Saturday, December 17, 2011

Traditions - Part I

It is funny how everyday events become traditions. I do not remember baking Christmas cookies with my Mama or with my children either. Yet we have been baking sugar cookies with the grandchildren every Christmas for years now. 

I think this is why Mama didn't want to bake with kids
I feel like new family traditions evolve as the parent's ideas and practices become intertwined. Although I do not remember reading bedtime stories to my children, my son began reading books to his first born when she was just a baby. I know this because while I was taking the grandchildren to school one morning, I overheard her tell of something the teacher had said. I thought she was relating the story as the Charlie Brown teacher would when she finished with, "and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." When questioned she said, "That's what daddy says sometimes." He must get tired of reading.

I remember daddy telling me bedtime stories from memory. I would ask to hear the story of The Bremen Town Musicians but now I do not remember what it was about. I still remember the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf though. Grandma had me read it when I was the lookout for the school bus and would yell, "Here it comes." After the kids grabbed their books to dash out the door, I would laugh and say, "just kidding." I do not remember which uncle whined, "Mama, make her quit that!" I do recall being bratty.

Speaking of stories, I remember Grandma telling me a true story. After she had delivered one of her nine children, she awakened Grandpa to ask for a drink of water. She said he promptly got up, walked out to the back porch where the well was, drew up a bucket of cool water, drank a dipper full himself, and went right back to bed. She never said whether she got her drink.

Although it would not capture the attention of kids nowadays, I was fascinated by Grandma's Sunday School story of David tending his flock depicted on flannel backed paper cutouts stuck to a fabric covered easel. I think the flannel board must have been a precursor to present day power point presentations. Mama said Grandma first took me to church when I was three weeks old. I remember Grandma singing I'll Fly Away and patting my palm against hers as she kept rhythm to the tune. My grandson has that song on his iPod. I remember she always had a clean handkerchief in her purse. She called her purse a pocketbook. She somehow tied a little bit of change into the corner of her handkerchief in such a manner I could not unfasten it. Grandpa always had clean handkerchiefs to use when he preached. He needed them to wipe tears from his eyes. I remember Sunday School songs like Jesus Loves Me - this I know for the Bible tells me so. And Jesus Loves The Little Children - they are precious in his sight. And The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock - and it stood firm when the rains came tumbling down. These mini-sermons in melody send life messages that last a child forever.

One of my aunts said many times they walked to evening church services but had no recollection of walking back home. Church lasted late into the night in those days. I remember walking with my cousins in Oakland Cemetery between Sunday morning and Sunday evening services. About midway in the cemetery a little five or six year old girl is buried whose likeness is captured in a brass encased picture frame affixed to her grave marker. We always wondered about the little girl who was so obviously loved.

-continued tomorrow-


  1. That is a funny story about your grandpa and the dipper of water. My mom used to teach Good News Clubs and had drawers full of all that Child Evangelism Fellowship material with the flannel backs. I loved these stories and would beg to play with them after the clubs were over. Sometimes she let me. I bet she smiled to herself in the other room as she heard me telling the stories to my little sister.
    Are you sure we aren't relate?

  2. I love your reminisces. More please!