One of a Kind

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(Granddaddy Walker, Barbara Walker and Mama Walker)

Mama. That’s what we called her, though she was not our mother. Mama was the best grandmother-my favorite grandmother. She was my daddy’s mother and she was all mine. Well, that’s what I thought. She was a farm girl. Had been all her life. So, she was not a tiny little thing and she was not fragile. She could milk a cow with the best of them and who knows what else. She was not fat, but round and her lap was the most comfortable I think I’d ever slept in. She called me her favorite, but I think she told all her grandkids that. And every one of the grandkids knew they were her favorite. I sure did.

Mama stayed with me while my parents worked and my sister was at school. The days were filled with her working in the yard and me riding my stick pony. It was imperative I learn how to ride that stick horse to perfection because I wanted to be just like Mama. One time, while pulling weeds in the beautiful flower bed, Mama fell backward. She told me not to tell Daddy, but I had been worried about her and told him anyway. Besides, I never could remember when I was supposed to be quiet about something.

After working in the yard, Mama would read to me and she taught me to read when I was three. I loved it and she loved teaching me. We’d have lunch and I thought I was the luckiest little girl in the world because before I took my nap, I was allowed to watch
“As the World Turns”, her favorite soap opera.  Once it was over, we’d make the long trek down the hall to my room and she would lay down with me. I could never figure out how she woke up before I did, but she always did.

Mama took a blood thinner because she had hardening of the arteries. It made her smell funny- like medicine. But, it was Mama’s smell. It didn’t smell bad, it just smelled like Mama.

She made dinner for all of us because my parents worked so late. I can’t remember all she cooked, but I make her chicken and dumplins’ to this day. Oh my gosh, if ever there was as wonderful a meal as her chicken and dumplins’, I don’t know where it could be found.

There is nothing like yesterday’s grandmothers. They were old fashioned, they loved to give you things to eat and drink that made your body work more efficiently, if you know what I mean. And they were a tough bunch, having been farmers and whatnot all their lives.

Every kid thinks their grandmother is the best and you know what? They are right! I’ll bet your grandmother was the best as well! Here’s to our grandmothers!

 

 

Dream Weaver, Dream Reader

Always filled with imagination and wonder about every little thing, my grandmother thought it a good idea to teach me to read when I was only three. By doing so, she opened a whole new world for me.  Let me backtrack a bit and give you some history regarding this decision.

My parents owned a beauty shop (a whole ‘nother story) and while my sister was six years older than me,she had to attend school- leaving me with my grandmother while everyone was busy going about their day. My grandmother, “Mama” and I had so much fun and I never thought I loved anyone more than her. We played outside, we watched “As the World Turns” after lunch, she gardened, I rode my faithful ol’ red stick pony around the yard- we had fun. Once, while gardening, she fell right down on her backside. “Don’t tell your daddy,” she’d said. The minute he came home from work, I blurted out, “Mama fell in the yard today,”- touching off a bevy of worry for my dad. To say I was a busy body child ( and adult), capable of creating all kinds of havoc would be an understatement. It must have been after I locked Mama out of the house because she was going to spank me when she decided to teach me something that might occupy me for at least an hour.

I can remember sitting at the hearth while Mama taught me the words. She taught me to read with my finger- you know, following each word with my index finger as though it was a word magnet. Maybe not then, maybe not just as I was learning the words, but later, those words began dancing off the page and into my vivid imagination. Oh, how I loved to read.

In later years, after Mama had gone to live with my aunt Lorene, it was sometimes all my mother could do to get me to go outside and play. Many was the day I would curl up in Mama’s rocking chair, beginning a book, only for my mom to urge me to go outside and “get some sun.” And many was the day I begged to read “only  3 more chapters” because I was almost finished.

And now, although I still love reading, the love of words tumble out of my head and onto paper (in the old days), and now, on , my computer screen.

So, if I had my “druthers”, it would be my grandmother whom I would want to read my posts most of all. It is because of her I kept out of trouble by reading (well, not all trouble, don’tcha know!) and in reading, being able to express myself in the written word the way I sometimes cannot orally. Thanks Mama!

Mama with my granddaddy and sister, Barbie. Mama was the light of my life.
Mama with my granddaddy and sister, Barbie. Mama was the light of my life.