Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time Travel - Tires and Tulips

I hit a wall Monday night after two days on my own.  I was happy that the weather here is wonderful even if my house always seems cold. I panicked at the end of the day on Monday and decided to drive around.

I ended up at my Grandmothers old house. I hadn't seen it since she died in 1987 it looked pretty rough.

 I had a young impatient driver on my tail. No matter which way I went he was apparently going the same way. I finally stopped and he whipped around me. Oh to be young again.

I drove back by the house just as the owner was coming out to get the mail. She looked at me without expression even when I smiled at her. I wanted to roll down my window and say " this was my grandmother's house" but the look said everything.

Broken things were strewn about the yard I guessed there were probably broken things and people inside the house too. My grandmother never had any money either. She raised nine kids by herself after my grandfather died when she was thirty. She lived on the good will of others mostly an when the kids were old enough they picked cotton and cut tobacco.

My uncle lived with her most of his adult live and when she died he moved to Tucson. He was a binging alcoholic with two wars under his belt. He had emphysema but mostly he had alcoholism and would occasionally try to burn the house down while cooking drunk.

They were never apart except when he was in jail or in the hospital. He died in the VA hospital out in Tuscon not too many years after my grandmother passed.

My mother's family was pretty rough around the edges. My grandmother was a proud woman and did the best she could raising all those kids on her own. She was creative and could make something out of nothing which comes in handy when you don't have much. She loved Jesus and relied on him to provide her with what she needed and he pretty much did.

My grandmother never re-married  and spent 59 years taking care of herself and my uncle. He never supported her unless she could get to the mailbox before he did the day his check arrived. When they lived in that house the yard was immaculate. Even with his drinking he kept the yard neat and tidy. He made big tire planters that looked like tulips painted bright colors.  Nice.

I don't know why I went there I guess I just wanted to be close to something familiar. But it wasn't familiar because she was no longer there.  I loved her and she loved me it felt like more than anyone else in my life. In her eyes I could do no wrong.


  1. Thank you for sharing. I have missed my meeting the last few weeks and felt myself beginning a familiar spinning. I havent gotten into blogs yet, but just thought I would try. I appreciate you reflecting on the effect of generations of alcoholism and the effects. It can be clearer the farther I am away from the story. Take good care,

  2. I know that need to go to someplace familiar. I think that your grandmother had a lot of strength of character. That is an awesome accomplishment in the face of adversity.