Friday, December 18, 2015
I am often asked where I learned to love cooking. A great deal of that became a part of me because Mother and Daddy owned a cafe most of the time I was growing up. Mother worked there and cooked more at home, but Daddy cooked for the cafe, creating the best hamburgers and lunch plates. He got up early and went in to make scratch pies and hot rolls. So as I watched Nora and her Mom, Kristen, make a gingerbread house, I thought how much Daddy and Mother would have loved to see this project! At 21 months, Nora was intrigued by putting the little candy dots on the house. Perhaps it is a good thing she does not eat candy yet.They did a fantastic job. There was not much cooking in this kitchen project, but she will be standing on a stool helping me make cookies soon! You made your great granddaddy proud, Nora! It was Kristen's first gingerbread house, too! But she bakes beautiful cakes, so she knew how to handle that frosting.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Clyde, as the baby was called, was born into adversity and affliction of circumstance. But she was also born into a close family circle as her mother moved back home to relatives. I don't know much about her childhood, but I do know she loved her siblings dearly and spoke of them often. In 1904 she married Hezekiah Peyton Terrell and gave birth to 3 sons and a daughter. Opal, her daughter, was my mother. I became Clyde and Ky's first grandchild.
Clyde Terrell mourned the death of her oldest son, Vinnon, due to a hunting accident on Christmas Day in 1922. She never drove a car, never lived in a house with indoor plumbing until she was nearly 80. She raised her family on a farm in Smith County, Texas, drew water from a well, washed the family laundry in an iron wash pot set over a fire in the yard, and hung the clothes on a line outside to dry after which she ironed them with a flatiron kept hot on the wood stove. She planted morning glories and old maids, kept a garden for vegetables, milked a cow, hung slaughtered meat in a smokehouse, and kept chickens for eggs as well as wringing their necks for Sunday dinner for the preacher. She put up berries and peaches along with peas and green beans in mason jars with sealed lids and baked pies and tea cakes. She lived by "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!" Therefore, she sewed her own clothing, replaced buttons, turned collars and cuffs on Papa's shirts, and made patchwork quilts with what was left. She was an adept seamstress, adding embellishments of crochet, tatting, hemstitching, and cutwork to aprons, pillowcases and tea towels.
I remember being folded into her soft, sweet embrace and never felt more loved. I remember drinking cold well water from a dipper, picking berries with her, and stubbing my toe on the red dirt road when we walked to the mailbox. I remember that she welcomed folks to her door and to her table, the same one that my own family gathered around for lunch after church today. However, she always put a clean white tablecloth on top, and when anything was blooming, a jar of flowers on the table. Whether we were eating fried chicken or cornbread, biscuits or berry cobbler, the food was always delicious and warm and her welcome even moreso.
But most of all I remember her deep faith in and love of God. She knew God loved her and trusted him unfalteringly. She was a woman of prayer. She didn't just go to church, it was a part of her and she was a part of the people and their worship and service. Her pastor and his wife were her best friends. I loved going to church with her because she loved it so much. She had tragedies. She did not have what most would call an easy life. But she lived in gratitude and praise for the blessings she had.
Grandma died one month before her 90th birthday in 1977. I still miss her. This morning just as dawn was arriving, I went out into our garden and picked these yellow roses in her honor. She had an old rose bush near the front window of their house at the top of the red dirt road. She often brought bouquets of the blooms in for her table. They were golden yellow.
Monday, October 24, 2011
I like looking at all those pretty aprons. But I don't want one of them. I am happy to pull on the soft bits of history on the hook in my pantry. I am after all, tied to my mother's apron strings.