Jeanne-ology: Simpler Times

(Hi Everyone - it's Thursday and in today's Jeanne-ology, Jeanne takes us down memory lane with a brief chat about her grandparents.  I have exceptionally vague memories of my great-grandmother and my great-grandfather passed away before I was born, so reading this was a delight to me.  Enjoy! - Rebecca)


Usually I take Thursdays off, but we have been short staffed the past couple of weeks at the shop and I couldn't take any time away.  I miss having Thursdays off, my body tells me so...well, also my mind.  Watching the pies being put together, seeing the dishes pile up, cleaning up messes, hearing the radio on with music (that I usually don't like), takes it toll.  I think mental fatigue is worse than physical stress!  Just hearing the chatter between the employees can wear me out.  They talk about things I know nothing about...movies on Netflix, something on Instagram, pictures they have on their phone and on and on.  Don't get me wrong, I am glad our employees and Rebecca like sharing with each other.  Sometimes, my interest is piqued and I ask what are they talking about.  Usually Rebecca tells me that if I had better hearing, I would be able to join in the conversation.  She is right.  

What she doesn't know is that I am  glad I do have a hearing problem working in the shop.  It allows me to filter out all the noise and concentrate on the task at hand.  (Rebecca editing to add: spoiler alert, I totally knew this.)

By the time I left the shop this afternoon, I was ready to leave it all behind and go home.  I did turn on the radio and was lucky enough to find one of my favorite songs playing.  The song was "Country Boy can Survive" by Hank Williams Jr.  Every time I hear this song, I am taken back to my childhood in southeast Missouri.  (Rebecca editing to add:  WHAT?!?!?!  Huh.  I did not know this information.)

My grandparents lived in the hills away from any close neighbors.  They did not have any modern appliances and my grandmother still used a wood cook stove.  She churned her own butter and chicken ran rampant in the yard.  Coon dogs were always laying in the shade under the front porch.  Their property had creeks, pasture and a lot of blackberry bushes.  I remember my mother and dad would always go blackberry picking and leave my twin sister and I with our grandmother. She was a very quiet woman who always had on an apron.  I remember she gave my sister and I had a huge box of matches and told us to build buildings with them until my parents returned. We played all morning with those matches and never thought once about trying to strike them. She would occasionally peek out the screen door to see if we were all right.  (Rebecca editing to add:  This actually sounds a lot like Jeanne as Mawmaw to my kids and that makes me happy.)

My grandfather was an avid hunter and once graced the cover of Missouri Conservation magazine holding a bobcat he had killed.  I think they ran the story because he had killed more bobcats that any other hunter.  His dogs were well trained and we never did play with them.  (Like my grandparents, the dogs kept to themselves.)  Sometimes when we visited, we would stay all day. In the evenings, we would all gather in the front room that had a huge wood stove. My grandfather would delight us with so many funny stories that we would fall over laughing. The more we laughed, the more stories he had to share. They both lived long lives. They lived off the land, didn't socialize very much, and kept to themselves.  (Rebecca editing to add:  yep, sounds like Jeanne...minus the bobcat part.  Also, I found a copy of the magazine from September 1947.  The Internet is amazing.)



Sometimes, I envy my grandparents.  I think the quietness surrounding them and their love of working the land and stocking the cellar with jams and other canned goods kept them strong and happy.  Today with every modern tech gadget available to make our lives easier, with instant news feeds about what is happening in the world, is not really making our life easier.  So when I am tired and grouchy, my only pleasure comes with quietness and remembering my grandparents. Maybe they didn't talk much because they couldn't hear?  I wouldn't be surprised.  

Rebecca Miller