Remembering Mamie

Mamie Ingram put the grand in grandparent.

One of 14 children, she reared eight kids of her own on a farmer’s budget squeezed by the Great Depression.

Special to all who knew her, she was more than a grandma to me. She was a part of my immediate family.

Sometime after Grandpa died in 1973,  she moved from the country into town with us.

From then on, our life was never boring.

She treaded lightly in black shoes over stockings pulled just north of the hemline. Pointy whiskers clung to her chin, and glasses magnified her eyes. When she laughed, her false teeth sometimes slid out of place.

Her reflexes slowed by age, she was quick when she had to be, sneaking cookies from the kitchen, a no-no for a diabetic.

Mealtime was most memorable.

I marveled at how she dove into fresh corn, her nose wrapping around the cob, dripping with butter. On everything from garden tomatoes to mashed potatoes, we told her to ease off on the salt, but she never listened. Grandma always helped with the mess, too, though she typically cleared the table too quickly for my father.

Daytime was reserved for soaps, or what she referred to as her “stories.”

The bigger stories, however, originated from black leather rocking chair. From that perch, she observed the comings and goings of all the neighbors through our large picture window, tracking the scene like a human surveillance camera.

She never locked the bathroom door. So a trip to the john often meant walking in on Grandma doing her business.

“Sorry, hon. I’m in here.”

She gave good hugs and sweet sugar.

There will never be another like her.



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