What Grandmothers Do

My grandmother made the best oatmeal. It was so good, it even tasted good cold.

She made it each morning for my grandfather who always left some for any of his grandchildren who wanted it.

I always did.

There were no microwaves, so oatmeal was made on the stove. And the remaining porridge sat in the pot waiting for me to eat it.

And eat it I did.

My mom stayed home until my younger sister started school. So when I was in third grade ...

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The Wee Hours of the Morning

People who wake up early get it. The wee hours of the morning are the ones you can own, because most everyone else sleeps through them.

I didn’t used to be a morning person. I can recall my father coming into my room, opening the blinds, turning on the light, and blaring my stereo as loud as it would go.

It was his way of saying that no son of his was going to sleep until noon on a Saturday.

When you’re 16 ...

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Mow Mow Mow

When I was a kid, I was the designated (fill in the blank).

If the TV antenna needed turning to pick up Star Trek or Dragnet, I was the designated antenna turner. If the channel needed changing, I was the designated remote control.

When the ubiquitous Ashdown, Arkansas, pine trees dropped their needles, I was the designated chief raker and burner.

Before cities stuck their noses into a family’s business and personal rights, you could burn needles and leaves in town, in your ...

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Watch This

One of my fears is that I’ll die and my family will throw out, or sell cheaply, my things that have value.

I went to an estate sale awhile back, and the grandkids of a family member were bagging up some remaining items and were going to throw them away. I asked if I could buy what was left and go through them later. They agreed.

Included in the bag of pencils, staplers, Tupperware, and other things that had once been part ...

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