Friday, December 11, 2009

Things My Grandma Used to Say

Being a person of history, I'm always asking questions about my family. Who was who, what did they say, how did they live, what did they like?

My mother's mother was a nifty woman named Georgia Irene Butler Williams. I love the above photo of her. She hated her name - especially the middle one - but she was a real corker. My best memories of Grandma Williams was her gardening and canning. She was an extremely productive woman. During World War II she had 5 children (there were 6, but one had died in 1936 from meningitis). She had to find ways to keep her family fed in Kansas during the time of rationing. She set goals to can 100 quarts of everything possible - and that's exactly what she did.

The gardening my grandparents did was huge. I know for sure it engulfed a good portion of the backyard, but it also took in the entire portion of land that now houses the neighbor. Every square inch of idle land was planted for as long as my Grandmother was able to get out and plant. Some was in vegetables, some in berry plants, and lots in flowers. I remember when some of the land was sold. It seemed a very sad moment to me. But I digress.

What I wanted to share was my Grandmother's colloquialisms. Grandma used to talk to me while we gardened. Gardening was a family affair that I didn't appreciate at the age of six, but learned to later be very grateful for. Grandma used to put a stake at either end of the patch we were working, then tie a string from one stake to the other. This gave her very straight garden rows. She would then drag the hoe under the line or have me do it and then we'd plant. She'd tell me, "Christians sometimes have a hard row to hoe, but if they keep their eyes on the mark--they will always go straight." I would work awfully hard to keep my eye on that string as I pulled the hoe to make the planting row. It was a matter of pride on one hand, but I definitely wanted to please my grandmother.

My grandmother had a lot of other colloquialisms and it makes me smile to think about them now. She would often tell my mother, "Sleep on it, and it will look better in the morning." "The darkest hour is just before the dawn."

One of my favorites was, "If it's dirty--it's doubtful." Meaning if it's questionable - don't do it.

She talked about being as "poor as church mice" and that "the bigger the battle, the bigger the victory." She was a dedicated Christian woman and pressed through most any problem to conclusion--as did many from The Great Depression era--with her focus on the Lord. I'm grateful for that influence, and I still giggle when I remember her exclaiming, "Oh my stars and garters!"

At Christmas time I really miss her. She was a special woman who blessed me and today I honor her memory. Here's a photo of her with my aunts and uncles. My mom is in the front on the left.

I can hardly wait to see her again in heaven. She'll greet me as she used to with our little funny French greeting. Bonjour! Comment allez-vous? and I was then to say Très bien, merci. Et vous? and she would laugh and say, "Oh, très bien, merci." Such fun memories.


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