Family Stories, Memaw

The Tupperware Lady

I sat at my mother-in-law’s dining room table and looked through a box of her old photographs. Each picture, a tiny serving of frozen time.  Smiling faces peer out of a black and white world,  telling stories of the past and explaining something of the present. At the bottom of the box I find a large brown envelope. Inside is a photograph of my mother-in-law. She is young, tall and thin, pretty. She is standing on a stage with her husband and two other official looking people in some sort of ceremony. In a manner slightly…

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Family Stories

Aunt Geraldine And The Mystery Box

Aunt Geraldine was actually my mother’s aunt which I suppose would make her my great aunt.  She’s always been one of those relatives I was never clear exactly how she fit into the family tree. I believe Aunt Geraldine’s older sister mother, Aunt Fay, raised my mother’s baby sister after their mother died. And somehow they are related through Aunt Fay’s husband, who was a blood relative. Or not.  I’m not sure. I’m sure my mother the genealogist will send me an email shortly and straighten me out. For the 146th time. I bring all this…

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Family Stories, Papa George

Update – The Broker

You may or may not remember, but last year Papa George saved the local park in Tuna from a big faceless corporation who wanted to install a cell tower right in the middle of the park amongst oak trees that are hundreds of years old. A cell tower would have destroyed the visual beauty of the park and made it not that much of a park, really. Because Papa George is who he is, he was able to work out a deal for a small nearby church to rent a portion of their unused parking lot…

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Family Stories, Reruns and Leftovers

Hester

This month, my maternal grandmother would have been 109 years old.  She died in 1938 when my mother was only 4-years old, about the same age my son Sean is now .  In honor of her birthday, I am re-posting this essay I wrote about her in August of 2006. * * * * * The day was November 7, 1938. She had turned 39 in August and was in her twelfth year of marriage to an uneducated but hard working farmer who adored her. It was never clear if she really loved him or if at the…

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Faith, Family Stories

Aunt Dean

Last Wednesday morning we got the phone call that we had been expecting. Aunt Dean had been sick for well over a year, several years really, and Wednesday morning she slipped away from us and began the life that she had spent more than 80 years preparing for – eternal life. Death is tragic, even when expected, yet for Aunt Dean I can’t help but feel a sense of victory, the kind of victory I’ve read about in the Bible, but don’t fully understand – the victory over death that Jesus promises to those who take…

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Family Stories

Day Is Done – Remembering Uncle Mike

Cpl. Mike  ~ 187th Airborne, Regiment 13 February 24, 1930 – September 26, 1952 Mike was my mother’s big brother. She describes him as a shy red-headed farm boy who loved tinkering with motors and engines and gadgets. He joined the army and became a paratrooper and later a member of the elite Rangers. In 1952, eight years before I was born, he was shot by a Korean sniper. He died on foreign soil, in service to our country, far far away from the gently rolling midwestern cornfields of his home and his family who loved him.…

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Family Stories, Memaw, Mildly Amusing, Tuna

Millie Conway

In our family, we celebrate Easter and our risen Lord as we do any other holy day – by racing home from church and eating entirely too much. And then complaining about how full we are as we waddle off to check out the dessert table. And after all that eating, nothing much else can be done except to sit around the table and talk trash before going back for another piece of pie. When my mother-in-law Cleo and her siblings get together, talk inevitably turns to Millie Conway. After 70 or more years, it’s still…

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Family Stories

Ode To Aunt Shirley

Photo Temporarily Unavailable Whenever the chickens saw her coming, feathers would go flying as they nervously scurried and flapped and ran in all directions looking for a hiding place. The same tiny woman with the big voice and the skinny legs that scattered the grain, occasionally got one of them by the neck never to be seen again. And apparently that wasn’t lost on the chickens as the sight of her seemed to set off some sort of silent alarm. That tiny woman was my mother’s sister, my Aunt Shirley. She died yesterday afternoon at the…

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Family Stories, Reruns and Leftovers, Southern Living

Nothing To Complain About

After three months of freezing weather, too much cookie dough and entirely too much plenty of togetherness at the House of Antique, I am feeling the urge to complain. I am not a winter person. It seeps into my bones and settles into my soul. Like a chest cold. (Correction: Someone just mentioned that it hasn’t been three months, just three days. Sorry. My bad.) Ironically it was just this time last year I was feeling the same way. After I dislodged my nose from my navel I wrote the following post. Ode To Granny McKee…

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Family Stories

Hester

The day was November 7, 1938. She had turned 39 in August and was in her twelfth year of marriage to an uneducated but hard working farmer who adored her. It was never clear if she really loved him or if at the advanced age of 26, she had just given in to the fear of becoming a spinster and finally agreed to marry him when he asked her for the sixth or seventh time. She was a tall, pretty woman with hazel eyes, a thick head of wavy auburn hair and perfect white teeth. She…

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