Storyworth Entry #2 - What Were Your Grandparents Like on Your Father's Side?

The following is part of an ongoing project I am working on in 2020 using the website Storyworth, a collection of memories to share with my family.
What were your grandparents like on your father’s side?

We called my Daddy’s parents Mom & Pop. They were wonderful Christian people who attended the Church of Christ in my hometown. I have such good memories of going to church with them as a child.

Mom and Pop grew up during The Great Depression and Pop served in the military during World War II. They both knew what it was like to make sacrifices to survive and were very proud of the middle class life that they made together in my hometown. Pop was a supervisor at a local factory and was a deacon at their church. Mom, in addition to being a homemaker, sewing all of my daddy & Aunt Helen’s clothes, cleaning her own home, cooking three meals a day and attending church every time the doors were open; she was also at one time a manager in the gift shop at the Opryland Hotel Cracker Barrel in Nashville. She was pretty amazing and was probably one of the busiest people I’ve ever known. She took that "idle hands" quote very seriously. 😉

Some of my favorite memories of them centered around FOOD!
Mom was a wonderful cook and I wish that I had paid more attention when she tried to teach me how to make her biscuits or her fried chicken when I was younger. We sometimes had Sunday dinner at their house after church (although, we did not normally go to church on Sunday mornings at our house when I was growing up). My mouth is watering right now thinking about her fried chicken, her homemade vegetable soup, her homemade biscuits, her gravy and her fried butterfly shrimp. 

At Christmas she would make all kinds of homemade candy and place it in Tupperware containers and store them out on the attic steps right outside the kitchen door to keep it chilled. I can remember being so excited when we would visit and see those containers out on the attic steps! She made these wonderful butterscotch & peanut haystacks, homemade fudge, and my FAVORITE Ritz peanut butter crackers dipped in white chocolate. 

Mom was also famous for gifting domesticated items for Christmas, carrying on traditions that she learned as a child when Christmas was not about gifts (and if you got any they were necessities, not extravagant luxuries). I can remember some of the last years that we had Christmas at her house before she moved in with my aunt & uncle, she was openly disapproving of all the “excess” gifts that absolutely no one was in need of, including her own (which was funny and SO Mom). She gifted things that she considered luxuries like blankets, sheets, bath towels, soap and tangerines or oranges in the toe of our stockings. As I get older, I find myself sharing her feelings about gifting and have been known to give out towels and blankets myself.

A couple of years ago I binge watched the series Mad Men on Netflix. I was enthralled by the early years of Don and Betty’s marriage. Their home was set up and decorated exactly like Mom & Pop’s (& ironically, Don’s apartment later was decorated very similar to my Granny & Poppa’s). Mom was the original minimalist, she wasted nothing! She bought things to set up house in the late 1950’s and she never bought anything else. I can remember being a kid in the eighties and their house was still peppered with 1950’s relics, it was fascinating! I was lucky to inherit a few pieces of her 1950’s costume jewelry and they are some of my most treasured possessions today. 

Mom was forever trying to teach us to save, to not be wasteful. I can remember as a kid being forced to endure lessons about how to wrap gifts using the least amount of wrapping paper, how to sew using up the least amount of fabric or how to make biscuits without wasting one scrap of dough. One of her favorite things to say was “a dollar saved is a dollar earned” and she took so much pride in clipping coupons and cutting corners to save money. 
(Mom with Olivia in 2004)
Pop passed away in 1991, just after I started my first year of college. Mom passed away at the age of 96 in 2017. I was very lucky to know them and have these memories of them both. They were wonderful people and I am proud to be their granddaughter.