"A grownup is a child with layers on." - Woody Harrelson
Peeling back the layers.
In my early years, Mama didn't buy many store bought treats and sweets. She had the richest recipes on earth and cooked all of our own desserts. Certainly, I liked some of them early on, but my most favorite thing was chocolate: deep, rich and dark.
There were three households in my young days, that always had ready for me, any time I was there, a special store bought chocolate treat. Today, I am sharing my memories of each of these special people and how special their attention and supply of these treats made me feel.
Aunt Billie, Mama's sister. A very special lady in my life, for all of my life. Virtuous Christian woman personified. Homemaker, mother of three boys, worked in a secretarial position at one time and owned a fan shop at another. Clean, neat and impeccable in her appearance, attire and housekeeping. As perfect as she may sound, she is also just as warm, friendly and easy going. No haughtiness or putting on airs for her. She would keep on hand Hershey's chocolate bars. Quiet often she'd treat me to one. Never waited for me to ask (asking was frowned upon in children in those days when visiting, be it family or not), She'd merely offer. Quite often she'd keep me happy and content at her kitchen table pasting her S&H Green Stamps and others in books for her. I felt important, helpful and special! Thank you, Aunt Billie!
In Carthage, our landlord and neighbor, Willie Tompkins, was a kind, friendly and warm woman. With her own daughter all grown up, she treated me more like a niece than the tenet's child. Her and mom grew quite close. Willie made me a sparkly, silky red and white checked dress that had a huge red net petticoat underneath. I remember wearing it to a football game (why? Maybe it was homecoming?) In the stands I kept wanting to stand up, turn around and look through the cracks in the bleachers at the people walking around underneath. Daddy told me to sit down before the camera came on me and my hiney was on TV for all the world to see. I doubt if we were at a game with a camera, but Daddy knew I watched enough football with him, I believed him. But, I digress. Back to Willie. I still have that dress buried down in Mama's old cedar chest. Willie had tables in her garage. She didn't drive, so on those tables she stored every copy of the Reader's Digest she had ever received! At that time I couldn't read, but I was awed by this collection and I went on to love the Digest and be an avid reader for most of my years. I would write a note in my own hand or draw pictures at the end of Mama's letters to Willie after we moved away. Later, I corresponded with her all the way into my college years, when eventually a letter came from her daughter, Sue, explaining Willie had passed on. Mama would let little me, walk out our back door, across the yard to Willie's back door (for all I know, Mama called her in advance or stood on the back steps watching me the whole way). When I'd get there, she'd invite me in and we'd sit at her kitchen table. She bring out a bag of Oreo's (which she couldn't eat, I believe she was diabetic) and pour me a little glass of milk. We'd talk and I'd eat cookies and drink milk. I liked to take them apart, eat all the white fillings and then come back and eat the cookie parts. Not because I loved the filling, but because I loved that dark, almost bitter chocolate. (I'd buy a bag of cookie only parts if they sold them!) I suppose these times were my first glimpse of independence. Willie made me feel welcomed, loved and special. Thank you, Willie!
Daddy's brother, Uncle Perra, and his wife, Aunt Elizabeth were the only of Daddy's family that lived in our home town. Mama and Daddy would often go over to their house and play rollicking games of Wahoo. At times they'd let me move their marbles and later on they'd sometimes let me play along with them. All of Daddy's family was a little louder and more animated than mother's side, but equally loving and warm. Uncle Perra would always make a show about telling Aunt Elizabeth to give me a glass of that milk from the brown cow. I have no clue if they kept it onhand just for kids, or if they enjoyed it to, but there is nothing any better for a chocolate lover than Borden's Dutch Chocolate Milk! So rich, so velvety smooth and definitely chocolate! I wrote another entry in another challenge about my own Wahoo board. Aunt Elizabeth took me downtown one day to the drugstore and bought it for me. I felt special and excited to have my own game the grownups played! Uncle Perra was the first of my uncle's to pass away. So, I don't have many memories of him except for those Wahoo games and teasing about the brown cow. My times with Uncle Perra and Aunt Elizabeth made me feel "bigger" than my years, special, and loved. Thank you, Uncle Perra and Aunt Elizabeth!
What about you? Who in your young world made you feel special in some way? How'd they do it?
Thanks for sharing!