Thursday, November 11, 2010

89 Years Young!

So Tuesday was my grandmother's birthday.  She is now an amazing 89 years young. I have been shamed because I failed to call her on her actual birthday.  We celebrated on Saturday, but I should have called on the actual day... I was busy crying and sick with worry over the fact that Walker had upcoming surgery.  Is it an excuse?  Yes, it is.. and like I said, I feel terrible about it.  I had tunnel vision and I was selfish.   Now, I know she will never read this because she doesn't understand computers or the internet.. but I owe her a tribute because she is one of a kind.  Allow me to share a few details of our lives together:
My kids call her Ellen "Roof"... or her proper name Ellen Ruth, because when Mackenzie was a baby she got confused when I referred to her as "grandmother"...  She taught kindergarten for over 30 years at a church that resided next door to her house. She walked to work, rain or shine.   She touched so many young little lives. She has patience like no other or she did.. now she will put you in your place in a New York minute- but she has earned that right and it cracks me up a little bit to see her so feisty.   When her health allowed, she was at church every time the doors were opened.  Wednesday night dinners... you name it, she was there with her pot luck dish.  She use to cook the most amazing Sunday lunches for everyone... most of the time it was roast with rice, black eyed peas,and coconut cake for dessert ... Always stating it wasn't fit to eat... but there was never any food going begging at the end of the meal.  Modesty at its best.
 I can remember sitting on the kitchen counter when I was a little girl "helping" her cook.  I can also remember her letting a naughty word slip every now and again... and her covering her mouth in shame... and saying "I don't normally talk like that BUT...."   I wonder how many times you can get away with letting a blooper out and not be a normal use of your vocabulary..a bunch if you are my grandmother.  Ol' Ellen Ruth is the original prize patrol.  As a child, she spoiled me and my siblings with little goodies and tasty Little Debbies every single time she came to our house.  She was at our house A LOT!  We got a lot of prizes.  (smiling- remembering what a little delight that was as a child).  I have picked up on this trait, good, bad or indifferent... I am guilty of the spoiling when it comes to my children...
 I stayed at the grands most weekends... I wrapped myself up in the mothball smelling quilts (OH - I love that smell to this day) and piled up on the couch with my granddaddy flipping the remote from channel to channel ** as someone who lived through the depression- this was the most amazing invention and/or luxury since sliced bread** His remote got a workout. No commercial was safe or viewed.  Most nights we ended up watching Carol Burnett and/ or Lawrence Welk.   Grandmother would not sit still long enough to watch the entire shows.. she was busy piddlin in the kitchen and making down the beds for the upcoming nights slumber.  She is the original ADHD child.  Busy, Busy, Busy or looking for something to make herself busy.  Don't get me wrong, Ellen Ruth is no push over... the floor plan of their house was a circle.. den, kitchen, master bedroom, hallway, living room and back to the den..Why is this important?  Well, She would go outside to get a "hickory" on days that I was a bratty child - I would watch her through the window as she pulled a switch off the tree and strip the leaves off (cussing- but not normally talking like that - to herself) and march back into the house, a whippin' it in the air... I would run around the "circle" with her chasing me... ROUND AND ROUND AND ROUND WE WOULD GO ... I have to laugh now... I can hear her yelling
 "Jimmy, I need you to say something to this child"  "JIMMY-  did you hear me?"... Granddaddy would silently and stealth like sneak downstairs to the basement to commence in his own act of piddlin'.  An act I witnessed often.- confrontation was unheard of most of the time, in front of the "children".  (This is also something Cade and I try to adhere to with the raising of our own.)  Bless her heart, grandmother is human like the rest of us.. and she has her limits.  Oh there are so many, many fond memories.  She is and was a catalyst in making sure, we had a great childhood.
So today, I introduce my grandmother to you. The original pillow owner.  A great love of my life, a blessing to everyone she meets. A true southern lady that doesn't mind getting hands dirty to take care of business.  When I grow up, I want to be just like her... and that is the best compliment I can offer..
  Happy 89 Years Young, Ellen Roof!  I love you...

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to Ellen Roof. You are an extremely talented writer. I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future. Pam fills me in on a lot going on, but it's much better getting it first hand. I'm fortunate to have this family in my life.