Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #36

Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #36

I call my mother almost nightly to chat, hear how her day went, and as always, enjoy her stories. Several years back, I began scribbling on paper those nightly musings. Later I started a journal on my computer and began Conversations with Mama, and just recently last year began compiling them here on my blog. On my last visit to mom, I gifted her a book of all I had so far – she had never saw them. Mama was thrilled with the book and took it to the senior center to show everyone. Thank You mama for your nightly conversations, they truly make my night!


Mama wearing her pearls!

September 19, 2016: In remembering about mama’s pearls she mentioned the other day, I asked her tonight if she had found them…. “I did find a pair but I’m not sure if they were the ones I’m looking for. These had a little weight to them, and I laid them somewhere to show you when you come – if I can find them again. Well, they can’t be too far, probably over there with all my other jewelry. We could take them to a jewelry store to see if they are real.” (I need to take photos of all my mothers jewelry when I go down – she loves jewelry. Her favorite place to look is an antique store in Braselton, where they have counters of old costume jewelry in baskets and she enjoys rummaging through – whether she buys anything or not. One thing she won’t do is pay too much, it has to be a real bargain! She tells me to one day, take all her jewelry for the grandchildren – it will be theirs to play with.)

In telling mama that Steve has jury duty on Wednesday, she said… “I think I was only called once for jury duty in Perry, but I was sick and our doctor gave me a note to send in. I was never called again there, or here in Monroe, but I would never go now – they better not send me a notice.” (I told here not to worry because they can’t make you go after you are over the age of 70 – but again she just said, “well I won’t go.”)

We were talking about where we would go out to eat when I come down, and … “I never did care about going out to eat at a restaurant, but we can go wherever you want. I’d rather just put my money in my pocket and let it stay there; I just don’t care to go out to eat. Many of them at the senior center love to go on those trips where they go places to eat, but I don’t enjoy going. The one time I went on that trip to Memphis, I was bored out of my head, and couldn’t wait to get back home to my bed and my Boo! Most of the times when I have eaten out, I’ve never really enjoyed the food. I do like eating at Holcomb’s, but I enjoy it more when I get back home and eat in my own house. I don’t really even like eating meat anymore, but when I did, the fried chicken we ate at the Smith House in Dahlonega was as close to the fresh chicken my mother cooked, as I can remember; now if I could find a blackberry pie like hers… well that would be good. My mother was a good cook, no recipes though – no one had recipes back then.”

Every night in talking to mama on the phone, I yawn… and you know what happens when you see or hear someone yawn… You Yawn! “I just heard you yawn and now I’m yawning, I just don’t understand why people do that. We don’t do other things when we hear or see people do, but if they yawn, well then you do it too.”

September 23, 2016: Before I had a chance to say anything when I called, mama said… “I’m watching those protesters on TV in Charlotte (N.C.). If they don’t stop, there’s going to be another Civil War in this country. People think that only blacks were slaves, but they have forgotten history as the Irish were brought here as servants to this country. People need to stop this type of protesting and destroying and learn to work together.”

I had a specific question for mama tonight about where she was married. “Yes the house I married in, is still standing. It belonged to the preacher and sat next to the church there; Aunt Chris is buried in the cemetery next to the church – it’s between Siloam and Greensboro. The woman preacher who married us also preached in that church. I don’t know why we went there, maybe it was a spur of the moment as your father was home from the Navy for the weekend and I think another week following. She also had married my girlfriend Willie Mae to her husband Henry and I had stood up for them; maybe that’s why we went there. When you come down, we will stop there and you can take a photograph of the house.”

“We went there with our best friends, Willie Mae (Walker) and Henry Sisson; they stood up for us. I think I wore a white dress that Aunt Lena made me when I graduated from high school. It wasn’t a favorite dress of mine, but it was white. I’m pretty sure it was a Saturday night as my parents were in Siloam – daddy sitting with his friends at the filling station and mama over at cousin Ulma’s general store.” (I asked her why weren’t they at their wedding… “daddy wasn’t interested in coming for a wedding. Actually he told me that I’d be sorry one day and wished I could spit him out.”)

“After we married, we left in the pouring rain to go to Richlands in Greensboro for a square dance. Later we went back for a honeymoon night at the City Hotel in Union Point, then stayed the rest of the week at his parents house just down the street. My girlfriend Willie Mae’s father (Bill Walker) owned the City Hotel and had given us that free night; Clayton should have spent the money for us to stay at the hotel instead of his parents house, as his mother and I didn’t seem to get along. After he went back to the Navy the following week, my father in law took me home to my parents farm where I stayed until we saved money for me to join him at the Navy base in Millington, Tenn. I think daddy felt sorry for me, and it wasn’t long before he bought me a bus ticket to go be with my husband.”

“Do you remember the time I went to Texas with Joyce from the club (Moss Oaks) in Perry. She had family there, but it was a spur of the moment trip that night when we left the club. We headed to Atlanta and bought tickets on Delta. The first plane out that night to Texas we missed and waited for the next one; that plane got hi-jacked to Cuba. I remember telling Joyce, “dam I missed a free trip to Cuba.” She was like, “don’t mention Cuba when we get on the next plane.” Things didn’t matter to me back then, whatever way the wind blew was OK with me. I think Willie Mae and Henry went to Cuba one time; he won the trip from the insurance company he sold for. Henry worked for Life Insurance a long time, but your father left them when we left Union Point.”

“You used to take your father’s free sample items like combs and rulers and even blank policies and go up the street and sell. I’d see you coming down the street pulling your wagon, and you’d be all smiles with a pocket of change jingling in your pocket. One time you hid your father’s week of insurance money he had just collected. Back then, the insurance men visited their clients weekly to collect premiums and then pay the insurance company. For some reason, you took that money and hid it. We looked the house over and over and couldn’t find it, and no matter what I said to you – you said nothing! Finally I told you that the police would be coming soon to lock up your father, and you quickly left the room; as I peeked around the corner I saw you go in my closet and pull the money out of the shoe rack.”

“Another time you scared me was when you hid from me when we lived on Binns St. in Union Point. I called and called for you, and even went outside and up the street, but you were no where to be found. Back behind our house was a large hole that had been filled in with fresh dirt, and my thoughts were running that you had fallen in. When I walked back in on the back porch and spotted you under the table, before I knew it… I grabbed you out and gave you a spanking; I guess I should have hugged you, but at that point even though I was so happy to see you, I was very angry at what you had just put me through.”

September 25, 2016: I called mama to tell her what I learned babysitting for the two red’s on Saturday night…. After telling her how McKinley squirmed out of her footed pj’s under the covers because she wanted to be naked…. “Well now I know she really is a McKinley, she is just like me. She needs to come down here with me and the both of us can sleep naked.” Then while sitting at the table with them finishing dinner, which was taking forever… I was talking about going up to Sleeping Giant for a hike and McKinley said… “I’ve gone up there with daddy on a hike and I peed in the woods.” Well then her daddy intervened… “McKinley lets get this straight, we went on the hike and you said you didn’t have to go to the bathroom, then as soon as we were on the trail, you had to pee.” I could tell mama was laughing over this, and … “Boy daddy Frank sure has his hands full with those two, next time Grace will be yelling “I want to pee in the woods too.”

To be continued…

Like to read more… click on Conversations with Mama and more

© 2016, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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4 Responses to Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #36

  1. Lyn Smith says:

    What a wonderful story.
    I need to look through my old pictures of Mother, because my first look at the attached picture of Helen had me thinking of Mother. Wow. Must be McKinley traits.

    Liked by 1 person

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