Some of my very best childhood memories are about times I spent at my grandparents’ house. My mother’s parents, as well as all but one of her siblings and their kids, lived in the Dallas area when I was growing up, and we saw each other for almost every holiday and during the summer. Most of the time we spent together, we were at Grandma’s house.
Grandma came from a time when women did not usually hold jobs, especially after they were married, but you could never say that Grandma didn’t work. She was raised on a small Texas farm, very close to where I live now, where they had few conveniences and manual labor was the order of the day. I don’t remember ever thinking about it much when I was growing up, but now I look back and wonder how in the world she ever got everything done.
She never drove a car, not even once, so if she needed something from the store when Grandpa was at work, she walked. She didn’t have a washing machine or dryer until she was in her late sixties, but she did all the family laundry herself. Her house was always neat and tidy, except for when we twelve cousins got together and made a shambles of the place. Except for the mowing, she did all the yard work, including raising and crossbreeding prizewinning irises, along with an abundance of other flowers. She never had a microwave, and frozen dinners and pretty much any kind of pre-made food were taboo in her opinion, so she cooked everything from scratch, and there was always a feast on the table. And that was just on an average day.
At Christmas, there were usually thirty to forty people to feed and entertain. We always had two tables set up: the “big table” for the grown-ups and the older kids, and the “little table” for the younger ones. Of course we were all crammed together in Grandma’s dining room around a mountain of delicious food, usually roast turkey with gravy and corn-bread dressing, a variety of vegetables and casseroles and, best of all, homemade candies and pies with Grandma’s lighter-than-air crust.
Somehow she made it all come together, year after year, and she did it all on her own. I’ll never know how she managed it, except with hard work, determination and, I’m very sure, a lot of prayer. After all these years, she still amazes me. Especially at Christmas.
What are some of your childhood memories of Christmas?
Most Recent Release: Rules of Murder
When a party at his country estate proves deadly, can Drew Farthering and a clever debutante guest catch the killer before he claims another victim?