Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Grandmother Averett

I got to thinking about my grandmother today. My father's mother. I don't remember my grandfather much because he died when I was in the first grade. I remember sitting on his lap a lot but that is about it. But Grandmother Averett lived until I was 16. She was one of the sweetest women I ever knew. I think she was born in the late 1800's.

She was very old fashioned and extremely religious. She always wore dresses and she never cut her hair. It was like silk and it was totally white. When we spent the night with her she would take it down from its bun and comb it. It would go all the way to the floor. The she would braid it and leave it hanging for the night and then when she got up in the morning it went back into the bun.

I say she was religious but I think a better word is godly. On Sundays we would go to see her and she had always been to church and she did nothing on Sunday but visit with her family, read the Bible and rest. No work. None. If she served a meal on Sunday it was always cooked the day before and simply warmed up. And we were not allowed to ask to go to the store to buy anything because money was not supposed to be spent on Sunday. If we asked she would start praying.

I think I am making her sound strange. But she was very old timey. The mother of 13 children (that lived). She raised them all with a lot of love. My oldest half sister was raised by her. She said when she was a child she could remember going with grandmother to the fields and she would sit under a shade tree while grandmother plowed with a mule. Sundays and Wednesdays she played piano in church and Grandaddy preached. Yeah--he was a preacher. The rode in a wagon everywhere they went. They were poor. But my sister grandmother on her mom's side of the family was very well to do. They had a lot of stuff. And their lifestyle was very different. Lots of parties and never church. She said she always preferred being with Grandmother Averett because she had more fun and she felt more love. Didn't matter about the money. I can see that because I loved going over to see Grandmother.

One of the biggest things I remember about Grandmothers house was there was no grass. She would pull it up. She planted a lot of flowers but grass was not allowed to grow in her yard. My half sister said she had been that way all her life. She swept the yard with a broom. I don't know if that was the style of things or if it was just easier than mowing. I am not even sure if they had a mower.

Also, they didn't have a TV in their house. Grandmother didn't really understand them and she didn't allow one in the house. I do know that when she got really old and moved in with my Aunt Lavada she got to watching soap operas. She had gotten senile and really thought they were real. She would cry and pray for the woman who just lost her husband and was pregnant. She got really upset over it. She just never really knew what TV was.

I loved to go to her house even though she was so conservative. It was almost like walking into another world. The family was big back then. She had children and grandchildren always visiting her. She quilted. Quilts made by hand and she would give them away. She could have made a lot of money but she did it purely for the love of it. I have her sewing basket to this day. It was all I wanted of hers when she died.

One last thing I remember is she was diabetic and back then sweeteners weren't very good at all. In fact I think all there saccharin was all there was. It was horrible. She sweetened her tea with it. But one thing she loved was a drink called Tab. I think it was about the only diet cola on the market at that time in our area. I LOVED them. They had a bitter after taste but I always had to have one. Weird I remember that.

There is so much that I can say about this woman. She was lovely. I don't have one bad memory about her. It is all good.

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