This is for Debbie Kim~ she knows why

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SURVIVING NANNY~Watermelons & Winged Horses~part3

I had fallen hard asleep under the grapevines. Hadn't intended to, but I guess all the big hoop-la of the morning had tired me out.

Mama had come out to find both Chico and I, curled up, sweating like pigs. Caked in dirt, my clothes wet with sweat, Mama hollared for me to get up outta there. My grapes squished in my pocket.
She had her mad face on, but I could tell she was shinning me. "You know what you need,
Missy?!" Now she was trying not to smile. Across the yard she ran, grabbed the water hose, and
turn on the spigot, then sprayed me clean! The water felt almost too cold, but good, nonetheless. Rainbows sparkled in the spray, beautiful, dancing rainbows. As soon as I reached for one, it would be gone. Within a minute, my body had grown used to the cool water; it felt heavenly! All too soon Mama said it was time to cut the water off, we were running up the bill. I begged her to play just a little longer, but she said no.
I guessed it was about going back to church time anyway. I asked Mama which dress she was gonna put me in. "Oh, Nanny isn't going this evening. You can stay home." My heart sank. This had to be bad news for me. Nanny never missed church, ever. She would go sick even. The only thing to keep her outta church was the beauty parlor. Now, if she didn't go to the beauty parlor,
she absolutely would not attend services.
Once, before I was born, Nanny messed up her hair. I mean really messed it up. Daddy said Easter was coming and she wanted her hair colored. Wouldn't pay the beauty parlor lady to do it either. Her prices where sky high! Had Miss Mildred, our dear friend and next door neighbor, do it. Daddy said he wasn't quite sure what color she was aiming for, but she got purple. He said it was a most beautiful shade of Easter purple, but Nanny cried.
Poor Miss Mildred tried to fix it, but the next do-over came out pink!!! Bright pink!!! Nanny was wailing at this point. Daddy, in an effort to comfort and calm her(?) told her" Now Sade, at least you staying with an Easter theme." More tears. I think it had to slowly wash out. She missed several Sundays,
not Easter though. She and her pink head were in Church Easter Sunday. Not even pink hair would keep her from church Easter Sunday!!!!
My point being, things couldn't be good if she wasn't going to church. I considered not asking but Mama would tell me the truth. "Why is Nanny skipping church?" Mama answered, "Well, she just let herself get worked up over what you said at church this morning. She has taken a nerve pill and is resting." I felt awful. I wished Mama would yell at me or something. Maybe give me a good spanking. Something! Instead, she remained kind and forgiving. "Terri, I know you didn't mean to do any thing bad at church today." All the while nodding my head in full agreement. "I want you to understand something. That church your Nanny goes to is a crazy church. You just can't believe everything you hear there." This struck me as odd. "Well, Mama, why do I have to go?" She paused then chose her words carefully. "You do need some kind of religious training. Lord knows, I'm too tired to take you to church after working all week. Just easier to let Mama do it." Sometimes Mama would forget and call Nanny, Mama. Well, Nanny was her Mama.
"Just try to mind your Nanny, and not upset her, okay?"
Mama just didn't understand how easily Nanny got upset. All I could do was to try extra hard.

We went inside where Mama found me dry clothes and combed out my wet hair. I found myself wishing she didn't have to work. I wished she could take care of me instead of Nanny. We had already talked about this and I understood why. Still didn't make me stop wishing.

Dressed in clean,dry clothes, I approached Papaw's door, hoping he could talk to me about the animal/soul thing. He was leaned way back in his recliner, reading his Bible.
"Papaw, can I come in?" There was that smile, the smile he saved only for me. He didn't have a tooth in his head, but smiled like he had a mouthful of dentures. Well, he did have dentures but he wouldn't wear them. Said they hurt. So, he kept them in a glass of water in the bathroom. The dentures scared me when I was real little, but no more. They were just Papaw's teeth floating in a jar. He just had a mouthful of gums.
He patted the arm of his recliner welcoming me to take a seat. I jumped up on the arm, then slid down, falling into his side. Laughter from both of us. I giggled til I bout wet my pants.
"Papaw, do you think animals have souls?" I waited, breathlessly. His brown eyes searching mine. "Well now, do you mean like people?" "Yeah, I guess. Enough soul they go on to heaven?
Cuz Preacher said that animals have no souls. None! Then I started thinking about Chico and her dying and going to hell and I got so worked up I couldn't think and that's why I blurted out what I did." By this time I was crying. Couldn't hold the stress of the day any longer. I told Papaw I just knew Nanny was gonna tear me up for what I had done, but I wasn't being smart-aleky. Really!" I was sobbing now. No holding back. Papaw held on to me til my storm passed.
"I can't recall any where in the Bible that says animals have no souls." This made me feel some better. " I can't imagine a Heaven without animals. They are His creatures too, just like us. Had Noah build an ark just to save'em. Bound to be important to Him. Don't think he would've had Noah go to all that work for nothing. Yeah, I believe they go on. Heaven? Now, I ain't so sure about that. I ain't sure I believe in the Heaven we're told of in the Bible, either. Pearly gates?
Streets of gold? No, what am I gonna do with any of that. Spending eternity on a cloud with a harp? Naw, that don't sound like Heaven to me. Sounds boring.
God knows me better than anyone. I believe I'll be given the Heaven right for me. Maybe a plot of fertile soil, where every thing grows. Perfect rains, perfect amount of sun, just a perfect garden of vegetables, fruits and flowers. That would be my heaven."
He was lost in thought, dreaming of his Heaven. I prayed maybe his knees and back wouldn't hurt in Heaven too. God said there would be no pain. Be nice for Papaw to tend his garden without hurting.
"Well now, I know your Heaven will be filled with animals! And horses! Why, you gonna have a horse of every color in the world! Maybe some of them will even have wings. And you can grab one of your winged horses and fly over to my garden patch. We can share a perfect watermelon
together. Don't that sound fun?!"
Yes, it did sound fun. Maybe that's what heaven will be like. " Ain't nobody knows what heaven is like til we get there. We got to go on faith; that's all we got. I figure whatever it is it will be perfect. We both just need to believe that and go on. No sense in worrying about it. That sure don't help nothing. Just gotta trust God knows what is best for all his creatures. Especially us."

And again, my world was righted. That's all it took. My Papaw's wisdom.

I made another silent observation. While Nanny went to church all the time, and was a Christian, no doubt about that! she had no faith. None at all. She worried all the time about every little thing. And if she didn't have some thing to worry about, she'd hunt some thing up.
And nervous! Why some days she reminded me of a little frightened mouse. Scurrying about and wringing her hands. She always thought some thing bad was about to happen. And her worry rubbed off on me too. If Mama was late getting home from work, Nanny always thought the worst. Couldn't be she was stuck in city traffic, oh no. Nanny would be convinced she was dead in a ditch some where. Then, if I didn't worry with her, she would tell me I didn't love Mama. By the time Mama did get home, we'd have her dead and buried. I would be an orphan and have to go to a special orphan home, cuz Nanny couldn't raise me by herself, and Daddy didn't have enough sense to raise an umbrella. By the time Mama did get home, I'd be in tears, so thankful to have a Mama and not have to go to the orphan home.
And every night before bedtime we all had to race around the house picking and straightening up, just in case someone was to get sick during the night or even die. We couldn't have the ambulance men coming in thinking we lived in filth. I thought if one of us died during the night, we would be too upset to be worrying about what strangers thought. I never shared this opinion with Nanny though. This was how my Nanny thought.

But not Papaw. He never worried. Well, if he did he kept it to himself. No matter how bad things seemed, he would say, "It's all gonna be alright, you'll see." And it always was alright.

I don't know how I knew this or even why. But the thought came to me........."The emptiest wagon always rattles the loudest." That suited my Nanny to a tee.


Rising Rainbow June 14, 2010 at 5:29 PM  

I've know a few women like you Nanny. No faith hits it right on the head, doesn't it.

Terri June 21, 2010 at 9:52 AM  


Terri June 21, 2010 at 9:53 AM  


debianne June 21, 2010 at 10:46 AM  

Or as my dad says, "Throw a rock in amongst a bunch of dogs, the one you hit barks." I love those Texas sayings (and my dad has many for all occasions!)

Keep have much to say!!!
love ya!

Midlife Mom June 22, 2010 at 4:33 AM  

Things seem to be working fine now! Yea! Now I have to go back and read parts one and two, great writing Terri, I love it!!!! Nanny reminds me of a few people I know!!

Sharon Brumfield June 23, 2010 at 7:32 PM  

Beautiful girl.
No faith...something to think about.
Sometimes I think it is the state of the church....only they don't realize that it is because they haven't gotten to know the one that actually saved them.
They have their ticket to heaven...know all the dos and don'ts.....but nobody has ever told them that they don't have to wait to get to heaven before they get to know God.
And that is what I was born makes for a miserable Christian.
How cool that you got to see the difference between what should be....and what should not.
Love the word pictures in this piece.


About Me

My photo
Texas, United States
Wife, mom, sister, friend, seeker, mystic


There was an error in this gadget

Designed Especially for Terri by

  © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by 2008

Back to TOP