These are stories that my husband’s dad, mom, uncle,and grandpa recorded as they must have sat at a kitchen table somewhere in Kentucky. Thank you for family that takes the time traveling, searching for people, cemeteries, maps, books, money, patience, and hard work to preserve and record the life of our ancestors. Do not let their memories fade. Pass their stories along.
Thank you to Virginia (Jenny Rose) who sat with them and told her memories. She had such a love for a grandmother she only knew for 7 years. Brings tears down my cheeks to think of what a short but precious time they had together.
After my mother-in-law passed away, these typed pages were with some books. I thought they might be enjoyable to learn how people gather from the land for food and medicine and how they lived.
I am sharing them a bit at a time because just this short amount tells so much and made me ponder the sweetness of their relationship.
My grandmother, Martha Ann, probably wasn’t 5 feet tall, and married my grandfather who was approximately about 6′ and 4 inches tall. Whereby, I thought they looked like Mutt and Jeff together. (Mutt and Jeff was a long-running 1907-1983 and widely popular American newspaper comic strip).
She died when I was about 7 years old, but her death brings tears to my eye even to this day. She was an “Irish Example” of how they were taught to work hard and smile as if you were rich. Even on her dying bed she asked someone to get crackers for her grandchildren to eat.
I still can see her carrying a sack of greens to cook, and on our farm, going to the wood and gathering greens, tree roots, bark, mayapple and yellow roots for food, for medicine. Grandfather depended on her always to make the living, which she did by cleaning, baby sitting, making quilts, gardening for the more “elites” until a few weeks before her death. She had a daughter named Frona, who was almost deaf, but she taught her how to survive in this world.
Grandmother always gave me a flower to take home when the flowers were blooming and taught me how to peel and dice fruits.
She gave me a “thimble” (maybe not thimbles as we know them today). She was making a comforter, therefore, all the grandchildren wishing to, could sit in on it with their thimbles. She helped them thread the needles and taught them how to insert the needle and thread and how to tie the knots. I doubt if I put the thread where she wanted them, but she was happy because it was difficult for her to accomplish. She had to do housekeeping work for people to support the family since my grandfather seldom work. (arthritis)
I only knew one grandmother and this is the only one I personally saw and knew. It is nice to have a memory of my grandmother that I cherish and could relate to. When Dr. Dollen told me that my Grandmother Martha Ann prepared medication for him for some of his patients that were sick. She gathered bark, roots, and herbs. She also cleaned his house and office and he gave her his shirts and this is how grandmother had the material to make quilts. She also made him a quilt.
When I stand near her grave, I see a great lady that never got a “Neon Light” on earth, but to me she is glowing. Every memorial day I put some flowers on her grave because she gave me a thimble, fruits, flowers and taught me how to tie knots when I was young. And she put her arms around me to comfort me once.
By Virginia a.k.a. Jenny Rose