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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Nannie, pastor’s wife, operated her own business: virtuous woman.  I sat beside her, second pew.  She taught me hymn-singing harmony: my alto, her soprano.

Her house didn’t welcome children–busy street, scant yard, multicolored oval rug: indoor playground.  She reclined, exhausted, while I occupied my mind, exhausting dictionaries, encyclopedias, Vanderbilt‘s tome on etiquette.  Nannie rewarded me with Old Maid, Go Fish.  She taught me Chinese checkers.

Retirement released her like an aging rose.  I inhaled.  She taught me stiff rosebuds can become soft blooms.  She taught me to appreciate the subtle fragrance seemingly sealed behind her enigmatic smile–and mine.

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Mammaw shared coffee with Kathy, diluting the ten-year-old’s with “sweet milk” and sugar: “Boston coffee.”

Kathy kicked her chair’s metal legs, squirming when splits in its plastic seat snagged her nylon nightgown or pinched her bare legs.  Mammaw’s eyes smiled through black-rimmed glasses, shaped like butterfly wings.  They chatted like old friends between sips.

“Get your britches on, young-un!  We’re fixin’ to fetch you a purty from the dime store!”

Kathy grinned and scampered off.

Her dime store “pretty” lost to time, her memories of Mammaw last.  Smiling, she pours her grandchildren juice.  They chat like old friends between sips.

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