Friday, May 27, 2011

Her Name was Evelyn...

Can I share some memories with you?  I think I will start with these...
    The story of my grandmother is the kind of story that asks you to grab a cup of coffee and a cozy seat to enjoy.  It is a story of childhood and family.  It is full of things like butterscotch pie, homemade noodles, and a beehive hairdo.  Let me introduce you to Evelyn.
     She was lovely in her simple way.  I never- ever saw her in anything but a dress and most usually hose as well.  She always carried a seasonally appropriate purse full of things like peppermints.  She had her scheduled hair appointments to keep her up do looking just right.  For most of my life it was truly a beehive ..then it was adjusted a bit --still keeping with the style.  My dad always said I had her coarse, thick, wiry hair.  I am not sure because I never saw it down, but I take it as truth.  I have been told she could roll her hair on her fingers quite fast and pin it up. 
     When I entered the scene, she was a regular at her local beauty salon. I got to go with her a couple of times.  Truthfully, all I remember was lots of teasing and hairspray...oh and the hairnet for sleeping.  I was always amazed the she could have her hair done once and it would last all week. It seemed miraculous to me.  I was sure there was magic in those hairnets, or she didn't move an inch in her sleep!
    With all the attention to the details of her hair and dresses, I never saw her wear things like makeup or nail polish.  She was simple in those regards.  She never painted my nails or gave me lip gloss for Christmas.  She just wasn't about those things and it was just fine. Some might think it plain, but as a child I never noticed that or thought of her as plain. 
     I shared her with lots of people.  She had seven children, and including me she had fourteen grandchildren.  For many years, my brother and I were the only grandchildren that lived out of state.  Trips to Ohio were usually special occasions and there were family members everywhere.  The living room of her house was quite large.  It was a necessity with all of us there.  Many, many times we were all there together.  Before the weddings of the grandchildren and the births of the great-grandchildren, just our "immediate" family would fill the house with a nice number of 27!  My grandmother was definitely in her element when the house was full.  She loved having us there.  Every side table was ready with jars of Chex Mix and candies.  The dessert table always had something on it, and rarely was there not Iced Tea waiting in the fridge.  It was noisy and busting at the seams, but nobody seemed to mind...especially her.
     I felt lucky to get to sleep at her house...until the wee hours of the morning when I would be awakened by her in the kitchen.  I spent lots of nights on the couch and would often wake to what seemed like a million pots and pans falling from Mt. McKinley.  She must have always needed the one in the very back of the cabinet. I wanted to ask her many times if I could have that one pan ready for her each morning...but I never did.
     After the clanging pots, I usually drifted back to sleep and would wake again to her sitting in her chair doing the daily crossword puzzle.  The minute she saw my eyes open, she was ready to feed me breakfast.  Breakfast was special because she always bought the mini packs of varied cereal.  We all loved having our own little box of cereal to eat.  There was always oats and toast, juice and coffee, and lots of little cereal boxes.  That is how I remember her breakfast table. 

    ~It has been a long time since I ate oats and toast at her table.  But, I can close my eyes and be transported there like it was happening all over.  I can hear those clanging pots and see her hand washing the dishes.  I can so clearly hear the shuffle of her feet in her house slippers making endless rounds in the kitchen.  I can still see that perfect Bee Hive hairdo working the crossword puzzle...Oats and toast and newspapers will always have her imprint on them...always.

So much more to share...
~B Charmer


  1. I love this. How blessed are we to have had such an amazing "Mamaw!" -Betsy

  2. We are, Betsy!! I'm sure the pots and pans woke you up a time or two as well! :)


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