This is a day late because I didn’t see much benefit in honoring February 2 on February 2 this year because, well, you know…that huge sporting event everyone was glued to yesterday was probably a tad distracting. Well, not everyone was glued. We weren’t. I know, I know, I know. Not watching that huge sporting event in the US is probably akin to farting in church in most people’s eyes. The audacity! Nonetheless, we refrained and pursued things that required our attention much more. For MarshFox that was his Quantitative Literacy homework. Apparently, that’s new, fancy lingo for math. For me that meant a real crime drama marathon and lots of cuddle time with my fur babies, and I cooked a great meal and caught up on chores. Anywho!
February 2. Here’s a secret. It’s not just for that groundhog thing, or as we call them around these parts, whistle pigs. We also don’t defer to that whistle pig’s opinion around these parts; we have our own method which requires a white squirrel. No. I am not kidding. His name is Pisgah Pete and over the Brevard, North Carolina way, he’s dragged out each year to predict whether the weather dictates a prolonged winter or an early spring. And just to prove this, here’s the link to the video. CLICK HERE. Apparently this year, he also made a prediction on that big sporting event. I have no idea if he was right because I didn’t pay a bit of attention to either Pete or that event yesterday. I’m assuming all will be revealed in the video.
All that being said, truth be told, I’m not here to lament about any of the other things that were happening yesterday, February 2. I am here to honor my Great-Grandmother who was born on February 2, 1903. And yes, we teased her relentlessly about the coincidence, and without fail, we all at some point while she was still living asked her on her birthday if she’d seen her shadow. Poor lady. That’s about as bad as my son being born on April 1 and all the teasing he received growing up as a result. My sister even believed I was joking when I announced at around 11ish p.m. March 31, 1990 that I did believe my vapors were actually labor pains.
Granny Grunt, as we referred to her as, measured in at 4’ 10” tall and was as round as she stood. She was a staunch Southern Baptist who never uttered a curse word, or so she said. I remember hearing verbiage spew forth the likes of which would have made a sailor blush. Two of my most vivid memories of her both involve her garden. She lived across the street from us and I can remember looking out the front door more than once and seeing nothing but her backside pointing toward the sky. She’d be bent completely over in half picking strawberries. This always tickled me because she was one to go on and on about her “rheumatiz” yet could bend completely over at the waist. How was this possible? As a kid I could never quite fathom it. The second garden memory involves me and my cousin and a tin can full of cherry tomatoes provided to us by Granny. Rather than eat them, we sat on my Grandma’s sidewalk, also across the road from Granny, and squirted them at each other until we and the side of the house looked like someone had been axe-murdered. My mother discovered us and about had a kitten, proclaiming if Granny saw what we’d done she’d never give us another tomato as long as we lived. We should have taken that quite seriously, but giggled all the way to the tub. I think we may have been 4 or 5.
She wore dresses until the day she died. I don’t recall ever seeing Granny in pants of any kind, not even in winter when the southern Ozarks can be pretty harsh and unforgiving. She also wore her hose if she left the house to go to town or church. It just simply wasn’t acceptable to do otherwise. Now, if she was sitting in her chair in the yard shelling beans or eating watermelon, she was without hose and shoes. I remember her barefoot, a lot. Either way, hose or not, she always carried a hanky tucked into her brassiere. And I don’t think I ever remember a time her hair wasn’t white as snow.
Although I remember happy times, to say her life was without troubles would be polishing a turd. They were poor. I mean really poor. My grandma recalled going to work when she was less than twelve years old doing laundry and cleaning houses for folks around their neck of the wood. Granny would wallpaper people’s homes to bring in cash. They raised their own food by way of vegetable gardens, chickens, and a hog. Granny’s life wasn’t easy by any stretch of the term but somehow she found a way to smile and thank Jesus for what they did have, when she wasn’t letting fly some of that colorful verbiage, and she managed to live to a ripe old age. She left this world on November 5, 1994, age 91.
I still love strawberries and cherry tomatoes, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be too many years before I have hair as white as snow. And I will always remember that before that whistle pig was famous, we had our Granny Grunt.
Happy birthday, Granny! Please put a good word in to Jesus for me today.