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Thursday, March 29, 2012

95 Years Young

This pretty lady is my MeMama. She is celebrating her 95th birthday today! Can you imagine?! I know I can't! When she turned 90, I remember telling her that we would soon be celebrating her 100th birthday, to which she responded, "I hope I don't have to live that long!" And when I tell her that I hope I live as long as she has, she says, "Oh, no you don't!" She's a hoot.

MeMama was born in 1917. She grew up in south Georgia. Her parents were tobacco farmers. She has lots of stories to tell about growing up during the Great Depression. As a matter of fact, I wrote a paper about her for my American History class when I was in college. She may be 95 years old, but I'm amazed at the stuff she remembers and the stories she can tell. She can even tell you right now how much my mama weighed when she was born! I have trouble remembering how much Mason weighed when he was born, and that was a mere six years ago.

MeMama's first husband died in their late 20s. He had a heart attack, if I remember correctly. My Aunt Gail was very young at the time, three years old, I think. MeMama then married my Granddaddy, and my Mama was born.

As fun as naming the new baby is naming the grandparents when the first grandchild is born. Kerry was the firstborn grandchild. My Aunt Gail would always refer to MeMama as "my mama." So that's what Kerry thought her name was, and his first pronunciation of "my mama" was actually "MeMama." So that's how we came to call her MeMama.

Now. About five years ago, I was informed that MeMama's name was, in fact, not MeMama (ME-mama) at all but MaMama (MAY-mama) and that I was the only one who called her MeMama. So nearly 30 years later, she's not MeMama but MaMama? Obviously, there has been a mistake. But I started listening. And, sure enough, it seems like everyone else calls her MaMama, although the ay is rather subtle. All I can say is that everyone else is mistaken. Because she is ME Mama. And that's what she'll always be to me!

MeMama has always loved to fish. Not a day would go by (unless it was raining) that she would grab her pole and walk through the pasture to the pond to catch a few fish. Granddaddy didn't care a thing about fishing. But he'd fry those babies up. Those fish fries are one of my favorite memories growing up. We'd all sit outside around the picnic table and grab a fish or two out of the brown paper bag he'd dropped them into to drain the grease. And we'd have all the fixin's, too. This would also be a good time to mention that we'd eat syrup on our hushpuppies! There's nothing like it. I thought everyone did it. Until recently.

I used to love spending the night at MeMama's house. If I was lucky, I'd get to spend not just one night but two nights. I always loved how she had stacks of Ramen noodles in her pantry. That wasn't something we had at home. And she'd let me "cook" the Ramen noodles. I loved dressing up in her high heel shoes ('cause goodness knows she had at least three closets full of them) and costume jewelry. She's always loved bright, big jewelry, especially "ear bobs," as she still calls them. And she always had every color of the rainbow in eyeshadow. We'd go for walks in the woods. And my favorite was sitting in the driveway and making mud pies with the old tin measuring cups and pie pans.

I wish I could tell you how many blankets and things MeMama has crocheted over her years. But I can't. All I know is I have several. My favorite is the one she made for Mason. Well, she didn't exactly make it for Mason. She made it for my first child. Seth and I had been married for a couple of years or so. I'd gone home for some reason, I can't remember why, and she gave me a beautiful, multi-colored crocheted baby blanket. When I asked her what it was for, she told me it was for my baby (which I didn't have yet!) and that she wanted to go ahead and give it to me because she'd probably "flop out" by the time I decided to have a baby! She hasn't flopped out yet, and not only did she get to meet Mason three years later and then Hannah Kate, but she has four grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren!

I'm convinced that in five years, we'll be celebrating her 100th!


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