Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #27

Conversations with Mama… and more ~ #27

 

 

helen in school (2)

Mama is second from left – peeking through. Her best friend, Willie Mae Sisson, is right in the middle to the left of the blonde headed boy – Kendrick Lewis. Willie is wearing a kerchief around her neck.

The first conversations below are out of order but as I had already posted the time frame  in previous posts, – I decided to add them here and then continue in order…

Sept.5, 2014: In asking mama about granddaddy’s Prince Albert tobacco, she said… “I remember my father also using Red Crow Tobacco, it had a little crow pin down inside the tin, I always looked for it, there were plenty around, too bad not one is left. I could have covered a bulletin board full of them at one time. He bought large tins of snuff and tobacco because people would stop on Sundays looking to buy. He was a wheeler and dealer – he could make a profit on almost everything. I remember trying it once as I took it to daddy. I chewed it and then swallowed it, then I turned white. I didn’t know that I was suppose to chew it and spit it out.”

“When I was in high school, I liked to roll his cigarettes. I remember hiding them in mama’s corner cabinet in the dining room.”

June 30, 2015: I called Mama and … “I have a lot of blackberries in my yard, I saw them today when I walked out back. They are at the back of my yard in that half circle of flowers I have by the back fence. It’s now all covered with blackberry bushes. I don’t know where they all came from as I had flowers there before. I don’t do anything back there anymore, it’s all so grown up and now thick with blackberry bushes. Johnny was back there cutting my grass and Carolyn and I picked what we could get to. I was afraid to go in deep, but I got quite a bit picked from where I could reach. Carolyn got enough to go home and make a pie – she will bring me a piece. I can’t make sweets, never could, but I can make biscuits and cornbread and fry chicken. My mama made the best blackberry pie, but there is no recipe, she never had any recipes. I remember her making the crust, adding the blackberries and putting a top crust on, then brushing with butter. It was the best pie I ever ate.”

““““““““““““““““““““““

March 5, 2016: I told mama tonight how good the sheets smelled on the bed from being on the clothesline, and … “The air was much cleaner back then, not like it is today. Our clothes smelled so good. What really smelled good was when mama dragged the mattresses outside during the day. The bed would smell so good that night when you climbed in. The government had places where you could go and make your own mattress. They supplied all the materials needed and you paid them to make them yourself. Daddy took his own cotton; I don’t know if you had to bring your own cotton, but maybe that was the reason to make your own – bringing your own cotton. These type mattresses were “tacked” all over so the cotton didn’t shift, they were much better than the ones mama actually made and the cotton shifted all around.”

March 6, 2016: I called mama and… “I had to go to the Dr. the other day… my hand slipped as I was digging in the the garden and my hand slammed into the wood post next to me; boy did that hurt, but the worst thing was that I got a splinter in my hand that I couldn’t get out. I went down to the senior center to see if someone down there could get it out for me as it was in my right hand, but they thought I should go to the doctor. I went out there and after waiting for a long time, some young girl finally dug it out; they made me feel as if I shouldn’t have come, but who was going to get it out?”

I began telling mama about going out to eat with McKinley and Grace on Friday night. McKinley is so headstrong, you’ll never win an argument with her – maybe she should be a lawyer – she will win every case. As we headed toward Friday’s, McKinley immediately told us that we were going the wrong way and being quite insistent; she insisted the entire way that we were going wrong. As we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, McKinley said, “see I told you that you were going the wrong way, you weren’t listening to me.” I did try and tell her that we had been going the right way, but it wasn’t a battle I was going to win; you can’t win with a three year old, especially McKinley!

Gracie is another issue I told mama, she’s a very loud backseat driver. She watches the traffic light like a hawk. As soon as the light turns green, she yells loudly – Go, Go! Mama laughed, saying, “I wish I could have been in the car and heard her.” Grace’s favorite words are “no” and “why.”

Read more conversations at: Conversations with Mama and more

To be continued…

© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

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