Nana and Easter…

It’s funny how at this time of year, I think of my Grannie Ainsworth a lot.  She would start cooking deserts the night before at the latest…I remember those huge tin tubs filled with dyed eggs–and believe me we needed that many eggs!  Sometimes more than 30 people who show up and we ate in shifts!  Sometimes Grannie invited neighbors in too and there was always enough food to feed a small army!

My favorite was porcupine meatballs!  Still is! When I look at my grandson right now, I wonder what he’ll remember when he’s older.  The girls will get to hunt too! I’m going to be coming back from vacation and will spend Easter Sunday at my mother’s and I’m hoping everyone shows up.

Grannie always went to church and then went right back to the kitchen! I remember those wooden pews in the Fundamental Baptist Church and those old oscillating fans–with the red blades and such.  I also remember times I sat with her on the back of the truck, eating eggs until I thought I’d explode!  I also remember when I was really small that Grandpa Ainsworth helped me get the ones out of the trees because I was too short to reach!

I also remember the Saturday prior.  We’d sit around the TV and watch all kinds of music shows.  This included Hee-Haw and a lot of Gospel music.  For those not born yet, prime time TV usually had little to pick from. It was football, baseball, music, etc…I remember black and white TV‘s as well as when we got our first color TV.  Here’s an example of what we saw too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=7tsvaAIcMnc&NR=1

But this was my particular program to keep still for!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqbDZjC5bdE

And I always got a kick out of his lady too! She sang about topics nobody would touch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgylOni0JSI

I remember how Mom made dresses for me back in those days too, and I loved them. She’d buy me one for Easter, but the ones she made were pretty cool!  I never had the knack for sewing that she did or the knack for cooking she and my Grannie had. I thought it interesting that Grannie could make such perfect things and never use a measuring cup.  I never saw her with one until I was older.

Once we got through at Grannie Ainsworth’s house–we went for round 2 at Grannie O’Neill’s too!

I still remember what a #2 can is and such too. Who else does?  Better yet, who remembers those big boxes of commodity cheese or the chicken that the USDA gave out?  Now that was some good stuff! My dad made a great batch of chicken and dressing with that chicken!  Below is a pic of my Grannie and Grandpa Ainsworth…I miss them both.

Grannie and Grandpa Ainsworth

Nana’s Favorite Blog Post–Still the Best One I’ve Read!

I love reading Lauren Vasil’s blog…I go into the archives to find stuff on occasion to refresh my memory when necessary.  However the Holidays is the perfect time to share this post again…This time of year I think of my Grannie Ainsworth a lot. My sister made a chocolate cream pie today that reminded me of her–and I’ll get my porcupine meatballs tomorrow! Brian, my son, will be lucky if I share! LOL!

I find myself thinking of other family members I lost also…And of one particular Christmas where my older brother told EVERYONE what their gifts under the tree were and my dad nailed him to the wall for it! The next year–Dad duct taped the boxes and the Christmas wrap in which he carefully wrapped them!

However I also find myself remembering my Granny O’Neill…My father’s mother.  Not much has been written about her, but she was a good woman, and very kind also.  I was fortunate because my grandparents lived across the street from each other, so on Sundays we made our rounds!  We would have early lunch at one and then go to the other’s house and eat again!

Some days I could go over there and find her playing her electric organ.  The song “Long, Long Ago” comes to mind. I had interest in music at an early age and would play that thing also, and then go play the big one Grannie Ainsworth had in her house!  I couldn’t remember how to do that now, but my son, Brian,  has a new keyboard upon which I intend to learn to hash out a few things again!

She’d pay me a quarter to sweep her floor and I’d go raid the ice cream at Mann’s Grocery or buy myself a soda. Then we’d come back, usually on a Saturday afternoon and music shows would be playing on TV.  My Grannie Ainsworth was playing shows that featured “The Happy Goodmans”, the “Grand ‘Ol Opry”, “Hee Haw” or something!  On Friday’s my brother and I would sneak up at our house and watch “The Midnight Special”, “Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert”, “Friday Night Videos”, etc…Needless to say music was, and IS a huge part of  my life. I started singing again. I’m writing music and stories as well as a book.

Now back to what I was saying.  Food is what a lot of things centered around regardless of whose house we were in and it was not just on the holidays! When it wasn’t a holiday, I loved Granny O’Neill’s roast beef and home-made mashed potatoes w/gravy etc!  I remember one time when my father looked at my in a funny way, and said, “You are the weirdest kid I’ve got!” laughing because I was mixing the meat, potatoes and gravy together!  Granny O’Neill told him, “Oh leave her be. It all goes to the same place anyway.” and was grinning from ear to ear.

Then we’d go to Grannie Ainsworth’s house in the evening for supper too much the time…Now my uncles were pure cut-ups at the table.  They loved pitching beans at each other or farting at the table. If they did the latter they loved to blame my older sister just to embarrass her!  She’d be crying,”I didn’t do it!”  every time and my Grannie Ainsworth would get onto them for acting up like that.  And just so everyone knows, my Grannie Ainsworth and my  mom made the best hamburgers on the planet.  You will not catch me at Wendy’s, McDonald’s or any other fast food place getting a burger because if it’s not hot enough to melt the cheese (REAL CHEESE), then it’s not any good in my opinion.

In Midland there is a place on Rankin Highway called “Dixie Burger”.  THEY know how to make old-fashioned hamburgers.  I like Fuddrucker’s once in a while too.

This year I became a grandmother myself.  If it kills me, my grandson is going to have a lot of good memories to laugh at–as soon as his dad realizes he can’t push the poor kid into the NFL before he’s even out of diapers–and he’ll KNOW what real food is!  Why? His dad will never admit it, but he got a knack for cooking from my Grannie Ainsworth and he is excellent at it!  So is his girlfriend Daphne! I am so thankful for so many things and for all the laughter and memories that Lauren’s post continues to bring up even after a year of its original posting.  It is because of that that I am calling it one of the best posts I’ve ever read, and am sharing it here again.

This will lift your spirits, that’s for sure! Enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment on her blog! Thanks!

http://www.fizgiggery.com/2011/real-life/nanny

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I certainly have and I do have much to be thankful for!

A Little Flash to the Past

Some conveniences are ones I really don’t need during certain times of the year. I prefer line-drying my clothes in the spring and summer…My grandmother did it and my clothes seem to feel cleaner and smell fresh that way.  Many days I spent at her house when she was hanging clothes out to dry and it was time I got to spend with her.  Now in the winter it’s a different story, but when I hang things out here, I think of her and those times.

I remember the Sunday dinners where “the horde” came to eat–and I’m referring to 30 + people. We’d watch football or music shows depending on what was on TV.   On Saturday Night it was usually “Hee Haw“, “The Grande Old Opry”, “The Happy Goodmans” or some other music show the grand parents watched.  My grandfather didn’t care if it was religious or if it was a Mariachi band on TV, he’d watch it anyway.  To my knowledge, he wasn’t particularly religious either.

We used to ride to Mann’s Grocery with him in the old truck.  He’d buy me a Pepsi or Dr. Pepper…One of the favorite drinks was Nu-Grape on a hot day too.  He had his own little silver flask behind the seat of the truck.  On one particular day he pulled that out and said, “This is Grandpa‘s soda water but don’t tell  your Granny I have it!”  I just kind of blew that off.  Well my brother went and told Granny about it and she came UNGLUED!  She was really mad that he drove us in the truck and drank at all.

She knew the dangers of drinking and driving, but back in those days it wasn’t uncommon for people to drink their alcohol behind the wheel.  This was around 1970 this happened. I remember it because I wasn’t in Omaha, NE yet…We went there in ”71-72.

Anyway Grandpa thought I TOLD her and yelled at me. I started to cry and Granny came out and yelled, “And she ain’t the one that told me either, Ira! It was Jamie!”  That would be my older brother.   Grandpa said he was sorry but chewed my brother out later!  Needless to say, he never drank out of the flask when we were with him after that.

I can remember the times my uncles acted up at the table too.  She raised 5 boys and a girl (my mom) and I don’t know how on Earth she handled my uncles! They were a trip!  One day I’ll share some of those stories too–but my youngest son Kevin reminds me of a combination of a couple of them…However he got my Granny’s knack for cooking!!! Thank God someone did! I certainly didn’t–and I’m not good at gardening either.  My mom and my Granny could do anything like that!