Sunday, August 18, 2013

Purple Flowers

My great grandmother lived in a small two-room house next door to us when I was in first grade. The outside of the old house was covered in black tar paper which was held in place by nails that were driven through thin disks of tin the size of golfballs, to keep the siding from blowing off in a stiff wind.
They had cardboard tacked on the interior walls of the house and I never knew why, until much later.
The house had no insulation, and the cardboard helped keep the north wind from blowing through the cracks in winter.
She had grey-yellow hair that she wore in a bun the size of a soccer ball  on the back of her head. Her dark-framed glasses had lenses as thick as magnifying glass. Her head wobbled a little as she talked to me.
They didn't have much in the way of material things, but she kept small bags of popcorn in a breadbox on top of her refrigerator.  She bought the treats from the coffee man that came to their door every other week.
She and my grandpa liked the popcorn, but mostly she bought it for me.
The foundation of their old house had settled, and her porch listed to starboard, but she had the most beautiful flowers I'd ever seen.
The back wall of their bedroom had shelves lined with canned beets, pickles, tomatoes, okra, corn, and apples. The summer garden was what got them through winter.
I was trying to think of a subject for tonights post, when I came across this photo I shot a while back and it made me think of my great grandmother. This picture is in memory of her.


  1. Anonymous9:30 PM

    A lovely post!! By the way, I love the pictures you've been posting lately--they almost seem like 3D.

  2. Love the story of your grandmother. Mine lived right across the road from us and was the kindest woman in the world.

  3. I think many homes were insulated with card board and even newspapers back then.
    They are the best insulators but if a house caught fire it burnt real fast.
    Grammas are the best and gardens are the best too for old people. These were hard working people.
    My parents and grand parents always canned goods and salted cabbage and when they couldn't my Mom would give them.
    Back then you could go to the farmer and load your car full of ripe tomatoes for very cheap and pick huge bushels of apples for a dollar a bushel. Today you go to pick berries and its almost the same price as buying in the store and bushels are much smaller.

  4. What a great post. Long ago, during the Dark Ages, I worked with a woman who wore her hair in a huge bun. She told me that when she took it down her hair reached all the way to the floor because it had never been cut during her 60+ years of life. Do you know how long your great grandmother's hair was when she released her soccer ball?


  5. Awwww what a lovely great grandma with her green fingers and horde of popcorn! Take care

  6. Sometimes it is the people with the least amount that have the most beauty... your grandmother sounds so wonderful Rick :)

  7. Lovely post Rick and I loved reading the wonderful and beautifuk memories.

  8. Sweet memory.

  9. Lovely, Rick. Thank you for sharing these precious memories.
    It makes me think of my own grandparents...

  10. What a beautiful memory. I'm thinking she would love to be remembered for all of those things. I have similar memories of my grandmother. She could make a feast out of nothing, and always made you feel good just being around her and listening to her laugh.

  11. It's amazing how folks lived then and still enjoyed life and raised families on very little. It makes me shake my head when I see house hunters on HGTV and they just can't make that 5,000sq.ft shack work...Your Great-Grandmother sounds like a gem! How sweet to keep popcorn for you as a treat. It's what us Grannies do! Love the flower pic too!


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