2021: P – April A to Z: Mama in Photos…
I’m back for my sixth year (2021)… can you believe it… of participating in the yearly April A to Z challenge… and I’ve had quite a time in deciding on my “theme.” I had a few running through my head, but as I lost my mother last November, I thought I’d honor her through the many photographs I have of her… and tell the story of the photograph… as every photo has a story.
I’m fortunate that my mother had many photos of herself growing up… and I’m honoring her this year as the theme of my April A to Z… especially as was she was an April baby. Mama would have turned 91 this year… but she’s now back home celebrating this birthday with her parents and brother on the farm… where I believe she was always the happiest. The past few years my mother fought off dementia, while still managing to live alone until the last couple months of her life. I miss her every day… thinking of her daily and remembering all she did for me. She was the storyteller… She supplied me with stories… and it’s because of mama, that I write!
Potpourri of Photos that I “Don’t” have of Mama!
Haven’t you heard stories… and the first thing you say is… “I sure wish I had a photo of that.” Well, here are a few stories… where unfortunately, you’ll have to visualize that photo!
I don’t have a photo of mama as she ran ahead of Bessie the cow in order to climb the apple tree… just so she could sit on the bottom branch, and slide off on Bessie’s back as she led the cows to the barn for the evening milking. Funny how the simple clanging of a cowbell signaled them to follow.
I don’t have a photo of mama dragging the cotton basket behind her in the cotton field… only to somehow just suddenly faint, so her father would carry her back to the house! It seems that never got old with him… she must have truly been daddy’s girl!
I don’t have a photo of mama as she learned to drive… daddy’s boss loaned her his truck and she’d practice parking in her father’s field between the apple and peach trees. Granddaddy said the fruit was never the same after that… actually I don’t think the trees produced anymore after that as she scraped the bark pretty much off them in trying to parallel park between the two trees. What a site that must have been!
I don’t have a photo of mama holding the rolled barbed wire as she helped her father build fences… but I do have a photo of her straddling that fence. Those barbed wire fences always scared me when trying to get through… one wrong move… and boy did they hurt… and like all southern girls… she’s barefoot also!
I don’t have a photo of mama as she climbed the apple tree to the very top… for that certain apple she wanted… and the whole time her father was yelling from the field to get down before she fell on that barbed wire fence… she fell, but she got the apple… then sat on the back stoop eating that apple, while crying.
I don’t have a photo of mama “riding the pines” for entertainment… and I’m sure you’re scratching your head on that one! Well, the object was to climb up a skinny pine tree, button your coat around the tree (so you aren’t thrown off) and rock the tree to get it swaying. What a sight that must have been! (Click above for story.)
I don’t have a photo of mama as she shimmied up the pole outside the second floor of the Masonic Hall where my father went to meetings. Why… because she and her best friend were curious about what they did there! For this one I’d really need a video… as it sounded more like a Lucy and Ethel episode! Daddy spied her through the window, which led to her quickly shimming down; she and bestie, Willie Mae, ran all the way home… falling down on the front steps laughing away. Daddy came home later… and quite mad!
I don’t have a photo of the time mama tied a rope around her as she leaned out the attic window to paint… many neighbors walked over to tell her how she going to fall, but Mama just kept painting… and never fell.
Just picture a crazed woman with a rope around her hanging out the top window here!
I don’t have a photo of all the times mama sat on the stoop (above) in the evening telling ghost stories to the neighborhood kids…. and then having to walk them all home!
I don’t have a photo of mama as she tramped out to the center of her father’s wheat field so she could sunbathe in the nude! Maybe best I don’t have that photo! Mama would laugh in telling how she always liked to sunbathe in the nude… and how mad her father would be.
Well pump house at the farm
I don’t have the photo of when mama was almost caught in the nude… hiding in the well house, but I do have the story she told. Mama lived on the farm by herself… and it was way out in the country. One afternoon she ran outside to get something in her car… in the nude, and about the time she stepped off the porch, she heard a car pull into the yard… and the only thing shielding her from sight was the well house… of which she made a quick dash for. She quickly stepped in, pulling the door shut and hardly breathed, she said. A few minutes later, she recognized the woman’s voice calling her name as she knocked on the screen door, and she almost stuck her head out, but before she could, she heard a second voice… the voice of a man. She froze in her tracks! They didn’t seem to give up easy that she wasn’t home, as her car was there, and the house was open, but after about twenty minutes… they called it a day and left. Mama waited a few minutes until she couldn’t hear their car and made a dash for the house… falling down across the bed laughing away… then calling her bestie to tell her what happened. Mama decided to never tell her friend that she and her husband had almost caught her that afternoon in her birthday suit! Such a streaker she was… and what a photo that would have made!
Even though I don’t have these “wished for” photos, I can still see mama in my mind… in every one of them… if only I could print that photograph!
My previous years of A to Z Challenges:
- 2016: A to Z Southern Foods and Memories… they said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.
- 2017: A to Z Conversations with Mama… it was a somewhat easy one for me to write as I’d journaled our conversations for years… I researched favorite topics to write.
- 2018: A to Z All About Nancy Drew… this one has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another one to equal it
- 2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories… I felt it was time to finally write the favorites of my husbands family foods.
- 2020: A to Z Family Stories… writing the stories of my husband’s family.
For more A to Z of Mama in Photos… click HERE!
© 2021, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved