Saturday, March 26, 2011

GRANNY REMEMBERED

Granny died last week at 92. She was buried last Sunday.


She was a woman who did pretty much as she pleased, and did it without running over other people. She was too laid back to let things bother her but was quick to sympathize with others. She never said anything really bad about anyone. In fact, she could usually find something good in everybody.

She was straightforward. She once said she told everything she knew. But one time she didn't. Her and Granddad's elopement wasn't a spur of the moment thing. They'd planned it. Carefully. They rented a house and bought furniture, told her mother Granddad was taking her to visit a relative, got married, and spent their wedding night at the house of some friends before coming came back to face the music. Granny wore a navy dress with a sailor collar and a red tie. She took the tie off because red's bad luck for brides. But that didn't keep her and Granddad from getting dunked in Talking Rock Creek (a custom of those times for newlyweds).

She liked to cook and was good at it. One of the few times she showed her temper was a few years after they married when Granddad criticized her banana pudding. He said it looked kind of runny. She threw a Coke bottle at him. He dodged, but the dent in the wall stayed there for years. Must have made an impression 'cause I sure never heard him say anything about her cooking.

And she flexed her muscles when Granddad and his youngest son went off with cash in hand to buy a new car. Granny never helped choose their cars because she never wanted to. But she was tight with money. And when Granddad came home with the car and the cash because the salesman had convinced him to use the dealership's low interest offer... Well. Granny hit the roof. She sent Granddad right back to pay off the debt, saying any fool knows it's cheaper not to pay interest. And as shrewd as she was, she probably figured the cash would get spent on something else.

She was independent. After Granddad died, she kept living alone. No matter how her kids urged her, she never considered moving close to any of them. She didn't want to be a burden on anybody.

She wasn't afraid of anything. At a Boy Scout gathering, one of the boys came up and tried to scare her by handing her a snake. She took it, looked at it, looked at the boy, and asked, "What do you want me to do with it?" Then handed it back. The whole group was in awe.

Until Granddad retired, she'd lived all her life in the foothills of Georgia. Then they bought a small house in Florida where they went every winter. He's been gone over twenty years but, even though she couldn't drive, Granny kept going back and forth. One of her kids would carry her to Florida in October and bring her back to north Georgia in May. That's what she and Granddad had done and by golly, she'd keep doing it!

In 2008, her Florida house got broken into while she was sleeping. She was deaf and didn't hear the racket as they chopped at a door in the garage, trying to get into the house. She found it the next morning, the frame chipped away and one deadbolt all that saved the house from being burglarized. Her kids and friends were afraid for her and wanted her to stay in Georgia. But Granny went back down the next November anyway. For the last time, it turned out.

In January of 2009, she had a heart attack. She survived, but her last two years were spent in a nursing home in north Georgia. Everyone knew she wouldn't get better, but her death still hurt.

She loved to quilt. Her mother helped her make her first quilt - a string quilt she called it - when she was nine years old. On her coffin, instead of the usual spray of flowers, her daughter laid a cathedral window quilt, one of the last ones Granny made. Granny would have loved it.

We miss her.

2 comments:

  1. A lovely tribute to a fascinating and inspiring woman. Condolences to all Granny's family.

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  2. I loved that the quilt covered her coffin, and that one of her friends made Granny's banana pudding for the wake. Both were fitting ways to say goodbye, and I know Granny would have urged each of us to have some pudding!!

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