Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Thing Or Two About Nanny

  Meet my "Nanny", Mary Cue Ogle Watson, pictured here at age 85, with one of my second cousins.  She's been gone for nearly 20 years, and still I miss my Grandmother something fierce. I can hear her voice, I can imagine the smell of her Chamberlains Lotion, and see her smile in my mind. All of the cousins have a little bit of Nanny in them, but I have been told by most of them that I got hit with the Nanny stick pretty hard! I am very much like her both in physical features (I am tall, and have her bone structure and build), but also in her mannerisms, love for cooking; homemade biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, beans and cornbread, and chow-chow. "Country food".  Oh, and I lean towards conservative churches, just as Nanny did. I tend to want to be a "separate people" as a follower of Christ.

 Now, there's no *moral* hinging on the tale of this post. I just saw this picture in my files on the computer, and it conjured up such strong memories, that I thought I'd share? Let me tell you how I see this: This was taken at my Aunt Jo-Jo's house in the early 90's. Jo-Jo is her middle daughter and my beloved, old-fashioned Aunt. I take after her a lot too. Aunt Jo-Jo had a house filled to the brim with cool, old, antiques like that old piano, and bookcases filled with all kinds of stuff to fill your imagination. One thing that struck me as a kid was when Aunt Jo-Jo learned she was to become a Grandmother, she wallpapered her guestroom with beautiful Victorian floral-striped wallpaper and put an old-timey looking crib there. She literally made a nursery. I thought that was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen, and I vowed to have a crib in my guestroom when I became a Grandma too. And I did.

 Aunt Jo also was huge into "Natures Sunshine" Herbs, and in this picture you can see a bottle of something herbal and 100% natural on the table beside Nanny. Aunt Jo had a kitchen cabinet full of herbal medicine in the 70's, long before it was popular, and mainstream. If one of the women had *change of life* symptoms, Aunt Jo gave them Dong Quai. If you were lacking "umph" and generally feeling poorly, we all went on "Alfalfa", the "Father of Herbs". If us teenage girls had cramps, we got a coca-cola.  That's how I learned about herbs, and life from my Aunt Jo. She had no problem trying to cure any of us who ailed with some little something she had in the cabinet. And it usually worked! Pondering all of this, I realize I am about the age now, that my Aunt Jo was then. And my kitchen cabinet is full of herbs!

  Back to my Nanny- I had never seen Nanny in anything but dresses, and her hair was long, long, long, as she was Pentecostal. This picture shows her hair a lot different than I knew most of my life. It's short and permed, and probably easier to handle, but it's a reflection of Nanny.  She was hurt when the church she'd devoted her life to went through a split, and more of less dissolved because leadership didn't live up to what it preached. I don't want to gossip- so I'll leave the details alone, but I when I first saw Nanny's hair cut short, even though it was full, and feminine, I was probably in my 30's, and my jaw hit the floor. She was also wearing a pants suit, and I'm sure she was comfortable, but it was hard to wrap my head around, all this new dress and shorter hair! I used to brush that hair out at night, and it went way down to her waist. I thought nothing could be as beautiful as her salt and pepper locks that she called her "glory".  As a girl, I wanted long salt and pepper glory too, when I became a Grandma. That could still happen. (grin)

  Nanny is gone to be with her Savior, and Aunt Jo's house burned to the ground last year, along with  all her beautiful antiques, but thank God she was spared. She now lives with her daughter, the same as Nanny lived with her. I'm glad I have a few pictures. I'm glad we can save these memories on computers, so that they live on, even if the original paper burns to ash. Mostly, I'm grateful that God granted me such a good family,  and the good memories of them, even if it's in a photograph to take myself back in time to the sights, smells, and the emotional tug of an era gone by for a moment. I guess we all have closets full of random photo's? I suppose they all tell a story? Hope you enjoyed mine.
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