2017 – A to Z… Z: Conversations with Mama… The Best of!

2017 – A to Z… Z: Conversations with Mama… The Best of!

a to z header

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.

I finally made it to “the end” – Thank You to all the A to Z readers for stopping by! Congratulations to all who joined this year!


Z…. Conversations with Mama – The Best of!

Z is for Zombies, Zip and Zoo


“We don’t get the TV show The Walking Dead anymore on my cable, but I don’t really care to see those zombies anyway, I might end up being a zombie myself one day. I think they’ve filmed The Walking Dead on the other side of town here one time. I heard about it, but I wasn’t that interested to go over and see. It might be too scary to see those people in costume.”


“It never bothered me to sew in a zipper, I could put them in, but I don’t want to fool with sewing anymore. You need a zipper foot, but I have put them in without one, but it’s harder to sew around the zipper with your regular foot. I haven’t been in the mood to sew in a long time, I’ll just sew by hand now. I have put a zipper in by hand, you do a back-stitch all around after basting it. That back-stitch will make it strong and look like you sewed it, but I don’t want to do that now.”

“I like these boots on TV (she’s watching QVC), I think I’ll get me a pair this winter. I want a pair that zips all the way up to my knees, then I’ll be tough! They are only $164 – dam! I don’t want those – not worth that kind of money. I’d never buy anything off TV – I like to touch and feel what I’m buying.”

“We had a zip-line over on flat rock… years before anyone even called it that. There was a man who came and strung a line up and he walked over the flat rocks there. I was only a young child and only heard about it – never saw it. I think he was from somewhere in Greene County. Too bad I don’t have anybody to ask, but they’re all gone now. I would have probably tried it if I’d seen him. I’d zip my jacket up around the skinny pine trees out in the field and get them rocking; that was my entertainment as a child. Daddy would be plowing while watching, but never say anything. One time the tree did break and threw me over in the brier patch.”


Aunt Lena lived across from Grant Park Zoo in Atlanta… I often spent weeks in the summer at her house. Some people were scared of her, but she was my favorite aunt and I enjoyed spending time at her house. Even after I married, I still went to visit her. We would go up for the weekend when you were small and stay at her house. One time you slipped out of the house and went across the street to play on the swings in the park. She found you over there and brought you right back… telling you that it wasn’t safe to be over there by yourself.” (I remember she had an old-fashioned claw foot tub that I thought was really neat, but I had to step on a stool to get in. If no one was looking I’d sneak off into her living room and look around at the antiques she had, but she always came looking for me; you couldn’t sneak away from her, she had eagle eyes. I felt she was a stern woman and I was a little afraid of her.)


Mama sitting on top of the “Rat Hole” – read Post S to discover what it was!


“Whenever we visited Aunt Lena, we took you to Grant Park Zoo. I used to go there all the time when I was a kid while staying at her house. They had bears, monkeys, maybe a lion, not too much; the Cyclorama was there also… it’s all about The Civil War. I used to slip off to the zoo by myself, but I wasn’t supposed to. Before I knew it I’d see Aunt Lena coming to drag me home. She would tell me that there were bad men down there, and they’d get me… she thought everybody was bad. Aunt Lena was a very curious person… I remember how she’d sit her shoes on the mantle at bedtime, she didn’t want anyone to step on them.”


Aunt Lena McKinley Van Dusen

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


About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2017: A to Z... Conversations with Mama, Daily Writings and funnies... and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to 2017 – A to Z… Z: Conversations with Mama… The Best of!

  1. Molly says:

    Congratulations on finishing the A to Z Challenge and thanks for visiting/commenting on my blog! Sort of feel like a Zombie today after a month of non-stop blogging 🙂 I’m totally with your mom on zippers — that zipper foot is crucial! Looking forward to your A to Z Reflections post.


  2. Thank you for sharing these memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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