Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Pleasures and Family Memories

Our little maple tree is completely covered with red leaves now. Few have fallen. The early bright red trees on the drive to town and last week at Goreville are half bare now.
However, the woods in the distance surrounding us, unlike other years, are mostly a growingly unpleasant green or brown. Wonder if the lack of rain is reducing color this year? There was one perfect brown oak leaf lying in our driveway when I walked down to mail Gerry’s birthday card. It had a long blow from the distant woods, but winds were high again today. As usual, brown corn husks from the fields beside our lane are landing in the yard.

After going to the mailbox, I had a little time to work on Martin Family history again downstairs. My cousin Dick, who wasn’t home when I visited Goreville last week, had returned my call yesterday and we had talked for over an hour—maybe two hours. So I was downstairs reviewing notes from that call and looking at other papers and notebooks I have laid out on a table in the kids’ den.

I had to quit to go pick up Sam from jazz band, and I rushed out the back door and stumbled into Gerald’s chair where he puts on his work shoes. The chair was scooted over so I could not miss it and there were papers in the chair about the family I had just been looking at downstairs. It took me a second to figure out that Dick had been there and left pages and pages of wonderful genealogical data from his computer program. There is no doorbell in our garage and I had left the door there open when I got back from the mailbox. So I had not heard Dick knocking. He and his sister have given me so much information.

When I wrote him and thanked him tonight for his gift, I shared the few memories I have of my Grandma Sidney after she moved to Broadway Street in Goreville. I had just turned seven in November when she died on January 1, 1941. I will share with you too:

My only memories of Broadway house and Gma Sidney:

1. Being disappointed once when I thought she had baked a yellow cake and it turned out to be cornbread. Somehow I remember her small red kitchen cabinet--not a wall cabinet. And a sorghum pitcher, which I have now.

2. Uncle Home and Aunt Vivian visiting with another couple, whose names I usually remember but can't right now. I think they may have been returning from Mexico. (Were the names Eddie and Olga?)

3. I remember playing with the box of broken jewelry that Gma kept for grandkids. How I loved that.

4, I remember a beautiful pillow made with satin and velvets. I inherited it at her death, and I still have it and love it.

5. I remember the beautiful chandelier Uncle Homer put in her front living room. And I remember her trinket case, which Jim helped Gerald rescue from the falling-in tenant house at Mt. Joy Farm. It is one of my pride and joys.

5. I remember the kids next door across the street on same side as Gma and playing in their barn loft once.

6. I remember Gertie Dennison laughing down the street on her porch in her corner house and the laughter always carrying up to Gma's house on the night air.

7. I remember loving to sleep in her folding bed with a feather bed mattress. I felt secure knowing if it rained, my head was under the high top part of the folding bed. I wonder if I slept there more than once.

8. I think there is some kind of a memory about mulberries, but I don't know what that is about.

9. I remember wanting to be flower girl at her funeral in old Baptist Church and getting to do so. I think we marched up to the choir loft when we carried in flowers or perhaps flowers were there and we carried them out. Mother had just started making me rag curls for Sunday School, and I think she made me curls for the funeral. I am not sure Gma had ever seen my curls.

10. I remember sitting on the front porch with cousin Jack and eating our buggers. I first thought this may have been at the time of her death, but since it was January, we would not have been on the porch at that time of year, so it must have been earlier.

Long after that, I can remember crying and missing her at Mount Airy Farm when I looked at her yellow and red rose bushes--almost forming a hedge out by the well. Many years ago I went to Mt. Airy Farm to see if I could get a start of the yellow rose bush, altho I am not good with plants. The lady there said they had been frozen out a year or two before, so I was too late.

Fall is a good time to reminisce, and I am enjoying thinking about the only grandparent I ever was able to meet.

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