Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Town and County

Growing up in the South, I would spend a week during the summers with each set of grandparents. One lived in the town and the other in the country. One was a farmer and the other a mill worker. When visiting my town grandma, I remember going to the grocery store on a regular basis, and have fond memories of the locally owned "Johnson's Market". There was also a small corner store in the mill village called "Mary's" where we could walk to get a cold Cheerwine or a slice of bologna. Although Grandma canned most of her vegetables, I don't recall her having more than a small garden patch. 

While driving past the now closed Johnson's Market today it hit me that I have no memories of ever going to a grocery store with my country grandma. Preparing dinner at her house started out with her going to the chicken coop (and I will stop there) and sending us to the fields to pick some corn or beans, or dig up potatoes or turnips. I also can't remember having anything but chicken or pork at her house because she didn't have cows. She had a strawberry patch and fruit trees, and she made all her clothes plus most of mine, my sisters and our cousins. Summers with her meant work. You never knew what you would be called on to do but it was always an adventure and you were always willing. There was a old rock quarry we called "The Pit" about half a mile through the woods and a afternoon swim meant a bath wasn't necessary. Evenings meant ghost stories (starring real family members), old family stories (thank goodness for those!) and hide and seek in the fields and woods.

Summers in town meant errands with Grandma and Grandpa to Johnson's and Zayres.  We made mud pies in  the back yard, and we were driven to visit the local aunts, uncles and cousins. Evenings were spent on the front porch chasing fireflies and waiting on the mill whistle to blow at 11:00 PM so we could meet Grandpa walking home from work with his lunch pail. There was also a poodle named Mimi who may as well have been a cousin but I will save her to star in her own entry,

Funny thing? Neither house had air conditioning and I don't remember ever being hot.

The Townies

The Countries