasn’t around her very much at all, so I don’t have all of the sweet grandparent memories, like David does.
He told several endearing stories about his grandparents on his mother’s side. However, there was one story that I couldn’t help but to laugh at the absurdity of it, and because I could just picture his grandmother, whom we called “Maw” doing exactly what he said she did in his story.
Luckily, I got in David’s family early enough to have enjoyed some time with Maw Rose. She was the only grandparent David had left when I met him, and to put it mildly, she was a cracker jack.
She was tough. Even in her late 80s she was still a strong woman. She was big-boned, opinionated and no-nonsense. She was very stern, but a loving grandmother to David, and I believe he was truly the apple of her eye.
When he would take me to visit her, she would tell me stories. Her eyes would light up, then mist over a little, and in her deep voice she would reminisce about the good old days.
Among different things, she liked to talk about getting up really early in the mornings to start the fire in the grate, and then later the old coal/wood stove, and how she would fix a big breakfast with cathead biscuits and gravy with bacon, sausage and ham, etc.
She talked about how she would allow David, at just 7-years-old, to drive her and Jim into town, every Saturday for groceries. Although she had other grandchildren who were much older and had driver’s licenses, Rose wanted David to drive them wherever they needed, or wanted, to go. She would laugh a big hearty laugh and say that she, “trusted David’s driving”.
She said, one time someone asked her if she wasn’t afraid of getting pulled over and fined for letting David drive at such a young age, and she said she told them she wasn’t worried. If they did get fined, she had the money to pay for it.
I can still remember her throwing her head back and laughing her deep laugh when talking about it.
David lovingly described his grandpa Jim to me. I never got to meet him. He said Jim always wore overalls, and kept Red Ox tobacco in his pouch, and a chew of it in his mouth. He said he hardly ever saw Jim without a chew, and his teeth were worn down to tiny nubs, David guessed, from chewing tobacco so much.
He said Jim walked kind of stooped over, and held his hands clasped together behind his back.
Jim’s favorite past time was to sit on the front porch and look over the fields below their home, as he was retired by the time David was old enough to remember anything much.
He said, one sunny day they were sitting out on the porch, and Jim complained to Rose that there was something in his eye. It was really bothering him. So, Rose looked in Jim’s eye and said she didn’t see anything. But his grandpa kept complaining that he knew there was something in there.
David said he watched as his grandmother went to the kitchen, and came back with something pinched up between her first finger and thumb, and she flicked it right in his grandfather’s eye!
Even as a child, David was horrified! It was table salt!
He said he watched as his grandpa sat there with his eye closed and tears streaming down his face. After that, his grandpa never complained about anything being in his eye, ever again.
Poor old fellow. I got sort of tickled at the story, not because I am morbid, but because in my mind’s eye, I can just see Rose doing that very thing. However, I cringed and felt so sorry for Jim. I can definitely understand why he never complained about his eye again.