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

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More About Grandma

    I told in a previous article about my grandma's life, as it was told to me and as I knew her. I love to stroll down Memory's Lane and think of her. As I said in a previous article, she was left a widow with four children. The oldest was 14 and the youngest was seven. She and the children made their living off the land.
    She would work alongside the children. However, she knew that with growing children, it should not be all work. They took time off for play and for going to school.
    I liked to hear my mother tell about her school. It was a one-room affair, made of logs. It had a fireplace. When the wind was in a certain direction, the chimney would smoke, and school would have to be dismissed.
    Back to the story of grandma. She was a jolly person, and I never saw her angry. When things went wrong, as they often did, due to the fact that she had a large farm to manage and four children to raise, the problems sometimes seemed more than she could cope with. But she didn't worry.
    She would say, "Things could be worse." She had a great faith in her God and fellow man. She taught her children to obey and respect her. I have heard my mother relate happenings of her own young life, mentioning the mischievous things she (my mother) and her brother would do. But grandma was patient with them.
    Mama had an older sister who was very prim and precise. She did not see much fun in anything. Everything had to be proper and according to Hoyle. She was always afraid mama and her brother would embarrass her when her boyfriend called.
    One day my aunt had a new boyfriend. He came from the city. Seemingly, what he didn't know wasn't worth knowing. My mother didn't like him because he completely ignored her and her brother.
    Accordingly, mama conceived the idea of doing something. It was a mean trick, I guess. They had a little dog. My mother found an old bustle which some women wore in those days to enhance their figure. She tied it on the little dog and sent him through the parlor. My aunt was horrified. The young man left and never came again, much to mama and her brother's delight.
    One time another episode happened: Grandma had to go to town. She left my aunt in charge of things. Mama and her brother got on the roof and played ball. Of course, my aunt was afraid they would fall, so she took the ladder away and made them promise that, if she would put it back, they wouldn't climb on the roof again. When they came down, they chased my aunt across the orchard with rotten apples.
    On another occasion, mama and her brother hung gourds in a tree over the road so that when people passed under them they would have to dodge. However, grandma soon intervened and made them take the gourds down. Mama couldn't see any harm in clean fun. Grandma said that in too short a time her children were grown and married.
    Grandma gave each one of her children 40 acres of land, where they built homes and reared families. I've always been proud that I was born on grandma's old home place and have lived most of my life nearby. My life has been very interesting.

    I copied the following little poem: (The author is unknown.)

    "Thank God for dirty dishes. They have a tale to tell. While others may go hungry, we're eating very well. With home, health and happiness, I should not fuss. By the stack of evidence, God's been very good to us."

Mellie Peery
October 1964

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