2017 – A to Z… K: Conversations with Mama… The Best of!
I married and moved away from home when I was 19, so I didn’t grow up stopping by Mama’s for afternoon chats. Living almost a thousand miles from home, a nightly phone call is how I stayed in touch, as she’s gotten older, it’s how I check in on her. As I became involved in researching my family history, it was often how I heard the family stories. I recorded the usual dates and names, but all the tidbits of family stories…. well where was I going to put them. That was how Conversations with Mom evolved, and I eventually blogged those conversations. What better choice, than to glean an A to Z of my favorites here to celebrate Mama’s birthday month; she turns a spry 87 this April, but “mums” the word on me spilling her birthday number here!
During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for my 2nd year… both on this blog. I will post each day, except Sundays… using a daily alphabet letter in my theme of “Conversations with Mom… The Best of.” If you’d like to read more blogs, hop over to their Facebook page.
K… Conversations with Mama – The Best of!
K is for Knitting, Keys…
In telling Mama about what I was knitting, she said.. “I crocheted and knitted square blocks when I was young; Lena Credille taught me how and gave me the yarn, and also was the woman who delivered me with Dr. Lewis. She was a county nurse and delivered me on a homemade straw bed that my father made. I made knitted blocks for a community project that she involved me in; another woman sewed the blocks into a blanket and sent them to the boys overseas. I remember learning to knit with string saved from things around the house, using sticks I made into knitting needles. If I didn’t make them, Daddy probably made them for me; he made everything we needed. I kept the long sewing needle, all these years that he made from a piece of an umbrella; he sewed his cotton sacks with that homemade sewing needle. (Mama gave it to me) I never could follow any directions in crochet or knitting – if you showed me the finished item, I’d figure it out my own way, but I could never follow written directions and neither could my mother, but she could also copy it by looking at it.”
I told mama that Melissa was learning to knit… “I learned to knit on two sticks I sharpened to points, and I pretty much taught myself. No one was going to buy me knitting needles.”
When I called today, I was knitting as we chatted…. “You’re just like my mother, she always had something in her hands at night – she’d be either crocheting, sewing, or piecing quilts. She could never just sit and do nothing with her hands… me, I’d rather lay here in bed watching a movie – I’m content to lie here doing nothing.”
In talking tonight I mentioned knitting and crocheting and told her to make me one of those crocheted poodle bottles covers she used to make when we lived in Perry. “No I don’t think I want to, but I can still knit and crochet… if I really wanted to.” I laughed telling her how she’d probably never be able to hold those needles now. I think I’ll bring yarn and needles when I come – I want to see if you really can still knit and crochet. “I can still do it!”
“Did I ever tell you about the time Willie Mae (mama’s best friend) and I took off for Florida after work? We were both working at the Holiday Inn in Madison and had talked all night about how we wanted to go to the beach. After getting off after midnight, we just headed to Florida – and got lost – but eventually found our way. Willie and I stayed about two days at a place owned by her uncle. After loading the car to come back home, I accidentally locked my keys in the trunk. Willie took her car keys, for her car at home, out of her purse and we tried them… one of her keys actually opened the trunk… and I got my purse out. Her uncle stood there just shaking his head… he couldn’t believe that another make and model car key opened my trunk! I drove back home that day wearing just my bathing suit and we laughed all the way about how her key opened my car trunk.”
When mama answered the phone, I could tell in her voice that something was wrong… “I don’t know what I was thinking this afternoon when I came home, but I can’t find my purse or car keys.” Well how did you get home, I asked. “I drove home, but I didn’t go in the house right away as I stopped to piddle around in my flower gardens… then when I went on the porch to go in, I had no keys. I went across the street to that young girl’s house and she came over, and somehow got my door open.” I tried to walk her back through what she did after getting out of her car, but at this point, she was so upset over it, that I just let it go… tomorrow is another day as she’s safe in the house.
Mama was outside this morning when I called… with the cell phone… looking for her keys. My first words were, please don’t lay the cell phone down, you need wear dresses with pockets. “I’ll try not to lay it down, but I’m walking around out here looking for my keys, I can’t understand what I could have done with them…. Maybe I ate them! I’m not staying out much longer, I’m tired and my back hurts from bending over.” I told her to go inside and rest and somehow they will be found.
While at lunch, mama rang my phone and it was my friend Donna calling… “Guess what, I found the keys! They were in the flower garden under her window. So now she’s back in business.” What a relief off my shoulders… while I slept like a baby last night, my husband dreamed of missing keys all night and didn’t sleep. Let’s hope everyone sleeps tonight as snow is coming our way on Thursday… yuck!
My mother grew up on a small farm in Georgia and has more memories of her childhood than I can only dream to remember. If you’d like to follow along from day 1, click on 2017: A to Z… Conversations with Mama – The Best of!
© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved