Archive | 8:39 pm

Chores, Sayings, and Level-headed Southern Women

11 Dec

Tuesday and I have a list of chores a mile long.

Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but the list of stops to make is pretty daunting and will require a few hours of effort.

One day next week I’m going to bake cookies and just enjoy it. Enjoy the doing. No thinking. Just doing.

I ran across a book of country sayings while shopping the bargain racks at Barnes and Noble this past weekend. I shore do luv me some bookstores. Theys sa much to lairn.

Anyhow, I brought me that there book home.

It delights me to find the truth in cliché. It delighted me that country sayings were in common use around my house growing up. Grandma was full of them. I wish I had written them all down. That’s hindsight speaking. Mom and Daddy used them as well, when the circumstance warranted.

They were all country folk. Born and raised about 30 miles north of Little Rock in a little burg called Vilonia. That little burg has grown exponentially since my grandmother (1911) and my parents (1927 and 1929) were born.

The world has changed dramatically.

Tuesday evening

Bob left his lab coat. I placed it on a hanger so his pockets wouldn’t accidentally empty all over Bru-honda, and took it to the hospital for him. Stopped and bought him a couple of goodies at Panera. I hope it helps him through the night.

The chores are done….well at least the ones outside the house. Most of the shopping has been put away…dinner is over, there is still some tidying up to do and I’m about to drop!

I so sleepy I think I could just roll over on the desk and fall asleep.

I have been known to sleep standing propped against the door jamb….I fell asleep on my knees with my head in the seat of a chair I was covering for a play we were doing at University. In my defense I had been up for more than 24 hours.

Those godawful all-nighters we pulled….must be the reason I want to sleep all the time now. That’s my story.


Oh. Sorry! I think I nodded off for a bit.

Grandma was notorious for dozing off sitting in her chair. She always had a rocker/recliner in front of her TV. It was her chair. We’d find her sound asleep, mouth slack, snuff dripping out the corners, and snoring lightly. It was the snuff that got us. The kids and I were certain that Grandma was not a level-headed Southern woman….the snuff drips evenly out the corners of a level-headed Southern woman’s mouth.

Grandma’s snuff went everywhere. She’d dip and the powder would fly. She’d spit and we all grimaced. There were some strangely contorted expressions of horror on all our faces when Grandma pulled out the spit cup.

The most prized spit cup was a Clabber Girl baking powder can with a lid on it. Those lids were gold as there was no telling when that spit cup would be knocked over, either by Grandma, kid, dog, or cat. However, in a pinch any empty tin can would do. All of them were stuffed with bathroom tissue or paper towel or whatever absorbent material was available. It did not lessen the grossness of that thing in our eyes, or the distaste we experience if asked to hand it to her.

Her favorite dip was Levi Garrett snuff. I can’t tell you how much milk we consumed via a Levi Garrett snuff glass. And I can’t tell you how many times I was sent to the store for snuff and a gallon of milk. Grandma seemed to use a lot of both. The last few years she was with us, it fell to me to shop with Grandma.  There was always a reward for me. She was so wonderfully generous with us. I wonder now if part of her generosity was a need to be needed and not just dependent on us for transportation. It doesn’t matter, we loved her even if she was a pain in the ass occasionally.

Grandma grew up poor and worked hard all her life. She had no education to speak of, could barely read and write, had virtually no hearing and spent a good portion of her working life in the laundry of the State Hospital, washing and folding in the horrible heat and humidity of this Southern state.

She was actually more secure financially when she began to receive her social security and her small retirement from the state.

But she shared with us. She would buy gas for my car when we shopped. She often bought groceries for us if things were too tough. She took care of my kids while I worked. She was good to us.

And she was a character. She always wanted us to hug her when we came to visit. So we hugged her. It was like hugging a tree, ramrod straight, stiff and unbending.  I still wonder what was up with that!

She told Bob the first time she met him, that all men were useless. He reminds me periodically.

And I mentioned her uncanny intuitiveness in regards men to the lady that checked my groceries today. We declared every day a man-bashing day just because it’s so much fun.

Back to Grandma…I think she might have spoken from experience. She was married 4 times…oh but twice to the same man, so really I guess you could say 3 times.

She may have had some sort of epiphany. It couldn’t have been an epiphany. Surely she wouldn’t have married the same guy twice if she had experienced a revelation on man worth.

Perhaps the merit of Grandma’s observations should be examined  more closely!

There are days, however, when I would agree wholeheartedly.

Can’t stay awake….must take nap….



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