Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2003, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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    Over the years I have written quite extensively about my grandma. She was quite a character, as we would say now.
    One could write a book about her. She was a great influence on all of us. We loved our mother, but grandma was someone special to us. She could relate the most interesting stories about the happenings in her life.
    She married a Cherokee Indian and we have always been proud of our heritage. She told us about the time, after grandfather passed away, a man came to see her and told her he could get her some land in Oklahoma for 25 dollars. She told him she had all the land she wanted and did not need any more. My cousin and I used to tease her and tell her she might have been rich from the oil wells, if she had bought the land.
    But grandma did not worry about things in the world; her world was her home and going to church and to town. She had no modern conveniences, not even a telephone, nor did she take newspapers. She was a "hard-shell" Baptist who attended church each Sunday. I remember she wore a black dress, a white apron trimmed in lace and a black bonnet to church.
    Speaking of aprons reminds me that she always wore one. It was a useful thing to have, too. In it she gathered eggs and [wood] chips and other things that an apron would hold. That apron saved her many trips back to the house for a basket or bucket.
    Grandma was always a bit superstitious. She would not carry a hoe nor axe through the house. She said it would cause bad luck. Her favorite saying was "What will be, will be. And it could happen."
    Her way of talking interested us. She would say, "Sez I!" She did not have much education but had gone through the old Blue Back Speller. She was a good housekeeper, but liked being out-of-doors best. She was always busy at something, but she always had time for her grandchildren.
    In the fall she took us chinquapin hunting. She spent many hours teaching us to know the herbs that were used for medicines in those days. She said herbs were nature's healing powers. She loved flowers and always had the old fashioned kind.
    Grandma and her two sons grew corn, wheat and other large crops. She bought only coffee, sugar, salt and soda at the store and she always had eggs to trade for them. They raised hogs for their meat, had lots of milk and butter, plus fruit from their orchards and vegetables from their gardens.
    It was a hard way of life with lots of work but she loved it. And the crops were almost always good. I do remember the drought of 1901, though I was a small child. I remember there was a good fruit crop, but the corn was a failure. Early oats and wheat made it through and the stock had feed.
    When grandma became old, she sometimes was sad, longing for the old days when she was strong and active. To each of her four children she gave 40 acres and was able to see them prosper.
    She had lived life to its fullest. She died just before I turned 18-years-old and I lost one I loved and adored. However, her memory has enriched my own life and now that I am a grandmother, I enjoy telling my grandchildren about their great-great-grandma.
    I, too, have time for my grandchildren. They tell me their problems and the pleasures they have and it keeps me young in heart and spirit. I hope they'll remember me with love, as I remember my grandma, and one day pass on the stories I have told them to their own grandchildren.

Mellie Smith

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