My mom's mom is one of my favorite people in the world. She grew up in Eastern North Carolina with 5 brothers on a farm. Then she raised 4 girls in a house the size of a small chicken coop with only one bathroom. Now that is an accomplishment. Needless to say, there are many reasons why I love Grandmama Ruth, but here are a few:
1. I love her dinner table rules. When we were young we would go to visit Grandmama for a few days every summer. When we would sit down to dinner she only had 2 rules. The first one was that if you left the table you were done eating. That meant that no matter what was happening on TV in the living room you had to stay at the table. If you left and came back your plate would be gone. The second rule was my favorite. You could eat as much as you wanted as long as you stayed at the table. This included dessert. She would refill my ice cream bowl three times if I stayed long enough. I think in some small way grandmas contribute to childhood obesity.
2. She is flirty. I can think of several instances where we would go into town or to a restaurant and she would use her womanly wiles on men. Grandmama Ruth was married twice in her life but they both died before I was born. She is best friends with all the patrol men in town though and they will do anything for her. She knows the right friends to make. She also used her flirtiness for sweets. There was a man named Reed that drove the Little Debbie truck in New Bern, NC. All I know is that every time I visited her house her pantry was busting with Oatmeal Cream Pies that she did not have to pay for. My mom swears they were never involved though.
3.She is crafty. Grandmama Ruth is my inspiration for crafting. She taught me how to crochet when I was very young and still sends me patterns in the mail all the time. Every year her church has a bizaar and she works all year to make things for it. Whenever I talk to her on the phone she updates me on exactly who in church is making what and how far along in the project they are. She likes to stay informed on people's progress and then tell me that she has done more. She does make some beautiful things though.
4. Her friends sound like they are from a TV show. Her best friends names are Kitty, Tilly, Helen, and Hazel. Then you add her name, Ruth, and it is just perfect. I can see it now "The Real Golden Girls of New Bern" coming to Lifetime next season.
5. Pretty much everything that comes out of her mouth is hilarious. Growing up in the country means that she says the best phrases. Here are a few
- Whenever she starts coughing she says," 'scuse me, I got a scrapplebug in my throat!"
-"She was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs!"
- "Eat green peas and pass the breeze"
- "I haven't seen you in a coon's age!" That means a long time apparently. I looked it up, racoons live about 12 years in the wild. I guess that is a long time.
- "It doesn't have to do with the size of man's parts but it all has to do with the motion of the ocean!" That one made my brother-in-law especially uncomfortable.
6. Her dentures. Grandmama wear dentures, and has for years, but she thinks that none of us know. When my mom asked her why she sleeps in then she said, "They are my teeth. Don't you sleep with your teeth in?" One time she was in the hospital and mom's only job was to make sure no one came in her room unless her teeth were in. The problem is, I don't think her dentures fit very well. They are always coming loose and she has to click them back into place. It ruins her scheme of making us believe they are her real teeth. We all pay along though.
7. She has emphysema but she swears it has nothing to do with the fact that she smoked for 50 years.
8. None of her siblings, including her, go by their real name. They all have nicknames. We refer to her brothers as Uncle Pug, Uncle Pete, Uncle Shade, Uncle Wes, and she is Tink. A few people around town still call her Tink.
Basically Ruth Taylor is the sweetest and funniest lady I know. One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting to spend time with her and talking to her. You never know what is going to come out of her mouth. I hope I am like Ruth in a lot of ways when I am an old lady. We both have bad hips, so I guess I am already on my way to becoming Ruth.