I just got done searching our computer for a set of documents I thought had been lost forever. I nearly cried when I began finding the pieces of the story I thought had been lost in cyberspace.
I was seeking the stories from my Great Grandmother. A couple of years ago I wrote a speech about her for debate class and learned things about her I hadn’t ever heard before.
The summer after I wrote about her, Grandmama died. Just as I was making her famous fried pies for the county fair and I was about to send a picture to here via Oma’s cell phone.
I was reminded of this at our first debate class of the semester a couple of days ago. It was sickening to think all those stories and words of wisdom were lost forever.
So here you are; Her own words, in her own words.
Words of wisdom:
Family – Family is important, stick together, love each other. I feel like my family did this when I was 16.
Friends – To have a friend you have to be a friend. Friends are important. They help you grow as a person, and give you opportunities to share.
Church – Church is important in a person’s life. If you don’t have God in your life, you are just lost. Your church is your spiritual family. I went to church when I was 16, but I didn’t become a christian until after I was married.
Marriage – Don’t get married too young like I did. Marriage is for life. Divorce was not in my vocabulary. You need to get yourself right with God to have a good marriage.
Having Children – It’s good to have children because that’s how God meant it. When you have children and they accept Christ they will teach their children about Christ and it will keep going.
Money – You need money to live, but don’t spend all your time trying to get rich. You need to spend time with your family. People are more important than money.
Housekeeping – You need to keep your house clean, but don’t let it be an obsession. On the wall in my kitchen is a plaque that says, “My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.”
Work – Everybody needs to work. It’s good for you to work. Paul says, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” I worked all my life, in my home, in the fields with my husband, and later on at a sheet factory.
Cooking and Cleaning – I love to cook. It’s important to learn to and to teach your children how to cook. Cook and carry it to sick and shut-in friends, and to those who have lost a loved one. It can be a ministry to the Lord.
Cleaning is important to keep you healthy and having a clean place to live helps you feel better.
What would be the most important thing you would tell yourself? You’ve got to love the man you marry and get into church and stay there. Leave drugs, tobacco and alcohol alone. Associate with godly people.
A glimpse Great Grandmama Money’s life
At sixteen,I lived with my mother, older brother and two sisters. I was the youngest, but I had to work like the rest of the family. My daddy died when I was six years old so my brother who was nine years older than me farmed. He was a “share crop” farmer. We didn’t have a car or mules to take us to visit or to town, so we walked. We didn’t go for groceries from a big grocery store. We had a garden and we canned our food. We had to buy our flour, sugar, and lard. We bought lard because it was cheaper. We also bought coffee. We bought the coffee beans and roasted them in the oven. Then we had to grind them in the coffee grinder.
I had to cook breakfast sometimes. I had two sisters and we each had a week to cook. We had to get up early about 4 o’clock a.m.. We had to eat, do the dishes and be ready to go to the field. My older sister, Lucille, didn’t like to cook so she made beds. Ruth, my next to the oldest sister, and I did the milking. We did all the chores before we left the house. We had our dinner cooking while we cleaned up the breakfast dishes.
Your Uncle Buddy went ahead of all of us girls. He wanted to be the first in the field. Lucille didn’t like to walk through the high cotton. It was warm and there were caterpillars on the plants. They didn’t bite, but she couldn’t stand for them to crawl on her.
I had several friends that lived on our road and some that I went to school with. If we visited, we had to walk, and we enjoyed going down to the creek and river. It was so quiet, walking. We looked for berries and plants. It was fun watching the animals and birds run and play. Some of my friends had a horse and they came by. I had never ridden a horse, so we all wanted to ride. There was no saddle on the horse. This horse was so tall we had to help each other on. It was a very gentle horse or it would have run away. I got on the horse and he started to walk. I almost fell off. I decided I couldn’t be a Cowboy. I have not tried that any more. But it was a lot of fun watching the others getting on the horse.
When I was 16, we didn’t have a way to go to church regularly. When we had revival, we went with some with our neighbors. We went to church regularly when we lived in Kinsey, AL and I was younger. I always liked Sunday School . Most all the kids I went to school with were there also. We went but I didn’t accept Christ until later.
When I was growing up, Mama let me go with my sisters on their dates. I didn’t call myself having a date, I just went along with the others. I went to school at Haleburg and had friends. Some of the boys tried to go with us. We had neighbors on our road. One Sunday, four of the boys came down to meet the girls who lived down the road below them. One of my sisters, Lucille, wanted to go with the one named Frank. But when the boys came in, we didn’t have a living room so we sat on the porch or in the bed room in chairs. So all of us got a chair and talked together. Finally, Frank got up and came over to talk with me. So we talked until it was late. All the other boys left but he said he wouldn’t leave until I said I would date him. I thought that I would get rid of him if I said yes. I didn’t believe he would come back.
But Frank came back and kept coming back. He didn’t notice the other girls. So he became my boyfriend. We didn’t go out but he came to the house. When Frank asked me to marry him, I didn’t tell him right off. I didn’t want him to ask Mama. I knew what her answer would be. So I had to tell someone. I told my sister Ruth. I knew I could tell her anything and she would not tell. She and I were picking cotton near the house. No one else was there. I told her I had something to tell her but she must promise she wouldn’t tell anyone. I told her Frank had asked me to marry him. I told her I didn’t tell him yes or no. She asked me if I loved him. I said with all my heart. I said I never knew I could love anyone more than Mama. This was a different kind of love. She and I planned how we could elope, I was only sixteen.
I didn’t have a dress but I did have shoes. Mama had made a dress for Ruth and she was hemming it. Ruth said, “Dora, you wear the dress.” I said Mama will wonder why you don’t wear your new dress. So when we walked out the door with me wearing Ruth’s new dress, Mama said, “Ruth, I thought that you would wear the new dress.” Ruth said, “I’m letting Dora wear it first.” So we went to get married and we didn’t wait around to discuss the dress.
We let our folks know we were married the next day. (After the marriage ceremony, they went back to their respective homes as if nothing had happened.) The next day, Monday, Frank’s brother came up and told us to come down to their house. We lived in their home with them six months and then we moved into our Honeymoon Cottage, a little log house.
In thirteen months and one day, we had our first son, Frankie. Two and a half years later we had our daughter, Patricia. Then twenty two months after Patricia, our youngest child, Roger, was born. This was our family. The kids were a lot of fun, watching them grow. Housekeeping was easy since we had only three rooms and very little furniture. We didn’t have any money. We lived on our farm. We had to wait until we harvested our peanuts and cotton. Then we could go to town and buy our clothes.
I got a job working away from home when Roger was in the second grade and my Mother came to live with us. Frank worked the farm and I worked at night at the sheet factory. Pat kept the house and she would cook. If she didn’t cook enough, sometimes there would be food left from supper. I would have liked to be home more.
As for being married, I could not have gotten a better helpmeet. Our children did get to go to church. Frank and I prayed that each one would accept Christ. Frank and I accepted Christ together at Haleburg Baptist Church.