(Louie Jackson Thomas and Vida Louvenia Smith, Thomas)When I was growing up as a child, I can remember visiting at my Grandparents homes of both my parents on many, many occasions.
My Granddad was always working, either in his garden or his shop. He seldom came in doors on a given weekday except for Sundays. That was the lords day and my Granddad didn't work on that day. He raised his own vegetables and my Granny canned everything. They had chickens in the side yard and she could ring a chicken neck in a heart beat. Granny kept children in her home and sold chicken eggs . Granddad did carpenter work on the side and between the two, I really cant say that I ever saw or knew they ever went through hard times. When I or any of the other grandchildren visited them, we worked. We helped with the kids she kept. We shelled many wash pans of peas and beans and rocked many hours in the old rocking chairs while doing so. My Granny could cook homemade biscuits that melt in your mouth and you could always find some on the stove top anytime of the day or night. She wasn't very tall, maybe four and a half feet if that. When she did get to sit down, and that wasn't often, she would sit with her hands quietly folded in her lap. My Granny was kind, loving, gentle, and loved the Lord. My Granddad was hard working, stern and to the point, didn't waist anything, and he too loved the Lord. It was way later in my adult life and after my Granny passed away, that I really got to know my Granddad. I would go get him in the Summer time from Mississippi and bring him to our home where he would stay sometimes a whole month. He taught me how to plant tomatoes and showed me how he could write in calligraphy, which he taught himself to do as a young boy. He loved to play checkers and you couldn't beat him, no matter how many times you tried. Each time I took him home as the Summers past, it would be harder and harder to say goodbye.
All my Grandparents have long been passed away and I think about them often. Funny how as an adult, the smell of homemade fried chicken, watching someone make biscuits, hearing the birds sing on my morning walks, baiting a hook on an old cane pole, and even driving past someones garden can make all those childhood memories come flooding back. I hope the times spent with our Granddaughter and the moments we have shared with her, plus the ones we will make with our new Grandson, will be remembered as happy times spent with Nana and Papa.
I miss all my Grandparents and pray that I can be as loved as each of them. I will never be able to fill their shoes but will always try to fill mine.