Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This just in...

I just received another award from Lib over at Private Paradise!


I have to admit, it took me a while on this one for the meaning to get through all the fog in my head, but now I understand it: "I, too, heart your blog"! At least I think I'm right on this. If not, please correct me.

Lib, thank you so much for another great honor. I feel the same about your blog but more so about you personally as I told you earlier today in my comment to you.

A Lesson About Raisins

My mother was, well not exactly a woman of few words, but a woman of strange words, to me at least! For instance, when she was amazed by something she would say, "Well, I wish to may never see the back of my neck!", or "Well, 'pon my word and honor!" Growing up with my mother and knowing her the way I did, I always got the gist of what she was saying even if the words made no sense to me. If I was doing something I wasn't suppose to she would sling out a verbal threat to me as she went about her work, "You better behave or I'll take a keen willer limb to you!" I knew full well what that meant and had felt the brunt of it many times!!

My mother was full of advice for us kids too, like, "You better eat that food. There's little children acrosst the waters starving to death!" Now being a somewhat rebellious child and not a lover of food at that time, I would think to myself, "Well, give them my food 'cause I don't want it!" I was never allowed to backtalk or to even voice things I thought but it sure didn't stop me from thinking them!

One piece of advice my mother gave me has forever been embedded in my mind. I don't remember the whys or wherefores of the conversation or even if we were having a conversation that day but her words to me were, "Don't ever get above your raisin'." You know how sometimes when you hear someone say something you instantly get a mental image? (Sometimes one you wish you'd never seen and could just as instantly erase?) The image I saw when I heard those profound words was RAISINS. Yes, good old Sunmaid, dried in the sun from grapes, raisins! What did it mean to "get above your raisins"??? It wasn't until I was almost grown that I understood what she was saying to me. Don't ever forget where you came from and never look down on those less fortunate than you.

With all that being said, I want to share with you where I came from. I grew up in a holler, or "hollow" for those of you that don't speak hillbilly. I've often joked to other people that we had to pipe in sunshine which wasn't that far from the truth. The only direct sunlight we got was for a short period around noon when the sun was straight overhead. About the only modern conveniences we had were running water, electricity and a radio which brought us the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night and how we looked forward to that!! We had no bathroom, just the little brown shack out back. We took baths in a big washtub behind the Warm Morning stove. I've shared with you here about my feed sack clothes. My mother washed every Monday on a wringer washing machine and we hung clothes on lines strung all over the holler! Tuesday we ironed all day. The chores for these two days were written in stone by my mother. It never varied. One of my chores, also written in stone, came after all the clothes were washed and strung on the lines. I had to empty the still hot, sudsy water from the washer into a bucket and with an old broom scrub down the outhouse from top to bottom. I think we must have had the cleanest outhouse in all the surrounding mother would make sure of it!

In today's society we would have been considered poor, underpriviledged, deprived. But I now know we were rich in so many ways. Our house (and outhouse) was always very clean, we crawled between fresh smelling sheets every night to sleep, had lots of handmade-by-my-mother quilts to cover us against the cold in the winter. How I'd like to go back (now that I love to eat) and taste those wonderful homemade meals we for a king!

I now live in a nice (old) house with many modern conveniences that I'm very thankful for, especially a bathroom! :0) I'm also thankful that I had parents who took care of all my needs, not my wants. I'm especially thankful for the piece of advice given to me by my mother so long ago, "Don't ever get above your raisin'.", very much akin to the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Back in the spring Dave took me to see the little house in the holler again. The house itself still looks about the same but the once cleared land around it is now almost completely overgrown. At one time there was even a sawmill on up the road past our house and big trucks went in and out hauling the logs to different places. Now the road is almost invisible and totally impassable. But this holler is still a big part of my humble beginnings where I learned many valuable life lessons, one that I have stored away in my heart and tried to base my life on: "Don't ever get above your raisin'."

old home place