Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2001, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Grand Childhood

    It's a little late to be writing about Father's Day ... Or is it? Father's Day is every day in a material sense. He is very important and we should always honor him.
    So, I say, "God bless all fathers."
    I had a wonderful father, kind and loving. He could be stern if occasion demanded. He taught us how to live, the necessity of having the courage to say, "No." He told us to keep our mind, our mouth and our soul clean, and, if we had problems, to rise above the things that would tend to get us down. He taught us to look up to no one, but to look up WITH them.
    I taught the same principles to my five sons, who now also are dads ... Bless them!
    Well, to go on with my story. If I had a hobby, I would say it is doing things for my grandchildren. I have quite a number, too. They like for me to tell them stories about the past.
    I love to relate how when I was a little girl I sometimes would lie in a hammock made of barrel staves and rope tied to two trees. I would gaze at the clouds and picture images of snowmen, animals, castles, and different things.
    I wished I could float on a cloud. I would be so rapt that when my mother called it would startle me back to earth.
    I was interested in insects, often caught lightning bugs to see what made their lights. I loved to watch ants working. Grandmother said when ants were moving it would rain.
    Did you ever call a doodle bug to the top of the ground? We would find them in old rail fence corners and take a stick and say, "Doodle doodle." He would come up. He was tiny and the color of earth.
    The creeping things, snakes and lizards, I avoided. However, today I dare not show fear when one of the grandchildren brings a lizard and wants me to hold it.
    Just the other day a six-year-old granddaughter brought a jar to me and said, "Hold our your hands and shut your eyes."
    In my hand she put the jar with a small garter snake in it. I was glad it couldn't get out. The grandchildren punch holes in the lids and keep the snakes for a time, then turn them loose.
    I love to make the little ones rag dolls and clothes. I show the grandsons how to make animals from cornstalks and I think they appreciate those homemade toys more than the store toys.
    I also can make whistles from chinquapin sticks.
    They like for me to tell about the time I almost stepped on a copperhead many years ago. That was when we kept our milk and butter in a dirt cellar.
    One evening I had slipped my shoes off after we had company. It was dusky dark. I knew where to get my milk for supper, but I had a premonition I'd better get a lantern.
    Lo and behold! On the second step was a large copperhead. We managed to kill it.
    Another time, a skunk came to visit in the night and he didn't let us forget it either. Next morning he was gone.
    About noon I went around the house and saw that old skunk chasing my chickens. I yelled and he started toward me. Luckily, my grandson was there with a gun and he killed it.
    Remembering in my quiet moments is blissful.
    My best regards to all readers of "Over The Ozarks."

Mellie Peery
July 1963

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