My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I woke up this morning to a text from Austin. Married friend's wife had her baby. Austin asked if I wanted to take him (Austin) out to lunch on my way home today. Yikes for the stress of a trip over the mountain. I could have driven straight to Atlanta in about two hours. The trip over the mountain to get to where he is won't be easy. My back hurts. I don't have much money with me for extra gas for the extra miles or for lunch or for money, which I'm sure he'll ask for. But I want to see him. So I'll go. I need to get to work very soon but no word... I remembered one bill from June that I didn't pay and it's due again by the 15th which is next weekend and then the insurance will be due again soon so I guess I'll be pawning a kidney or standing on the street corner with a cardboard sign. I don't know. But... I'll do what it takes to see Austin today and I have little doubt that I'll give him my last dime.

Yesterday was surreal. I found myself IN TRUVY's beauty shop! Considering that I call grandma and her sister Bette, my "Steel Magnolias" to be in Truvy's was too ironic! There was grandma and some other dear lady, both under those big dryers with curlers in their hair... while a lady who was as old as time but had bright burgundy hair, getting a set. (please refer to previous comments about hair color that can't occur in nature- if you're a thousand years old, your hair is grey or white). There was the companionable chatter among patrons and among the younger folks who were dropping off their elders. I wanted to participate so I asked Truvy, I mean, Lou, if she could wax my eyebrows (I'm approaching Muppet status). She doesn't do waxing anymore, just her old girls wash, set and color (if needed). I sat and read my bible, Grandma read my Beth Moore Esther workbook.

Afterwards we went to Hardees where Grandma had a coupon for us to each get a honey mustard chicken tender sandwich for a total of $5. I'm not a fan of Hardees but this sandwich was really good! Then we drove over the state line back into Georgia to try to pick up her dry cleaning but they were closed. She apologized a dozen times for taking me so far out of the way but I enjoyed being with her, even if we didn't accomplish what we set out to do. I asked if she wanted to go anywhere else and she just wanted to rest, so we went home and did exactly that.

Later, I watched The Five while she fixed dinner. We had squash - cooked the old fashioned way with lots of onions and crisco and simmered until it falls apart - a half of a baked potato each and tuna salad and crackers. She cooked - commanded the kitchen very well, I must say, and afterwards I made an attempt to clean but, you know, I'm not really sure where everything goes or what she's saving and so forth. She had company drop by, two ladies from the church, and I tried to get as much done as close to her usual standards as possible while they chatted... then I joined them and we all had a nice visit. The other Steel Magnolia called and she had heard (via facebook, I'm sure by one of her grands because Aunt Bette isn't online) that Grandma is moving. Having just gone through a long explanation about Facebook and blogging with Grandma, she knew what these were. I wish I could get her connected to the internet, maybe once she's at the Assisted Living place we can teach her. I explained that social media allows us to be in contact with a large number of people at one time... so she sees how it works.

I spent some time going back over the information that is available via to sort of connect the dots between official documents and personal recollection while I am with her. I found the 1920 census for her family's household. Grandma was born in 1923, so she wasn't in this one but she helped me identify some of the people who were listed that I didn't recognize. There were grandmother's father, mother, half brother and half sister, sister Jane, grandma's sisters Lilian and Kate, and what the census listed as a "mulatto family", mother Jenie, father Squire and daughter Jessie, who was 6. Only Jenie was listed as "servant". Squire was listed as "laborer". At the time the family lived in a house on 916 North Avenue in Atlanta. The house is no longer there but I'd like to see where it was. Grandma was born there, at home, but they moved to the home at 1001 Oakdale Rd, when she was just six weeks old (and that home at 1001 Oakdale Rd was MY first home). She doesn't remember how big the home was but it held ten people so it was either large or crowded or maybe both.

Anyways... this has been a fun visit and I'm glad that I had the opportunity, away from work pressures or obligations of parenting to be here. I wish it was possible to keep her here where she's happy but even if someone could stay here... the problem of geography still exists... if she gets sick and the family is needed, we're all too far away. It's better, I think, to let her go through to process of winnowing out and downsizing while she is capable of doing it. Bruce is coming back today to be with her for the next week, then Aunt Claire will come and get her and take her to Claire's house and they will begin to look at some places to live that are close to Claire. My heart aches that Grandma can't be here, where she wants to be but I'm glad that she is willing to do what is best and that she has such a great attitude about it. May we all be as loved in our older years and may we all be as graceful as she has been throughout this process.

Hope you all have a great Saturday! I'll be back to post pictures as soon as I get my gypsy self back to my parents house!
love and hugs!


Adirondackcountrygal said...

I'm glad you had a nice visit! Sounded like fun.