Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Hair

Long hair was important to my grandmother.  She never cut hers. She wore it in a knot at her neck or sometimes a braid wound tight. It was gray for as long as I can remember. Here’s a picture of my little granny with her mom, dad and some of her brothers. Lots of hair!  

Today, ‘they’ say a woman older than 40 shouldn’t wear long hair. You can read about it HERE. My mother used to have long red hair—until I came into her life. Remember, I told you she was a private duty nurse; she worked nights and slept days. I had to entertain myself and one day I did that by cutting her long red hair as it flowed off the side of the bed. I can’t remember if she spanked me or not. Since I’ve blocked that memory, she probably did. She was a spare the rod spoil the child mama.
When I look at this picture of my grandmother when she was young (middle child standing), I can’t help but wonder how she was raised. I know that she was sent to school “in town” along with one musically talented brother. Neither one of them liked the town school and eventually didn’t attend it any more. I wonder how long they did go.

As an older pre-schooler, I stayed with my grandmother while my mother worked or slept because she worked the night shift. Mom said she didn’t like it when I started talking like my grandmother—calling my underwear drawers and the front porch the gallery.
I remember several things about my grandma:

She was a great cook. I loved her egg custard pies. Oh, how I wish I had her recipe.
I remember crawling under a tractor to get some eggs for her.  I bumped my head and she thought that was so funny. I didn’t.

She would wring the necks of chickens, throw them to the ground and watch them flop. Her arms were always scratched up from their sharp claws. Her fried chicken sure tasted good!

When she became ill, my mother was her nurse. Mom would bathe her feet and ‘Mamaw” would never want anyone to see her naked feet—it was sinful, she said.

She was a wonderful quilter. She had a frame that hung from the ceiling upstairs and several of the neighbors would come and do whatever they do on quilting frames. See how much I know about quilting? When she was 90, she entered a quilt in the local fair. (I realize she looks bald in this pic, but her hair is in that tight little knot at her neck.)

Look at these four generations of women: Do we favor? In what way? Do you favor your grandparents or have any neat stories about your grandmas?


Charles Gramlich said...

As you might imagine, I'm a fan of long hair, especially on women. I don't agree that women over 40 should have short hair. I protest! :)

Man O' Clay said...

I like my wife's hair long the best, and I'm always sad when it's time to cut our boys' curls off, too. I even wore my hair long in college - it was a curly mess. There is something about long hair that's endearing.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

'I remember crawling under a tractor to get some eggs for her. I bumped my head and she thought that was so funny. I didn’t.' - LOL! I can't help laughing at slapstick, I just can't.

Loved reading about your grandmother and her long hair - and I really love the old family portrait where she's holding the fan.

My mom, husband and dog all lived together with my gram for eight years, my mom and I co-caring for her (but she was in good health and it wasn't too difficult) until she passed away at 93. Eight years of stories are too many to share here, but they were a wonderful near decade of multi-generation 'Waltons' living.

Charissa said...

Oh my! I've heard of kids cutting their own hair, but your mom's! I don't know what I would do if that happened to me. Probably bawl my head off. And I love fried chicken, but if I had to wring the necks of the chickens to make it...I might have become a vegetarian.