The thing I remember most about my great-grandmother is …
Oh gosh, there are so many things I remember about Nannie, my paternal great-grandmother. She owned and operated the original Edwards Florist in Sebree, Kentucky and had the greenest thumb of anybody I’ve ever met. She had hydrangea blooms bigger than your head, delicate African violets in every shade, an aloe plant that was 30 years old, and a huge fern that was 10 feet across. No doubt, she had the Midas touch for all blooming things. I think she had a significant impact in my blooming as well. I began staying with her an a young infant when my mother returned to work just weeks after my birth. Because of my parents’ work schedules, I stayed with her some Saturdays too.
I remember clearing out every cabinet and drawer in her kitchen, playing with pots, pans, cooking utensils, and dishes. I once fell asleep inside an empty cabinet but Nannie let me sleep in peace.
I remember playing tea party and make-believe waitress at a restaurant with her Blue Willow china. I never broke a single piece and now have the beloved dishes are in my home.
I remember going to Posey’s Main Street Market to buy groceries every week. It was almost a day-long affair as she meandered up and down every aisle and she always – ALWAYS – paid in cash. Speaking of cash, I remember my dad buying a used cash register at a yard sale. I thought it was the coolest thing for my make-believe restaurant. To enhance my imaginative experience, Nannie let me use her bills and loose change. All was well until the day the cash register stopped working. Nannie went to the garage, grabbed a crowbar, and opened the money drawer. Needless to say, the cash register went out with the week’s trash.
I remember watching The Price Is Right with Bob Barker EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. at 11am.
I remember hand-rolling dough for biscuits and stirring creamy milk gravy with a wooden spoon in Nannie’s cast iron skillet. She prepared three meals a day, rain or shine, and her kitchen was always full of family and friends.
I remember tossing banana peels under the giant magnolia tree, it always had the biggest, most fragrant blooms.
I remember playing around the trellis in the backyard and seeing a baby garter snake. I got scared and ran through the screen door on the back porch. Hashtag whoops. 🙂
I remember Nannie slept flat on her back with two small pillows under her calves to elevate her feet.
I remember Nannie letting me drive her car up and down the driveway years before I was 16 or had a driver’s license and gas was less than a dollar per gallon.
I remember Nannie giving my older cousins relationship advice, “Never date someone you wouldn’t marry.” I listened and married the only man I ever dated.
I remember Nannie’s favorite phrase was, “Well I declare!”
If Nannie thought you were ugly, she’d say, “You stood behind the door when the Lord passed out good looks.”
I remember Nannie had a rotary telephone on her desk. It was originally white but had faded through the years and the cord was multi-color because I adorned it with Sharpie markers. Inside the middle drawer was a large Ziploc bag and inside of that was a well-worn spiral notebook filled with every birth, anniversary, graduation, divorce, and death of every single person Nannie knew. And she knew a lot of people. I wish I had that notebook so I could write my own special dates: May 23, 2002 – high school graduation; May 12, 2006 – college graduation; March 31, 2007 – Nicole Edwards married Kevin Hutchison; December 19, 2013 – Kamden Alan Hutchison was born. She would have been smitten with my spouse and our handsome son.
I remember Nannie drinking a glass of warm buttermilk every day for good health.
I remember taking shelter in the bath tub, covered with blankets and pillows, when a tornado came through town. We were uninjured and the house was fine, but the two Bradford pear trees in the front yard were destroyed. When Nannie heard a clap of thunder, she’d say, “That’s the potato wagon going over the bridge.”
I remember Nannie keeping a gallon jug of vanilla ice cream in the deep freezer in the wash house. She probably knew my secret, but I hid a spoon in the blue coffee can filled with wooden stakes and rusted nails.
I remember Nannie letting me bring the neighbor’s white kitten in the house, I considered him my own and named him Snowball. He was the finest, most gentle cat but he shed like crazy. My mom got smart and kept a change of clothes in her car so I could wear clean clothes home every day.
I remember the last day I visited Nannie in the nursing home. I had known her to be a large, formidable, overweight woman. When she died, passing peacefully in her sleep, she weighed just 93. Her mind and body faded quickly and she no longer knew who I was. I don’t like remembering that woman, she wasn’t the woman I knew and dearly loved.
I remember Nannie. 🙂
Bloggers, please add your post to the link up through the link below. 🙂