Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Memories of my Memaw

      Today I drove to Charlotte to take some cake decorating tools to Andrew at college.  It was a pretty drive with lots of white and pink trees in bloom along the highway,(AAHH_CHOOO!)  But occasionally I would catch a glimpse of a purple Wisteria -- my favorite.  Every time I see one, it reminds me of the Wisteria in my Memaw Frazier's yard.  Memaw has been gone for nearly 50 years, but I had a couple hours to think about her as I drove, and I realized that I have talked a lot about Grandan to my kids -- he was still living when the girls were little, but Memaw died while I was in college and I really haven't told them much about her.
      She was the oldest daughter in her family -- she had about 10 younger brothers before the only other girl was born, and she had a pretty hard childhood, helping raise all those boys.  Then she married Grandan and had 5 children of her own -- the 4th one was my mother.
       I was her oldest granddaughter, and we lived close to her, so I probably have more memories that the rest of the grandchildren.  Memories of muffins and cookies and feasts at her house. Memories of her coat with the fur collar that she wore to church -- Grandan teased her and said it was mouse fur.
      I remember her pet groundhog, "Chuckie" who lived under the house.  My mother caught him one day on the way home from church, and gave him to Memaw. She tamed him and he would crawl up on her lap and around her neck.

Memories of her working in the garden wearing this sunbonnet.

The Bible she gave to me when I was 11 years old, after I was saved and baptized.

I carried it with my bouquet on top when I got married.

When I turned 18, she gave me this gold pin as an heirloom to give to my oldest granddaughter when she turned 18.  It was made from a $10. gold piece that was in her dad's pocket when he died.  But since I have no granddaughter, I get to keep it a while longer!

          She said she wanted me to have her good dishes, so Grandan gave them to me after she died.  I really don't know how she managed to have all these pretty dishes -- none even chipped or cracked -- or where she got them.  And there is no one left to ask.
           Memaw started showing signs of memory problems when I was in high school.  I remember Grandan calling Mother late one night because Memaw didn't recognize him and was upset at the strange man in her bedroom.  It gradually got worse, and  Grandan had to put a lock on the inside of the door because she was always trying to "go home" even though she had lived in that house for about 25 years.  She would say,"That old man (my grandan) won't let me go home and my daddy is going to be mad at me!"  Soon we had to have someone -- usually my younger brothers-- stay with her all the time that Grandan needed to go somewhere. It was so sad -- every time we told her that her parents were dead and she couldn't go home, it was like the first time she heard it.

Grandan was thrown from a horse when he was in his seventies -- what a man!! -- and I went to live with him after college.  One day I was snooping around -- as usual -- and imagine my surprise when I saw this written in this old book!

   It is full of recipes and poultices and cures for everything from a cold to Gonorrhea -- I don't plan to ever use that one!!  Written in 1887 and such a treasure!

        While I was living with Grandan, I often used Memaw's wooden spoon -- it was perfect for stirring, and I told Grandan how much I liked using it.  When I got married, he wrapped it up with newspaper and a rubber band and gave it to me.  Another treasure.
         I am grateful for my memories -- isn't God good to bring someone to mind after all these years?  Memaw went to Heaven such a long time ago -- next week will be 48 years.  But as I look around my house, I feel blessed to have all these things that spark memories of my sweet Memaw  and her beautiful Wisteria bush.


  1. I love this post! Dad tells so many stories about Grandan and Memaw!

    1. Jeff was kind of young -- only 13 when she died, but he was there when I was away at college, so knows more about the last years than I do. But I was pretty sure you didn't know about the keepsakes I have, so I wanted to tell about them. And if you ever need a cure for you know what, I have the remedy!!

  2. Thanks, Ann. I remember staying with her once when Grandad went to a revival, and she kept picking up the phone receiver and telling the operator she needed to talk to Bert. I thought she meant dad, so I called him and gave her the phone and as she talked to Dad, I realized that she thought she was talking to her brother. Dad had picked up on it quickly and talked to her for a while. I was only 12. They had the party line, and if you picked up the receiver and didn't talk an operator would come on and talk to you. Could you imagine our kids having to share a phone line with two other unrelated families? Lol