One Year Later…

September 3, 2015

Mama was born and took her first breath of life in the summer. Her final breath was released in the same season. She lived ninety-four years upon this earth with all its God made magnificence. Each day, month, and year she accumulated those things appointed for her specific purpose.

She was a farmer’s daughter who watched the cotton grow and chopped it in hat, gloves, long sleeves, and britches. She remarked how when they went to town you could tell the farm girls by their tan skin. Mama shielded hers so she would remain fair. She told of how her mother left her in a large box as a baby while she worked in the fields with her husband (Mama’s daddy). According to her paternal grandmother, she “swoll” from being so blistered. Til’ her death she never liked being in direct sun.

I remember how cool her arms felt even if outside temperatures were scorching. How she was ladylike in her actions while dangling a cigarette in her lips at home, only  at home, never in public. Funny how you remember things like that. She loved us, her children and grandchildren, to the best of her ability. There was a tenderness beneath the protective shell she had fashioned from past warfare in the battle of life.

Last year on this calendar date, the shell was broken and she was finally free. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He hath made everything beautiful in his time: …”

I saw God’s beauty, peace, and rest for the weary soul in my mother’s face  a year ago today.

It was her time. It was His timing.

Job 1:21  (Authorized King James Version)

“And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

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He rode a bicycle with a basket . I have no idea his age since I was just a child, but my best guess would be early to mid twenties. Mama would take us on Saturday’s to get my brother’s haircut where comic books were piled in the empty seats and an old dresser held a cash box and a glass jar of green liquid. The chairs lined the tiny shop in an “L” shape where the patrons sat and watched the barber clip and scissor his way through politics and local talk with them. If I read those comics once, I read them a hundred times. At this moment I’m remembering the Superman episode where he’s in the dimension where everything is backwards. Oh how I wish I had those comic books! Not so much for the price they might fetch, but for the feeling of predictability that my childhood held.

Little brown paper bags sat like soldiers in perfect formation on the cabinet against the side wall. Mama would buy us each a bag and we ate and read while the grownups talked. I always liked it when there were a lot of customers as that meant more time to read. And the drinks–glass bottles out of the machine at the end of the room where a good pull from the round slots and a quick burst of hiss from the opener was to enjoy the fizzy burn of sweet Coca Cola carrying away the salty goodness of the fresh roasted peanuts.

Sometimes the peanutman showed up on our time there and I would watch the interaction between him and the barber. It was a standing arrangement where he would carefully place the bags, then take his money from the barber and be on his way. I knew something was different about him, but I didn’t know what until I grew up. This gentle soul was most likely making his living from peddling his bicycle and goods because that was the depth of his ability.

My childhood was built on such things. People, places, and things were the order of the day AND THEY WERE ORDERLY. The barber is gone, along with the little shop with the green liquid and comic books. The peanut man rides no more except down the lane of my memory, but I can tell you those days were not just peanuts. They were the making of memories that are worth their weight in gold.

Mama Wears Dresses…

February 4, 2010

and gowns. Not pants nor shorts. A handful of times she wore them to my rememberance, but so little that I can hold up both hands and have digits left over. In her younger years, pedal pushers were the thing. Later on, my aunt (baby sister) gave her a couple of pantsuits that were in vogue. Even my grandmother who was also a dresswearer boasted a few of them. Overall I grew up with feminine wear of the traditional type among those two relatives. It is a comfort for me. There is something traditional and satisfying in remembering how they did their daily living in those garments. My grandmother and  mother were always piddling about and even doing gardening or yard work they donned the dress. The pedal pushers and pantsuits were left for when they ventured outside the house. But my childhood eyes still see them in the staple of their wardrobes: dresses.  A constant in my mind and heart from them to me.