Miss Laura Mae’s House Part 16

imageAs Miss Laura Mae continued with her story of Myrtle and Little Jackie, he was about my age. Maybe he’d come to visit sometime and we could play.

“Myrtle like to threw a fit when she got back in the car, but I told her I didn’t want to hear no more about it. That boy told her he didn’ want no company. She could just hush up about it to me. She might be forty-five years old but I was still her mama and didn’ mean to listen to no fit throwin’.

She sulled up like a possum, but we went on to her sister-in-law, Judy’s. She sweetened right up when we got there, tellin’ ‘em what a fine place Little Jackie had. To hear her talk, you’d a’thought we got the royal tour. I had a real good time at Judy’s. She had a big ol’ pool. I didn’ wanna git in, but she fixed me up a cushion and I dangled my feet while the kids swam. I don’t think Myrtle liked it much when I stripped my shoes and stockin’s off in front of ‘em, but that cool water was just the thing on a hot day. Judy kept bringin’ me them icy lemon drinks. She tol’ me they was spiked a little but they sure was good. After a while, her husband got me in one a’them floatin’ chairs out in the pool with the rest of ‘em. Myrtle didn’ git in. She was just a’settin in the shade a’drinkin’ them lemon drinks. That floatin’ chair was a fine thing. I wouldn’ mind havin’ one to put in my pond, but I ain’t sure I could git in it by myself. Yes Siree. I had me a fine time at Judy’s. When I got out, Judy loaned me a nightgown and put my clothes in the clothes dryer while I took a nap. That clothes dryer was a handy thing, but I don’t know that I’d want one. Stuff just didn’ smell as nice as line-dried. We ended up spending the night since Myrtle wasn’ up to drive home. It wouldn’ a’hurt my feelings to stayed a week at Judy’s. That’s the best time I had.

Anyways, we headed home Tuesday mornin’. Me an’ Myrtle both kind’a had a headache, so we didn’ talk a lot on the way. When Jack got in Tuesday night, Myrtle started in, “Little Jackie wouldn’t even invite us in after me and his grandma made a special trip by to see him. I don’t know what is wrong with that boy. He thinks he’s too good for us since your daddy set him up in that furniture store.”

“Now, Myrtle, you knew when you went by there he wasn’t looking for company. You’ve tried to control that boy his whole life. Now leave him in peace. That’s the last I want to hear of it. When Jackie wants you to come see him, he knows how to invite you.”

After Jack left out, Myrtle continued. “I bet he had a woman in there and didn’t want me to know. No wonder he didn’t invite us in. Oh, I do hope he is getting serious. He’s such a good-lookin’ boy, I know he could get a girl. He’s a snappy dresser, too. Maybe he’s planning to get married. I do hope so. He worked so hard in college he didn’t have time to date, but maybe now since he’s working, he’s got a girlfriend. That was silly of me to go by there like that. Of course, he didn’t need no drop in company on the weekend.”

I didn’ think that was it, but I kept my mouth shut.

Thursday night, Little Jackie come over. “Hey, Mama. Hey Grandma. You’re looking good. How in the world are you?”

“Just fine as frog’s hair. You’re sure a sight for sore eyes. Tell me what you’re up to. I’m real proud your grandpa set you up with that nice store.” We talked all through supper.

Finally, Jackie faced his mama. “Mama, I hated I couldn’t invite you in last Sunday. You came at a bad time. I’ve been working a lot and I’d slept late. It wouldn’t have been a good time at all. You couldn’t have gotten through the place. I’m doing some work on it. I was going to tell y’all a little later, but now I’ll go ahead. That big old house is way too big for just me. It’s got six bedrooms……”

Myrtle burst in, “I knew it! I knew it! You’re getting married! I should’ve known there was some reason we hadn’t heard much out of you since you got that place.”

Jackie looked pained. “No Mama. Where’d you get such a wild idea? I am remodeling the house so I can take in boarders. I can rent those rooms out to single men and make a lot of money. I’ll still have my apartment downstairs and rent out the rest. Won’t that be a great idea! One fellow has already moved in and is doing a lot of the work. ”

Miss LauraMae’s House Part 15

nosy 2Miss Laura Mae was out of flour, so there was no biscuit for me, just toast. I didn’t like toast much. I had Ol’ Blue’s complete attention as I tossed him bits.  Chickens crowded around the steps, hoping to snatch a crumb. They didn’t enjoy a lot of success since Ol’ Blue snapped, causing one to to protest, “pluck!” flap her wings and flutter off a few feet, though none of them had much respect for his toothless gums.  Occasionally, he got up the steam to chase one and another was encouraged by a tiny reward while he was busy.  Even so, I did notice when the ladies lowered their voices.

“So, Myrtle insisted on dropping by Jackie’s after he said it wasn’t convenient?  That’s not right,” Mother whispered.

“Yeah, she’d been itchin’ to see Jackie’s place, an’ he kept a’tellin’ her it wasn’t a good time.  Well, that Sunday she just insisted on takin’ me to lunch at her sister-in-law’s in Dallas an’ said, ‘ as long as you’re with me, we’re just gonna drop in on Little Jack. I ain’t seen him in a while an’ I know you want to see his place.’  I didn’ especially care about  goin’ to see a woman I ain’t never met an’ sure didn’ want to go a’bustin’ in on Little Jackie of a Sunday morning.’  I’d a’heap ruther cooked at Myrtle’s and had a slow Sunday.  We’d been a’goin’ all week.

I told her ‘I’d love to see Little Jack, but I ain’t gonna be yore excuse for buttin’ in where I ain’t invited.  I’ll just wait in the car.  He’s coming over Thursday to see me.  Little Jack’s allus been standoffish an’ I ain’t goin’ in on nobody, grandson or not.’

‘Well, he’s a good boy an’ I wanna see his place.  Wait in the car if you want to.’

“She was purty het up,” Miss Laura Mae said.  “It was a real nice place, flowers in the yard, an’ all fresh-painted.  Myrtle prissed herself up to the front door, rung the bell.  She’s a hefty gal an’ looked plumb ridiculous in them high heels and short-tailed skirt.  You’d a’thought she could’a looked in the mirror before she left home.  Anyhow, Jackie come to the door in a robe an’ she pointed to me a’settin’ in the car.  They talked just a minute an’ Jackie waved to me an’ shut the door.  In just a minute, Myrtle was back in th’ car.  She moved purty fast for a tubby woman in high heels.  She was just a’sputterin’ when she got in the car.”

‘Well, don’t that beat all.’ Myrtle spewed.  ‘Little Jack said he was gittin ready for work an’ didn’ have time to visit.  That just ain’t right.  I know good an’ well he ain’t got to work Sundays.  He owns that store.’

“Well, I guess today wasn’t a good time for Little Jackie. neither.  I’ll just see him when he comes Thursday night for supper.’  Miss Laura Mae laughed.

“It kind’a ticked me after she tried to pushed in like that,”  she chuckled.  “You know he had somebody in there he didn’t want her to see.  After all, he is a man, full-growed.”


to be continued






Wearing Out Your Welcome

Cousins on Christmas

Cousins on Christmas

parents wedding pic

family6My mother found this hilarious letter among her things today. My grandmother was in a foul mood when she wrote it. I recalled this weekend like it was yesterday when I read the letter. Grandma was nosy. If she’d been an animal, she’d have been a ferret. She like to get right behind Daddy, quizzing him about his business and his family. “How come your mama moved off the Henderson Place? Seems like she was set up real well there. How come Ella May and her husband separated? They looked like they were doing good?” If she didn’t get enough answers, she picked us kids. “When did Suzie get married?”

None of this endeared her to Daddy. He wasn’t a patient man. If he’d been an animal, he’d have made a fine bear. She had already been visiting two weeks by the time this letter was written. She was thinking her son was on his way to get her when she got a call, learning it would be another two weeks. It didn’t make her or my dad happy to know they had another two weeks to spend together. My dad was on strike at the time, throwing them together, even more. His family came in to visit that weekend, creating a perfect storm. I expected them to kill each other!

I will transcribe for you”

Dear BL, Just time for word. Hope all are getting along all right. Sure hope your daddys neck is feeling better I don’t feel too good Such a crowd here last night Bonnie, Edward, their 3 kids & Geneva came Ester, Junie, and their 5 hienas. Cat Young & her bunch of Angel then 2 bunches of neighbors & their familys & it was so quiet it hurts my ears til yet. running & slamming doors. I thought they would never leave. Kack(my mother)is fixing to take Cat Young to Springhill she has to go to the bank on business & Arnold had to go help Edward finish his filling station today & use his car& he ask her to take her to the bank. I intended to go & found out Kack was going to take all her kids. I better close. O I talked to John yest he ask me if I’de mind staying here two weeks longer til schools out that he hated to come one day & go back the next.so I told him I’de wait they are beginning to make a little progress in their talks about settling the strike they are all hoping the mill will open after July the 4th Bill got to work 2 days for another construction job, he had to walk the picket line last night for an hour for two must close Kacks ready to start tell your daddy Bill is wanting to give away their big collie does he want him to go with Blue. Must stop now. Please write soon. Love to all Grandma

I had forgotten until I reread this letter that Grandma didn’t bother with punctuation, though she had been a teacher.