Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Black Gum Brush

My great grandmother was a gardener extraordinaire. She had some kind of beans that climbed a string maze on the end of her porch and when they "came in" she could pick "a mess" without ever having to put her shoes on.
She also had every space on her banisters filled with coffee cans, hub caps, and any other container where she could throw in some dirt and some seeds. Her porch was a kaleidoscope of color all summer long.
My favorite plant was the flowering moss. I'm not sure if that's the real name or not, but that's what she called it then and that's what I've called it ever since she told me. The blooms were almost electric. The red flowers were the color of those wax lips we bought as kids.
Jilda loves those little flowers too so we have a pot or two every year on our deck.
My great grandmother was as old as the Mesopotamia when I was about ten. She wore her hair in a tight bun on the back of her head and the years had turned it a shade of pale yellow. The same color of smoke that comes from pine straw when it burns.
She still had most of her teeth too. She dipped Bruton Snuff and brushed her teeth with a black gum twig that her second husband cut with his "Old Timer" knife from a tree in their back yard.
The twig started out about the length of a pencil and he would fashion the end to where it served as a brush. Each evening after brushing her teeth, she would trim off the brushes and fashion another brush for the next morning with the same twig....which was just a little shorter.
You may ask, "where in the world did that come from?" Well, I was sitting on my deck this evening thinking of a topic when I looked down and saw the flowering moss. Then one thing lead to another.

1 comment:

  1. The mind is amazing. You can start out thinking about elephants and the next thing you know, you're thinking about playing golf on the moon.


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required