time I have boiled cabbage to eat, I think of our Granny Reynolds. In the early 1930s we lived in the Hickman
house going out toward the cemetery in Bradford. Granny Reynolds lived across town down by the railroad tracks,
but Mom would let me go see her. Once,
when I ate lunch with Grandpa and Granny Reynolds, she had boiled some
cabbage. She fixed me a plate of it,
put vinegar on it and served it with store-bought light bread (my first taste
of that). I had never tasted
anything so good as that combination and still like it to this day. The Reynolds house had a big boxed-in well
out front, where a lot of people would come by and get a drink because the
water was so good. Grandpa kept a
gourd dipper hanging out there. I
wonder today how many people used that same dipper to get their drink. I don't suppose there were a lot of diseases
floating around back then, but maybe so, as more people died younger then.
Granny lived in that house to the day she died in 1931. Some time after she died, I had a terrible nightmare about a large lady that reminded me of Granny. In the dream, the lady came into our house at night and was trying to steal me away from the family. She grabbed my arm and was pulling me toward the fireplace where we had a roaring fire, and Daddy and Mama were hitting at her with a broom and a pan. I can't remember ever being so scared in my life. They got me away from her and pushed her out the door and she went on up toward the cemetery.
After Granny died, Grandpa came to live with us for a while. Now we had Granny Malin (Mama's mother), and Grandpa Reynolds both. I think all us kids were just a bit leery of Grandpa because he didn't laugh a lot and would hook us around the neck with his walking cane. Looking back, I think that was his way of interacting with us. He always got us candy, an orange and an apple for Christmas. He never caused any trouble but I'm sure it was a trial living with all us kids. Eventually he moved back to a little shed that was on the grounds where he and Granny had lived. We would go by to see him and he would get an old homemade wooden doll and a jump-board and make that doll dance a jig for us. The Hickman house holds many memories for me. Like, climbing in the hayloft, swimming in the hog wallow, running from the old bull and watching the hotel burn. You'll never know the stuff we got into.vvv