I was fortunate to have two very loving grandmothers growing up. My Granny Kimberling died fairly young but Granny Fletcher/Phillips lived into her 90s…..they lived only a block apart from each other from 1970 on, but they were as different as day and night. Both had many excellent qualities, some I cherished as a small child, others I cherish now that I am an adult.
Granny K. was a very hard worker, she was exceedingly thrifty, being a depression era survivor,
and as kids we used to laugh at Christmas at the recycled paper and bows that our gifts were wrapped in. Granny K. was “green” long before that word gained its current meaning. She could pinch a penny with the best of them. She was a devout Christian woman, never allowed playing cards in her house, never allowed games with dice (die?) so all the kids games had spinners. Granny K. wore dresses. House dresses, Sunday church dresses, work dresses, but never slacks or jeans. The horror! I do recall one time as a kid, when we lived in the country next door to my Kimberling grandparents, that we were all going across the road, into the woods to cut down a Christmas tree. It was very cold that day, and Granny put on a pair of my grandfather’s pants, under her dress. Only because it was so very cold ……and she still had the dress on. To my knowledge, that is the only time she ever wore pants.
At Christmas time, there were presents under her tree for every child, grandchild, and great grandchild….nearly always handmade. One year, all the girls got dolls that had dresses made of felt, tied together with yarn, that sat on the bed. Wish I had a picture of those. One year, everyone received clothes hangers that had been crocheted on, I still have a few of those. One year, we got crocheted house slippers, or dolls attached to a crocheted blanket. One year, I received a double wedding ring quilt, it is one of my most prized possessions. But, she never forgot a single child.
Granny K. made so much food at the holidays, it looked like she was feeding a hundred people. She made: fudge, fudge with nuts, fudge with coconut, pecan pralines, divinity, chocolate covered peanuts and peanut brittle…she also had the ever popular gumdrop tree. Granny had a small Nativity set under the indoor tree and a 3 foot Santa that went outside under the tree. My brother now has possession of those items, and I know he treasures them.
Granny K. had toys for the grandchildren to play with when they visited. Dolls, trucks, books, etc. but what we all seemed to love the most, was the button box! It was actually a large round can, possibly a Maxwell House coffee can, but she would let us play with them, string them on thread, and we were fascinated. I have a few of the buttons that came from that can. Yes, I do.
Granny Kimberling’s funeral was held in the church, and the pastor at the time, read a poem he wrote about her, and we all giggled when he got to the part about the hangers “all wound with yarn” that she had given them for Christmas. We were sad that she was gone, but were at peace because she had suffered greatly in the years before, and we knew that she was pain free and living it up, but certainly *not* dancing, on the streets of gold.
My Granny Fletcher/Phillips was a different kind of granny. She loved all the grandkids, but we knew that as soon as we arrived at her house, that we would be expected to sit and be quiet, or go outside to play. Children made her nervous. This is the grandmother that I am the most like. Granny F had a storm cellar in the back yard, and that’s where we loved to play. In spite of the tiny snake we found in there one day, we’d play there for hours on end.
Granny F’s house was full of pretty antiques and dishes. She loved bowls, and scoured garage sales in her retirement years, buying up every pretty bowl she could find. I have 3 bowls that she gave me, and also a Fenton glass basket, that I love. My sister has a large collection of these bowls also, and keeps promising me a few more, I will gladly take them. I learned to appreciate antique furniture and fine dishes and glassware from Georgia Myrtle.
Granny F. was also a devout Christian woman, so she and my other grandmother are the first generation Nazarene’s in our family. They both set the standard to which some of us have failed to live up to, although we keep trying.
Granny F. was a proud woman, and once told me there was no excuse for being dirty, even if you were “poor”. She told me of the time they moved into a rent house when my mother was a child, and she took newspapers and papered the walls so the house would be clean. She said that anyone could afford a bar of soap and water. I wish more people in this day and age took that to heart!
Granny F. also loved to cook and bake. She made the best fried chicken ever, except for MY mother, who learned from her. She also made the most mouthwatering coconut pies, and homemade rolls. Holiday dinners at her house were quite elegant, we would put the protective pads on the dining table, place her best tablecloth over it, get the real silver out of the silver chest and we would enjoy a feast fit for kings. And, we kept our elbows off the table!
I loved it when we were all at her house for dinners, we never even minded that her house was only one bedroom and that we made it fairly burst at the seams. We enjoyed being there, and she loved cooking for us. It was a very sad day when she had to give up living alone in her little house, and we knew we’d never get to be together again with her like that.
When Granny Fletcher/Phillips died, her funeral, also at the church, was a joyous homegoing as we celebrated her entrance to heaven and we know she is watching over us, still.
Two very different grandmothers, but two very devout Christians, both hardworking, thrifty and proud……there’s a little of both in me now. I think of both of them daily. There are constant reminders in my home. Furniture, dishes, clothing items…..now, to some people, these are just “things”…but, to me, they are precious memories.
I love my memories. Thank you Beatrice Annabell and Georgia Myrtle.
Me and my granny Kimberling……
I LOVED to roller skate….and constantly had scabs on my knees from falling so much…..
my grandmother was probably about the age that I am now…..and look how matronly (old) she looks there……
This was 1999….our 5 generation photo…..one of several that we took.