I decided to write a about “my Granny” as a way of putting down thoughts about who she was and what she meant to me. I say she was my Granny, but she was in fact Granny to many. She was Granny to nine grandchildren and, if I have counted correctly, 19
Granny was born June 15, 1926, not too far away from where she lived for the majority of her life. The first home I remember her living in was a small house at the end of a long gravel driveway. This is also where my mother and her siblings grew up. It seemed like growing up that we were there all the time. Granny’s was just an hour from where we lived, so we visited often.
Visits to Granny’s usually entailed board games around her table. The grown ups would play scrabble while the kids would play battle ship, checkers, or cards. When we had enough of games, we would go and play outside. Climbing in a pecan tree or going down to the train tracks right behind her home.
Granny never got up too late in the day. When we would sleep at her house, the morning time was usually interesting. There always seemed to be an extra loud clanking of pots or pans. Sort of her way of saying it is time to get up. When that didn’t work, because you were successful in ignoring her sounds, she would come and give you a love tap. Which was really several successive pats or slaps on the leg or arm and her telling you good morning in a very enthusiastic way.
I also saw many great things happen in her kitchen. Granny was the best cook when it came to ham, dressing, turkey, and chocolate pies. In fact, I do not think there was ever anything she made that was not delicious. Thanksgiving at her house was always wonderful. Her pecan pies, I was always told, were excellent. I saw homemade apple sauce made in her kitchen as well. And you can’t forget my most favorite thing, her peach preserves. She could turn a Georgia peach into a delicious substance that was good on biscuits and even better right out of the jar!!
To keep us boys busy, she would sometimes let us ride her lawnmower. She had a Snapper riding mower and we thought it was awesome to ride it around. Of course we couldn’t just ride, so we would zip around and cut the yard as well. I always thought it was pretty awesome to do. In the end she would have a cut yard, we would have had some fun riding the mower, and a lot of times when we left to head home she would slip a folded up bill into your hand when she hugged you goodbye.
As we got older and would go for visits we took on the role of chauffeur. When taking a trip to the park or maybe a ride to the store, she would hand you her car keys and say, “Lets go!” Granny always gave directions on where to go and how to get there. Being told by her that she had her side seat driver’s license and that she was going to tell me how to drive is a great memory for me. She was fun to drive around.
As an adult, visiting her was always special. After I joined the Air Force, I would usually get to see her about once a year and sometimes twice. Her home was always a special place. She had it filled with the things which were special to her. There were photos on every wall of family and some walls even had crafts she had made hanging on them. She was a very talented woman.
Granny was good as surprising you at times as well. When I was a teenager, I lived at St. Joe Beach. A beach community not too far from the town of Port St. Joe. I worked in a little grocery store in town where I bagged groceries and stocked shelves. Once, I was working along and I had someone come up and ask me for assistance. It turned out not to be just somebody, but it was Granny. She was down visiting in the area and she stopped by and surprised me. I can still picture being in the store and seeing her standing there.
She occasionally talked about the beach at Port St Joe. My family had started building a house there about a year ago and she would tell me how she wanted to come down and go to Cape San Blas. I had shared with her how I wanted to take my family out to the cape in the boat for walking and picking up shells. The only way to get out to the end, that I know of, is by boat and it is so very beautiful. Granny passed away on November 27, 2018 at the age of 92. I will however, take a small piece of her to the cape next Summer and make her wish come true!
Granny will always be with us in our hearts. She was a special person who showed nothing but love to us. She would speak her mind and let you know how she felt about things, which too made her a special person. I will always cherish the memories of sitting around playing cards or just hearing the stories about her life and remembering how our families would always come together at her home. In the recent past we didn’t do that as often as we did growing up. In her passing however, we all got together at Granny’s and I am sure she was smiling down upon us seeing the family she loved all together again.
She will be missed.