As I set here and think of when I was a child I can remember being part of one of the best families in the world. It was wonderful to go to my Granny’s house because there were always children around. There was a peace and contentment always to be found in our family and that is not an easy thing considering there were so many of us when we were all together. Love was freely given and recieved, along with a spanking now and then if it were need. There are so many things I can remember about the smells and feelings that you would have all the year around. It was a wonderful place to be a child.
Mom would say, “Get your shoes on we’re going to ya Granny’s!” We would excitedly get up and get them on in a hurry. My brother’s and I knew that we were go to get to play with our cousins that day. People we seen at school and we saw them often at their homes too because they all lived in Granny’s yard but it such an excitement to us that we could hardly contain it. The short ride just one mile up the road seemed to take forever. I knew that Susie would be there who is a little older than I and Melanie who was my age. I just loved to step out of the car and hear them say, “Yay Mary Beth is here.” It seemed like we didn’t even get to see each other at all like one of us lived so many miles away from each other everytime I would go there, which was on almost every Saturday. My Granny’s yard was open no fences. When you pulled in the drive way which usually had a huge mud hole for us to wade through you could see her little house with Aunt Aretta’s house to the side of it, across the yard from the drive on the right was Aunt Jean’s house, upon the hill was Uncle Ronnie’s house, and over behind Granny’s house was my Uncle Turk’s house. No wonder there were always kids around!. We were a close family as close as some get I believe.
Now if you look at if from a kid’s point of view, it was an awesome place to be. There were children everywhere and most were about the same age so everyone had someone to play with. There were about 15 children there counting my brothers and I; however, there was no mistreatment of others allowed. Did we argure? Yes!! Who settled it which ever parent was handy. If it wasn’t your mom or your dad oh well what ever the adult said went. No questions, no ifs, no buts, it was settled when the adult in the situation gave the order. I can remember my Aunt Aretta’s phrase, “Now shucks youngin’s that’s enough!” We all knew it was enough too!!! We all stayed outside and played until it was to dark to see, or our mothers made us come in which ever came first. When inside which ever house you were in, there was peace no arguring parents, and no back talking children. If you were in Granny’s house you were sure to hear the Bible. She would always say, “Let me tell you about the little nugget that I found.” She would tell you stories from the Bible and explain them to where a child could understand. I remember getting so very very sleepy on many occasions in her home. She would rock in her rocking chair and tell you stories and the peace and contentement would feel the room because she was sharing what God gave her that day as she read her Bible.
At Granny’s house, when I say Granny’s house I mean all the houses, hers and the others round about hers, a child felt the love of family. Love of family to me is not always in an embrace or saying I love you all the time, but it is also in the correction that comes with being a responsible parent or family member. I can remember times when my aunts would whip my brothers and shew I wanted absolutely nothing to do with that! It wasn’t as if they beat us because that was never the case I just do not like pain of any kind or conflict either. We were corrected on our path, and we were taught no meant no. We as children loved to play in what we called the jungle. It was a piece of property across the alley from my granny’s place that was all grew up with weeds and trees; it looked like a jungle to us so we fittingly called it just that “The Jungle”. Now it was a place that we were not actually supposed to be so we would of course sneek around the edges collecting sticks for sword fights or to make batons and on occasion we would sneek a little past the edges just to get a better looking stick. My heart would race as we would very carefully look around to see if any adults were looking and if not we would run in grab it and run back out and giggle when we didn’t get caught. Now if you stayed to long in the jungle it was like the adults had an alarm on that thing somewhere, you would hear, “Who’s over there? You better get out of there or I’m gonna lay ahold of you!” Whoever was in the jungle would pop out of there like a canon ball fired off a ship, and have a real quick reply, “I was just getting us another stick to use.” The usual reply to the child was “Stay out of there you are going to get snake bit.” If you were caught again there were graver consequinces to be had but usually one of us getting yelled out kept the others from trying it again. Looking back now I see the dangers and know how much they loved us to keep us out of harms way.
I always loved 5 o’clock at Granny’s. It was dinner time. You could smell the different things being cooked in the different houses. Someone had put on pinto beans for the day, someone else was making spaghetti, or someone was making chicken it was just so many smells combined together to make a wonderful medly in the air. It was like going to a buffet you could choose which house you wanted to eat at and you were always welcome to eat any of them. My Aunt Jean would make goolosh, it was like spaghetti with a twist. It was wonderful and I still love it today. I can remember not being able to see upon her table but I knew that it was there because she had said earlier that was what she was going to make. Granny’s house usually smelled like toast because she had a toaster which made the best toast in the world. She always said it was because of all the bread crumbs in the bottom and I guess it is possible. All of us would go to her house to get toast in the middle of the day for a snack; she would just laugh and allow you to make your own with supervision of course if you were to little. The other smells of grass and trees, her flowers, and the mud all seemed to mingle together and smelled so much better at Granny’s place than they did at our house. I still am not sure why that was because we had mud, flowers, trees, and grass too, but it must have been the company and the feeling that you had gone somewhere that made it all smell so much better there.
Going to my Granny’s house was more than just visiting. We didn’t have a need for playdates and such with other people we had each other. We did have other friends at school but that was at school. My cousins were more like my brothers and sisters than they were anything else. We all shared a love for each other then and we still have that same love today. When we are all together now we reminisce about the days of our childhood and laugh about all the trouble we got into, the scrapes and bruises, the stitches that someone had to get, and the love that surrounded us in our childhood. That is what I remember most about my Granny’s place the love that she had for her children and her grandchildren. The love that she bestowed upon each of us whether with a piece of toast, a hug, a ride on the rocking chair rockers, swating your fanny, or rubbing lotion on a boo boo that you had gotten; it was all done with so much love and compassion for each and everyone of us!