Another week, another page… my goal is that in 2011, I’ll work on a weekly page for an album… I’ll try to make each page be about one person in the family (yes, I might even try me!) and that way at the end of the year, we do have some record of our life. Until then, though, I’ve been using this time to make this book happen. Not sure how I’ll go about that when 2011 hits though!
Few people know that in addition to my unique name created by my father, I have a very common nickname that only my great grandmother called me. Granny never could say or remember my name, so she called me Sally whenever she referred to me by name. I was always in a little awe of her.
Granny chewed snuff. It’s odd, I never thought anything of this habit except for the occasional moment when she’d pull the lid off an old coffee can and spit into it. I didn’t develop my revulsion for the habit until the day I saw Grandma Avants dump one of the cans down to toilet. There is nothing like a spittoon emptied in your presence to ensure that you never touch tobacco in any form.
I think Granny had false teeth, but I don’t remember seeing her with them. She didn’t talk to me very often that I can remember. I don’t know if it was because she didn’t talk to many people or if she wasn’t comfortable with me, or what. We have a picture of my mom and dad laughing with her and it is one that makes me smile every time I think of it. Apparently, she talked to some people!
The only negative memory I have of Granny has nothing to do with her per se. My sister’s husband, Kelly, took Vyonie and me to see Granny one day when Grandma Avants was out for some reason. I’m not sure why we went, but as we walked along the covered walkway to Grandma’s house, Kelly pulled me aside slightly and said, “You behave yourself in there. If you sass your Granny I’ll take you out here and whip the tar out of you.” I was terrified. I’d never been rude or sassy to Granny, and I couldn’t imagine why Kelly would say that. I remember getting it into my head that Kelly was looking for a reason to thrash me, and I knew why he might want to, but that is for another story.
However, I remember one day at grandma’s when Granny cornered me in her bedroom. I admit I was slightly frightened, which Granny noticed. She asked me if I was afraid of her and I lied. I said I wasn’t and smiled and then surprisingly, I wasn’t afraid of her anymore. She called me Sally again and asked me if I loved her. It was a strange question to my ears. She was granny! Of course, I loved her. I had that child-like love for everyone I was supposed to love regardless of whether or not I really knew them.
I assured Granny of my love, and she pulled a dress from her closet. Grandma and Mom had made several dresses for me to wear to school. I had them in several colors of gingham with white aprons. This dress was brown calico. It had a heart-shaped pocket with lace around it. I don’t remember much more about the dress, but I remember the color and that pocket. I remember being so happy about that dress. They’d made another one- a pink one. I actually remember more about that dress but I didn’t care much for it. I wish I had a picture of that brown dress.
A few years later, Granny died. Honestly, I think she was the first person that I ever knew personally that had died. I’m sure others did, but Granny is the one that registers first. Within the next twelve months or so, my brother and my Grandma Fullerton died as well, so I was introduced to death quite rapidly, but I remember feeling so awkward about going to Grandma’s house after that. Granny wasn’t there and it felt strange to be there without Granny.