My mother had many stories to tell about her mother in-law, my 'Maw-Maw' Wagner. As I put things in perspective now, I must say my grandmother was brave enough to be her own person.
My mom and dad out of economic necessity lived with his parents for several months after their marriage in 1941. My mother came from a home where cleanliness and order were a given. Adjusting to my grandmother's 'style' was a challenge, to say the least.
One story I remember my mom sharing with me was one of the trips they had made back to Virginia from Georgia where my dad was in seminary. It was early September after they had spent several weeks with my grandparents while my dad assisted his dad with bookkeeping related to my granddad's position as County Commissioner. As one might imagine my mom could hardly wait to get in the car early that morning to head back to Georgia to their own home with me about eight months old.
This was during the war years when tires were not reliable. No sooner had they gotten down the road the first 50 or so miles when one of the retread tires blew. With very limited cash there was nothing to do but put on the spare and come back to the homeplace to have the tire replaced.
Now, my mother did her dead level best to keep things clean and in order when she would be visiting the in-laws. This meant washing dishes and sweeping the floors, etc. My grandmother was a very good cook but not much on clean up.
Now, when my parents left and drove down the road that morning, I can imagine my grandmother doing as I do after company leaves - relaxing a bit. She had pulled up her chair to the fireplace where the smoldering ashes had spilled out onto the hearth, and she was peeling a few apples to enjoy (breakfast dishes not yet cleared from the table) when in walked my parents. Oh, was my grandmother surprised! And my mom had to suck it in and spend a few more days in Virginia.
In going through items in my mother's home since her passing I discovered a reel-to-reel tape of my grandmother's recitation of a poem she had written. I remember hearing my grandmother read it many years ago.
A cousin who valued genealogy had paid a genealogist to come up with a Wagner book, and this gentleman must have recorded my grandmother's poem. I can hardly wait to get it converted to DVD to share with my brother and cousins.
What a great story, Pat! I can surely relate to your Grandmaw Wagner - I just made the comment to my husband this very morning, "Honey, I need a maid!" Could you enlarge the story by adding her poem? I'd love to read it.
I too want to read and 'hear' the poem. I think it will be so exciting for your family to experience her voice in this precious way. This is why I enjoy your friendship Pat.