This is for Debbie Kim~ she knows why

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

SURVIVING NANNY~Grapevines & Bed Springs~part 2

Mama allowed me to go outside after lunch. Daddy explained maybe it best to not go to the pony place that afternoon in light of my outburst at church that morning. I would have just as soon gotten a whipping and gone about my business than stay away from the pony place. There was nothing I could do to change Daddy's mind, so stuck I was, at home, waiting for Nanny to get over her case of nerves.

When she did get better, things would not go well for me. She had a way of always getting the last word in. This was not over. Mama and Daddy might believe so, I knew better. I had publicly humiliated her and in some way I would be punished.
No sense in worrying about that now. Nothing to do but wait.
In the meantime, I asked Mama for the bone outta the roast, for Chico. She loved bones and could spend a whole day chewing on a new one.
I took the bone and ran toward the back door. Throwing the screened door wide, it closed with a hard WHACK! I could hear Mama curse, then, "Terri, you're gonna ruin that door!!!" I had forgotten again. "Sorry, Mama!" not sure she even heard me.
I called for the black cocker, and she came wiggling out from underneath the house. That's where she usually stayed in the summer. Daddy said it was cool under there for her. He kept the little front and back door built into the foundation open during hot weather. Said this created a cross breeze for Chico to help keep her cool. In the winter it had to closed tight or the pipes would freeze. I wished she could come inside the house, but Nanny would never allow that. Animals were filthy and everyone knew how she felt about filth.
Chico and I found a cool spot underneath Papaw's grapevines. This was one of my favorite places in the yard. The vines were dense, blocking most all of the sun. He had planted them years before I had ever been born; they had grown huge. So large in fact, Papaw had taken a full sized bed spring, made tall posts, and allowed grapevine to take over.
Mama about had a fit when she came home from work to find a suspended bed spring in her backyard. "Dammit Daddy, we look like white trash!" I heard her say. Papaw just laughed at her, promising the vines would cover it in no time. Papaw never did give much thought as to what others thought of him any way.
Chico and I curled up underneath the thick shade of Papaw's grapevine. She busy with her bone, me busy with worry. Try as I might, I couldn't stop worrying about Nanny being so angry with me. I don't believe I had ever seen her that upset. Maybe I would get lucky and just get a fly swatting. Maybe I was getting tougher, or Nanny getting weaker, I wasn't sure. But when she did whip me with the fly swat, It didn't hurt near like it used to. I still cried and carried on, so she would think I was suffering something terrible. But most all of that was for show.
Guess that was a form of lying, which I knew was a sin. Still, I continued to play that part out, all for her benefit.
I looked up through the vines, searching for blue skies. The vines, so thick blocked all view. I had picked a small bunch of grapes for dessert but felt full as a tick. Ate too much roast. I loved Mama's Sunday roast. The smell filled the whole house.
I had to finish the grapes I had picked. It took a big lot to make Papaw mad; wasting food was something you just didn't do around him. Now this could make him yell! He said he raised a family during something called a depression, and nobody had enough to eat! Said he went to bed a plenty of nights empty as a drum just so Mama and her sisters could eat!
No, I knew better to waste anything in front of Papaw. I pushed the rest of the grapes deep into my pocket. I could put them in the ice box and eat them later.
I continued to study the wide leaves of the vines, thinking how right Papaw had been. The rusty bed springs were completely hidden by his beautiful vines. No one would ever know they were there, unless they climbed underneath and looked up. I was the only one to crawl beneath them. I was the only one who could see the ugly. A grown up would only see the beauty of the vines and the delicious grapes.
This made me think of Nanny for some reason. She was like the grapevine and the bed spring.
Everyone who met her saw only her beautiful vines and sweet grapes. I knew better. Beneath all that beauty was nothing but an old rusty bed spring.

4 comments:

debianne June 9, 2010 at 1:48 PM  

I loooovvveee that you called it an "ice box"...me too!

Sitting on the edge of my seat....

Rising Rainbow June 9, 2010 at 11:11 PM  

We do have a very lot in common.....

Janera June 11, 2010 at 10:18 AM  

Amazing description. I can see you and the pup huddled under the grapevine. Excellent writing, Terri!

Sharon Brumfield June 23, 2010 at 7:20 PM  

I'm back! ;)
I do so hope to find that your Nanny had a true heart for God....but the thing that keeps running through my head...whitewashed tombs.
It was what Jesus called the Pharisees.
I love the thought of you as a little girl. So innocent...and yet so wise to the truth.
And deep inside of me still lingers that little girl...healed...but with memories that are as vivid as it they had just happened yesterday.
A little girl touched by those who knew the rules....and used them without the love of the one who gave them.
AND YET.....we made it through those thick vines that were blocking out the SON. We made it through to the real thing...and we enjoy the fruit of that labor. :)
Loving this girl.

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Wife, mom, sister, friend, seeker, mystic

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