TALES from the FRONT PORCH
Ringgold County's Oral Legend & Memories Project
MEMORIES OF GRANDMA
excerpt from Obituary of Obituary of Hazel Genevieve (Lucas) Stephens
Grandma Hazel STEPHENS was a very special person. In the past six weeks many memories have come flooding back as we
gathered around her bedside.
"Do you remember when" has preceded so many fond stories. Stories about the times when we
all chased the rats out of the chicken house and Grandpa would run here and there with a hoe, helping the kids catch the
rats. There was a procedure that we always followed. The old Ford pickup would be backed up to one of the rat's tunnels.
A hose was attached to the tailpipe on one end with the other end in the hole. In the meantime, every other hole we
could find, except one, was blocked off. Then we'd all wait from the explosion of rats from their tunnels. The flurry
of excitement lasted until the last rat was caught or (seldomly) escaped beyond our reach. Grandma was always right in
the middle leading the chase.
Somedays Grandma would suggest a lazy day of fishing at the pond just a little ways back of the
old house. The cane poles would be dislodged from their storage place and all of us would tromp to the bank of the pond
that was always kept well stocked. And in the evening, we'd feast on fried fish, corn-on-the cob, sweet strawberries and
We remember how each year we'd join in the gruesome task of killing and dressing chickens, with Grandma
bustling about, making sure everything was ready. She never seemed to get tired. Even though she'd cut up a hundred
chickens and packed them for freezing, we always ate fried chicken and mashed potatoes for supper.
The abundance of
food is a pleasant memory to everyone who ever ate at Grandma's table. Grandma's garden always produced a lot of food
and what wasn't eaten at the many family meals in the summer was canned or frozen. Jennifer always loved Grandma's
fried new potatoes. For Dusty, his favorite was "meat and potatoes and stuff like that."
Each one of
us had a unique relationship with our grandma. Greg, Geof, and Dusty remember the summers they stayed with Grandma
and Grandpa. Kenny and Kathy remember their visits from Colorado to see Grandma. Kathy remembers the time she helped
Grandma can Bing cherries and they ate cherries until they were sick. Kathy was sure Grandma was dying because she
got so sick.
The grandkids grew and her wise counsel was helpful. And as the grandkids grew up and had families
of their own, the great-grandkids enjoyed visiting Grandma at her apartment.
[remainder of article missing]
Submission by Ann Wyer, April of 2012
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